GP telephone consulting is not safe after all

Well I remember meeting Dr Phil Dommett four years ago and his emphatic assertion to me “This is safer medicine”.  One of the pioneers of the GP telephone led model, you can read his note here how at his practice they are honing each others’ skills. It became clear to me as a non-clinician that […]

St Simon says, “By their fruits ye shall know them”

We arose before dawn and made our way from all over the countryside, building into a great multitude. King’s Fund had promised a breakfast meeting but coffee and one small pastry had to suffice - we were here to hear St Simon Stevens. We were not disappointed. “By their fruits ye shall know them” - […]

Recruiting GPs: you need to play hide and seek

GPs are interested in what a GP is worth, but so is society, which means us, the patients.  And apparently there is a problem, because we are not recruiting enough. Rather than debate the annual incomes or the hourly rate, you would expect me to take a contrarian view.  Let me tell you about another […]

Holy grail found - how to manage demand

Managing demand seems like the holy grail for healthcare.  Everyone is talking about it but no one has found out how. Trouble is, “managing” for the provider means “restricting” to the patient.  We’re not allowed to say “rationing”, so we say “diverting”.  To the patient, “fobbed off” is simple and clear.  Perhaps you have been […]

Dr Phil Dommett on learning from each other’s calls

How do you improve your telephone consulting skills in the practice? “We have always recorded phone calls and have involved partners in direct staff training and review, listening to each others’ calls. It was threatening at first and not comfortable, but it works… if we all know the right things to say. One thing we taught them right […]

The best laid plans ‘o mice and men gang aft agley

I was at Roy Lilley’s Health Chat, King’s Fund last Monday evening, 100 very well informed primary care folk, very few of them sticking to Dry January, all having fun. Airy predictions are doing the rounds of “a minimum 50,000 patients in primary care units” of the future.  It’s all new models, MSCPs and PACs. […]

Spraying cash at the walls or feeding the seals?

If like us you have been burning the midnight oil to get your Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund bid perfected for the deadline yesterday, you’ll have enjoyed a night out and a lie in. But lamps will soon need to be refilled for the next deadline, 2nd February to express your interest in the £200m New […]

Simon Stevens on the virtual general practice

If you didn’t catch it Simon Stevens comments on the “virtual service” general practice of the future have been brilliantly lampooned in Pulse. In an interview with the FT he said that rather than registering with a GP, patients would sign on to: ‘the virtual primary care service, and then… rather than booking an appointment, just […]

Staying the same is looking impossible in 2015

Beginning 2015 do you find yourself bursting with hopes, dreams and excitement about your practice and patients? Or is it more a feeling that you’re dragging yourself around, weary and wondering how you’ll cope? While I’m not doing prophecies for the year, the data spewing out of NHS analysts is all about rising demand, for […]

Christmas. You can never predict it.

You’ve planned everything perfectly. You were expecting the rush of repeat prescriptions, folk stocking up for six weeks, and not until Christmas Eve. Anyone with nous has arranged their emergency illnesses for just before the break, to give you a few days peace. Now only half an hour to go. Miriam: “Sorry, we’ve no slots left […]