Sophia Christie's allegations that GPs are 'venal' and 'breathtakingly callous' are unfair. I am a GP of 26 years' standing. I am vice chair of our (large) local medical committee and a board member of our practice based commissioning consortium. I have spent considerable time recently, with a great deal more work to come, on the Department of Health integrated care pilots. In short, I am one of those entrepreneurial doctors she so despises.
In 2004, the government acknowledged that changes "to move care closer to home" had significantly increased the workload for GPs. It conceded that, in order to provide a high quality service, extra work had to be appropriately funded. This means we can now fund the highly skilled practice nurses and nurse practitioners to help run the local enhanced services. However, the government has also imposed an effective pay cut on GPs for the past two years. My practice honoured national pay rises for its staff: out of GPs' own back pockets.
There is no form of reimbursement for dressings (so I fail to see how she can call us "venal"), though in a review of community nursing with our primary care trust we have now negotiated extra funding for this. It is also relevant that the tariff paid to hospitals for doing the operation includes the post-op care including changing dressings - but it is simpler to dump the work on GPs. As for doctors "choosing to frighten older patients", this is a case for the General Medical Council, I would have thought.
Come on Sophia: put up or shut up. Don't evade libel laws by refusing to name and shame. In my "well served" PCT area there have been very real threats to high quality practices from "Darzi schemes". The response of patients at packed public meetings has forced the trust to abandon one scheme, and review two others, in the face of very real threats to the existing primary care infrastructure. Come and spend a day in my practice, Sophia, and perhaps I can shed light in the darker corners of your evident ignorance.
Dr Robin Jackson, Lancaster