Balance between GP and hospital doctor numbers may need to shift, says new NHS chiefBMJ 2014; 348 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g3037 (Published 30 April 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g3037
All rapid responses
I guess its total 'ennui' amongst NHS doctors that has resulted in precisely zero responses to this item a week from publication! We're all at the 'who cares?' stage and if only the new NHS chief Simon Stevens could recognise the immense danger of a yawn-yawn senior workforce he'd be past the first hurdle of a very poisonous chalice of a job (viz Kings Fund news on another page that 'Funding Crisis is inevitable in the NHS by 2017').
He speaks of dramatic action to increase the GP workforce at the expense of hospital specialist numbers. Can someone explain to Mr Stevens that the first step in fixing a leaking bucket is to close the hole. He speaks of "many GPs being due to retire soon" making it sound like some demographic timebomb resulting from half the nation's family doctors being conceived during a power cut precisely 60 yrs ago.
Mr Stevens needs a word of explanation in his ear from the CMO, such as:
1. GPs find the conflicts between clinical care and budgetary control distasteful
2. They dont enjoy the increasing bureacracy in day to day work
3. They hate having to compensate for the ban on consultant cross-referrals....
4. ....or being forced to refer their patients generically when they know damn well that Mr X is a far better surgeon than Mr Y.
These, and a hundred other reasons which Mr Stevens clearly has no intention of addressing are the reasons for the huge acceleration in GP retirements. Indeed he speaks of turning the commissioning screw even tighter and boasts about the extraordinary situation which has developed uniquely, within the Western world, in England and Wales whereby the vast majority of NHS funding goeas through primary care. And what a shambles it's been. Hasn't it occured to him that the reason no other Western health system has done this is because it DOESN'T work! Or does he think all the rest, with their vastly better health outcomes, are wrong?
As for the implied threat to medical staffing in secondary care, and waiting lists longer than they've been for years, is he now planning to get the hernias, bowel resections and hip replacements done in GP surgeries too, because the much-vaunted surgi-centres have certainly proved to be a flop!
Competing interests: No competing interests