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Jog on

Primary Care Blues

Cornelius Rubeus

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

racetrack_v2.jpgThe Sunday Times Fast Track 100 league table ranks Britain's fastest growing 100 private companies over the latest three years. A typical Fast Track 100 company is owned and run by entrepreneurs and has average 3 year growth ranging between 50% and 300% per annum. Recent named luminaries on the league table included companies like Cath Kidston, Ella’s Kitchen and Jack Wills.

As a Partner of a GP business witnessing unprecedented growth I thought I’d check where we might be on the charts. Sadly, of course, we are nowhere to be found – whilst our growth in work would have us competing strongly with Cath’s floral print production, Ella’s organic puree, or Jack’s GP-attire inspired outfits, the charts celebrate creation of wealth - and bundles of cash are something we stopped making a long time ago.

I’m not here to start World War Twee against Cath Kidston – good luck to her, but like Ella’s puree – it sticks in the craw a bit that, as we roll our Jack Wills sleeves up, chomping through more and more work, we can be so ‘successful’ in terms of the amount of ‘business’ generated and yet so comparatively poor when it comes to reasonable recompense for the oodles of work getting done.

The Department of Health, in pulling out of contract negotiations, and instead unilaterally imposing its raft of contractual changes upon us, will have impacted yet further negatively on the workload and pay of every GP from April.

Our illustrious leaders seem resigned to our fate - and how will GPs at the coal face react? No doubt we will carry on ‘just doing it’. This is one industry that does not need outsourcing to the subcontinent and its cheap labour markets – we have our very own ‘sweatshops’ right here at home!

Nike, the winged goddess who signifies victory, would be hard pressed to find a win for GPs in our current contract negotiations it seems.

“Just Do It”, the famous Nike slogan, came from a rather unlikely source - spree killer Gary Gilmore, who received the death penalty for murdering two people in Utah in July, 1976. Just before a firing squad did their duty, Gilmore was asked if he had any last words. “Let’s do it,” he simply said. When advertising moguls were tapped to create a tagline for Nike a decade later, something about Gilmore’s words just seemed to fit. “Let’s” was changed to “Just” to add a dash of emphasis. 1, 2

If General Practice – or at least General practice as we know it - is to have a stay off execution, I call upon all grassroots GPs to get informed and respond to the Department of Health’s consultation on the contract proposals, which closes next month – Just do it…

References

  1. Wikipedia article “Nike, Inc.”
  2. Peters, Jeremy W. (August 19, 2009). "The Birth of 'Just Do It' and Other Magic Words". The New York Times.

Author's Image

Cornelius Rubeus

Dr Rubeus is a hardworking, jobbing GP who trained in the North of England and now works in an inner city setting. He feels passionate about the changes affecting primary care and is not afraid to voice his views. He has his patient’s best interests at heart and wants General Practice to remain as the bedrock of the NHS for years to come.
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