There's no pleasing some people, as a poll of 100 GPs in the Daily Mail showed. Despite huge pay rises (heard about the new GP-class Mercedes Benz?) and shorter hours, they are still unhappy.
Nearly a fifth said they were not paid enough, although the poll did not reveal whether these were salaried GPs whose pay has been kept down by high-earning partners.
The NHS doesn't get enough money; they don't like NHS managers; and their team spirit is rubbish. These are, you understand, paraphrases of concerns the 100 voiced. Yes, yes, we know, said the British Medical Association, citing its survey of 11,000 GPs which showed that half felt morale had fallen in the past five years. 'GPs are worried about the future of general practice in this country,' GP committee chairman, Dr Laurence Buckman told the Mail.
The Patients' Association was unsympathetic. Don't like the team spirit in your surgery? Well you're the boss - change it, a spokeswoman told the Daily Express. Many patients - most earning less than GPs - were 'equally unhappy' with the service they got from their doctors, she said.
Meanwhile, management guru Gerry Robinson applauded improvements at Rotherham Hospital, where he spent six months in 2006, culminating in a critical January 2007 BBC documentary. On his recent return he was particularly pleased to find operating theatres working on a Friday afternoon and Saturday morning.
'It just proved that all the excuses I had been given about why they couldn't be used on Friday afternoons were just that: excuses,' he said. But he had reservations. The NHS IT programme was a disaster and should never have been a national plan. The arrival of a polyclinic would rob the hospital of business. The NHS really needed a, erm, national plan. We're still trying to square that particular conundrum.