Dear Cons,

Re: ‘GPs’ leader hits out at plans for seven-day surgeries‘ (BBC)

I need my GP to be a doctor of medicine, not a bureaucrat; not an accountant; not a glorified admin clerk. I do not need to feel like I’m an inconvenient glitch on a production line because my doctor feels like a rushed frontline workhorse. I want my GP to be well-trained, well-qualified, patient and empathic. I need him or her to have the time and space to be able to concentrate on being a sensible, enthusiastic and compassionate advocate for and minister to my best health. I want to be able to see the same GP insofar as it is possible and reasonable so that a relationship can be established, thereby promoting confidence and a continuity of care. I want my doctor to be well-remunerated and respected and to be deserving of both. I need a doctor whose working conditions are conducive to his or her own well-being. I do not need my GP to be so overwhelmed, overworked and stressed out that his or her own health, professional standards and judgement are compromised. And I need my family doctor to be easily accessible because the practice is nearby and open and because it is adequately funded and staffed. I do not want my GP surgery to be under constant threat of breakdown because of its inability to retain more than a skeleton locum staff or because of the ignorant politicking, privatising and weaponising of capricious or incompetent government ministers.

And if you think my sentiments only extend to my family doctor and not to all public servants, you are gravely mistaken. They apply to all medical staff, cleaners, paramedics, firemen, teachers, social workers, policemen, community care workers, coastguards, soldiers…


Probably not just me.


Not ready

For all the skills I had
To teach until my fate
Made future come too

And I was not ready
To be such a weight

Didn’t see it coming

Nor the friends going
As I transitioned from
A friend indeed to friend
In need

Leaden with
Responsibility and
Sorrow breathing in
And out with me

How every failure,
Every target unassailed
Is both mine and my
Owns’ to bear

But they were not ready
And now there is catching
Up for them and waves of
Overwhelming uselessness
For me

Love the NHS

I love the NHS for, at its best,

It’s mother’s care expressed

As comfort to distress by pain

And sickness suffered;

Seeks no gain but succour for the

Ills of brain and body through its deft

And healing hands;

For every year I spend

Upon this land:

Calms fears, dries tears

And mends.

From volunteer to high-paid surgeon,

Public servants,

Ever best,

Are pressured to do more with less

By greedy leaders who,

Like dirty scalpels,

Leave them bleeding

From the wounds of profit’s mess.

I grieve to see my country’s wealth

Reflected by such poorly health

For lack of wisdom and respect

For my beloved NHS.