Friday, 9 October 2009

Show salaried GPs some respect

Below is a reproduction of my new blog which is appearing in Pulse magazine. I will be posting other stuff on this blog aswell. The Pulse magazine blog is aimed at GPs so it might use the odd big of jargon that you might not understand. QOF points are the major way General Practice is funded. Essentially you get points for asking or doing certain things - eg asking someone who has diabetes if they are depressed, getting a blood pressure below 150/90, asking ex-smokers if they are still ex-smokers etc... Its meant that most consultations have now become QOF chasing exercises because if you don't get the points, the Practice doesn't get the cash. The GP partners get the cash, they decide where it goes and how much they get to keep, salaried GPs work for the partners - we cost 1/2 to 2/3's as much as a partner but do all the clinical work and none (usually) of the business side of things.

Simple really. Well it would be if the QOF points made sense - which they don't always, and a percentage of them change every year. So now you understand a bit about how General Practice is funded hopefully the rant below will make some sense!

What’s it like to be a salaried GP? Not much fun that’s what. I came into general practice with the rather foolish idea that I would eventually end up a Partner, help think up some innovative changes, improve patient care and be my own boss. I mistakenly thought that I’d be a Salaried GP for a year before finding a partnership. Now nearly 5 yrs later I’m still a Salaried and partnerships remain as rare as rocking horse droppings.

I’m getting really fed up with the barrage of emails reminding us of all the QOF points we have missed, a big chunk of which could be done by the receptionists but for whatever reason they can’t bring themselves to do it. Extra work to do? Down on the QOF points? Extra vists to see? Bounce it to the Salaried GPs! It’s the attitude of the partners that I find disrespectful. If it’s a choice between getting a Partner to do something or a Salaried it almost always gets bounced to the Salaried GP – after all you have to make sure you get your moneys worth out of them.

I know lots of Salaried GPs are sick to death of getting flogged by the Partners. The Partners can cancel clinics at the drop of a hat, go on courses, meetings, anything that takes their fancy. Salarieds? No such luck. If it doesn’t bring money into the ‘practice pot’ (partners pockets) they are not interested.

Work is meant to be distributed fairly but it’s laughable when the partners claim they do the same as the Salarieds. They don’t. Don’t kid yourself.

I know some salaried GPs have been given permission to pursue some management activity (QOF chasing) but with no extra pay or time to do it in. Why bother? It’s getting like that now at work. Why bother? – I’m paid to do my clinics, fill in some forms and do visits. If it is anything else then I am not interested. It is terribly sad that it’s getting this way. The goodwill of the salaried GPs is evaporating fast. Partners need to treat us with respect and have a radical rethink about how they use the increasing salaried GP workforce. That Darzi clinic down the road is starting to look quite appealing…

1 comment:

  1. I hate the way GP practices are run.. I do spirometry because it has to be done to meet targets not because anyone really even cares about the patients.

    I reported to one of the partners recently that one of the patients I had tested had very severe obstruction - he wasn't interested, din't want to bother following it up, nothing, as long as the points were in place that's all that seems to matter.