Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:


Hamster health care

BMJ 2000; 321 doi: (Published 23 December 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:1541

Rapid Response:

Hamster Health Care

Editor - Congratulations on an amazing article - as a tired GP and
PCG Board Member off with flu and quite exhausted I was very much
encouraged.Well done indeen to Ian
Morrisson too.Has he written widely before?
These are some of the most insightful comments about General Practice I
have ever read and so very much needed to be heard.
I'd like to be involved in this in any way I can because I've felt the
issues are so important - and I hear so many others who quietly do too.
Reduction in GP satisfaction
and sheer fatigue ('burn-out') are commonplace at all ages of
practitioners now especially the conscientious and keen ones who seem to
face it first- -for many like me
retirement is'nt an option yet but they wish it were; desperately sad but
Health care workers in general and GP's in particular must be very hard to
manage well because they think ovewhelmingly in a reactive not a strategic
way and so just
work harder and harder in the face of new demand just because 'this is
what they do' .This goes on without serious requests for extra resources
until they cry 'crisis' and
feel they can't cope and start not to.This is hardly a style that lends
itself to strategic management and sustained patient satisfaction but it
does conveniently play into
the hands of 'stingy payers' .This unfortunate tendency in GP's only
compounds their problems and those of their patients in the long term as
we are all finding out. I do'nt
believe it needs to be like this for any of us and we owe it to ourselves,
our 'burnt out' colleagues and their dependants and all our patients to
sort it out.

Let's have more of this and please if I can be involved in any way
I'd be absolutely delighted. I will certainly be requesting the article is
discussed at PCG level locally
soon.This Hamster has certainly had enough of not addressing these issues.

Is there any electronic way I could have the follow up references etc
to this article in future sent to me please?

Thank-you so much for publishing this today.Significantly my non-
medical wife was completely impressed too and said 'yes' a lot.

Simon Andrews

Competing interests: No competing interests

17 January 2001
Simon Andrews