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Still practising

Chris Preece

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

AdobeStock_109909244_nhs70.jpgJuly 5th will see the 70th birthday of the NHS. By way of a present, Theresa May has already announced that there will be an additional £20 billion of funding by 2023. Of course, whilst superficially impressive, in reality this still falls short of the roughly 4% annual uplift that the NHS used to enjoy pre-austerity. What’s more, the money is supposedly going to be coming from a Brexit dividend that many simply don’t believe exists. Meanwhile social care seems to have been forgotten about entirely (again).

So, all in all, it’s roughly equivalent to being starved for six years, then being told that as an exciting birthday gift you can have regular bread and water from now on - but only if it turns out Santa is real after all.

So I’ve decided to give the NHS a little gift of my own. I don’t have much to offer it (beyond the work I’m doing already), but no birthday party’s complete without a song, so I’ve penned this for it:

(To the tune of “When I’m 64”)

Theresa says there’s
Money to come.
But less than before.
How much longer will we have an NHS?
Cross my fingers, hope for the best.

You have been here
For seventy years
Helping rich or poor
I know that we bleed you,
But we still need you
Hope for seventy more.

I’ll be older too.
And if they keep their word.
I’ll be safe with you.

There are no GPs
Or nurses too,
Everyone has gone
Visas for new people have all been declined
Sajid Javid’s changing his mind.

Saving a child’s life,
Fixing a knee,
And a whole lot more,
I know that we bleed you,
But we still need you,
Hope for seventy more.

Every year you need your funding
to go up by 4%, it’s really not that dear.
Let’s not scrimp and save.
That’s what MPs need to hear,
Hammond, Hunt and May.

I’ll send them a postcard,
Drop them a line,
State my point of view,
Indicate precisely what I mean to say,
Ask if they will see it our way.
Hoping their answer,
Keeps you alive,
here for evermore.
I know that we bleed you,
But we still need you,
Hope there’s seventy more.

Author's Image

Chris Preece

Chris has worked as a GP Partner in North Yorkshire since 2004, and still relishes the peculiar challenge of never quite knowing what the next person through the door is going to present with. He was the chair of his local Practice Based Commissioning Group, and when this evolved into a CCG he joined the Governing Body, ultimately leaving in April 2015. He continues to work with the CCG in an advisory capacity. When not being consumed by all things medical, Chris occupies himself by writing, gaming, and indulging the whims of his children. He has previously written and performed in a number of pantomimes and occupied the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square. Tragically, his patients no longer tell him he looks too young to be a doctor.
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