Friday, 15 May 2009

MPs are greedy cheating bastards. Who is not surprised?

Well well well! What a week! MPs expenses have been exposed by the Telegraph (after all the hard work was done by this person).

Its hard to know where to start! The government has been undertaking a smear campaign against GPs for the past 2-3 years. Finally we get our own back! I would say 98% of what was written about fatcat GPs was complete bullshit. They picked out a few high earning GPs and claimed we were all the same.

Now in parallel we have a variety of MPs who have been 'creative' with their expenses. Of course not all MPs have been misbehaving but they have been tarred with the same brush - much like we have eh?

What really grinds my gears is the complete lack of guilt the MPs have been showing. Ok, so the expenses system may have had very weak rules that could be bent so you could claim for all sorts of uncessary shit. You still have a moral obligation to do the right thing, to act 'honarably'. Just because you can claim for frivolous things that doesn't mean you should. Giving back the money just won't cut it. And as for the Speaker? He is responsible for overseeing all claims, if all these dodgy claims happened under his watch then he must take responsibilty for this. After all, if his expenses committee had done their job properly then none of these claims would have been approved.

My big worry is that this puts people off voting. If we don't vote then how can we change anything? If we don't vote your saying we don't care who gets in. If we don't vote then that mad racist homophobe down the road will and he'll vote in some equally racist homophobe.

Anyway, enough politics. Work has been ok this week. More partners working so thats helped. Practice manager wants me to help do the Pandemic flu planning and looking at workload issues. Should be interesting, said I'd only do it if he gives me some time off clinical sessions. I foresee we will be arguing about workload problems. Must make sure I read the BMA salaried contract and make sure we stick to that.

Just finished series 1 of The Wire. How cool is that series? Got series 2 and will start watching it with the wife when we get some time.

Anyone see the end of Heroes series 3 on TV the other night? What a heap of shit that series is turning into. Not sure I can be bothered to watch the next series.

Enough inane ramblings. Catch you later!

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Tax is taxing thank you very much Adam Hart-Davies

After all my ranting last week I was taken off RAC (Rapid Access Clinic) at the last moment. Phew. Doing it on monday though. Bollox. Honestly the rota at work is so borked its unbelievable. Its my understanding that a session of work for a salaried GP is taken to be 4hrs 10mins according to the BMA. That includes paperwork, visits etc... Well we seem to have so many urgent extras that our morning clinic now finishes at 12-1230. That leaves 10-20mins to do visits (normally 2-3 @ 20mins each at least) + any paperwork (referrals, form filling, letter reading, checking results etc).

I honestly have no idea how we are meant to do all this. Its not only me whos getting backed up on the paperwork front. Its fine for the partners to pop in on their day off or stay late and catch up as thats whats being a partner is about - hence the fat paycheck they reward themselves. I know some of the salarieds stay late to catch up and they are slowly (or not so slowly) heading towards burnout. Its really fucked up. I'm glad I am leaving in December to go to Liverpool (part of wife's PICU training). If i wan't I think I'd leave where I am working anyway. I could rant about work all day but frankly I guess its boring to read. Still it helps me get things of my chest I suppose.

When I went into General Practice there was a shortfall in the number of Drs going into GP-land. So for a double edged promotion of sorts the government offered a golden hello (£6000 I think) + GP contracts were renegioated . Funding for GP's was altered and linked to Quality Outcomes Framework (essentially points for reaching certain clinical and managerial targets), in addition GPs no longer had to do Out-of-hours (OOH) cover (for a £6000 pay cut).

So when I went in things were looking rosey. I got a golden hello, no OOH cover and pay for GPs was going up. An unforseen (perhaps) consequence of the new funding arrangement was that it was financially better for a GP partner to hire a salaried GP rather than take on another partner in the business. For example - new partner = £120k reduction in profits, salaried GP = £70k reduction in profits, remaining profit to be split between existing partners.

In addition the government did a spectacular U-turn on the OOH cover, demanding that GPs cover from 8-8pm (even though there was v.little demand from the public for this), for no extra funding.

So now I find myself stuck in a target driven GP-land with fatcat GP partners making the salaried GPs do the donkey work and potentially having to do OOH again. Brilliant. Not only this but the government seriously fucked up hospital Dr training (MTAS) with the result that hospital Drs have had their careers ruined as well.

Labour have majorly fucked up the NHS in a HUGE way. I know of no doctor anywhere who will be voting Labour in the next election.

Well thats all the ranting out of the way. Whats that got to do with the title? Absolutely nothing. Whats happened is that I have been on basic tax rate for my GP specialist work meaning I owe the tax man over £3000. Quite how this has happened I do not know as I spoke to him in Jan after getting a massive tax bill then too and he didn't spot anything. Doing Tax returns, even online is tedious and painful, especially when you get stung for a huge tax bill.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

My first entry

Woohoo. So here it is, my blog. To be honest I'll be amazed if anyone reads this. I think the main reason why I am writing this is so I can offload about how shitty work is and how GPs (especially salaried ones are getting crapped on). I might do a bit on Swine Flu as well as it seems to be the topic of the moment. This is all new to me, I guess I should post links to various bits and bobs but frankly I can't be arsed and everyone knows how to use google nowadays anyway.

I've taken a peek at various other blogs - my 2 favourites are Dr Rant and NHS Blog Doctor . Hey fancy that, I've made a couple of links. Anyway, I doubt this blog will be anywhere near as good as them as I have a sneaky suspicion that work has blocked access to blogs - the bastards. Thankfully I still have access to Twitter.

Ok, lets take a peek at BBC News health section and see whats going on there...

Hmm, mild swine flu? Its quite amusing that people seem to be miffed that its not fatal like avian flu has been or like SARS. Give it time. Influenza viruses mutate at a fair rate. Who knows, come winter it might be a bad-ass and people will be dropping like flies (or should that be pigs?). Frankly I'm glad its mild (so far), people at my practice tend to turn up literally hours after a sniffle or cough starts so even if its mild the increase workload will be a real pain in the ass.

This is rather worrying . Its hard enough to get anyone to do Child Protection. Its terrible that the GP involved who referred the child twice to A+E with suspected Non-accidental injuries has been suspended by the GMC. Not sure I understand why - does anyone? Politics I guess. Lets see, Prof Southall got suspended by the GMC and then reinstated for false accusations re child abuse. This other GP gets suspended for correct accusations re child abuse. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

Doing Rapid Access Clinic tomorrow. Brain-child of one of the partners. Originally conceived as a rapid, simple, drop-in clinic for things like coughs, sore throat, ear ache etc. The idea was that these problems only take 2-3 mins to sort out and so don't need a 10min appointment. Trouble is is that people are coming in with stuff that really doesn't need to a GP - like waking up that morning with a sore throat. As a result the clinic is full (30+) of minor crap that could be self treated or waiting for it to settle. The clinic should really be done by a nurse with appropriate training. Complete waste of bloody time but alas, as a simple salaried GP I am unable to sway the partners. I can't even get them to change the name of the clinic - its no longer rapid access (drop-in) its now pre booked appointment slots. Completely fucking stupid.

When I get a moment I'll go through whats wrong with the practice where I am working. Mainly so I have a note of what not to do if I ever become a partner (GP partner jobs are rare as rocking-horse shit). Will save that for another day.