Month: October 2016

Medicine in an Age of Empires

I recently attended a talk at the hospital post-graduate centre where the speaker introduced herself as the hospital’s new ‘heart failure consultant’ rather than the new cardiologist. This set me thinking, as many things do, about the strange nature of secondary care medicine. Single organ specialisation is now a thing of the past, apparently our hospital based colleagues are best employed dealing with single problems of single organs. Many of the same thoughts occurred to me when I listened to a lipid specialist describe the difficult and technical differentiation of familial hypercholesterolaemia from poly-genic hypercholesterolaemia in patients with a...

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“The best of times, the worst of times” for general practice

SIMON STEVENS AT THE NAPC As well as signalling the end for QOF, the keynote speech at the National Association of Primary Care by Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS, was a ringing endorsement of his strong support for general practice. Newly and handsomely bearded, Stevens confirmed that this new investment in general practice of £2.4 billion will be made by 2020, and encouraged the audience to “rattle the cage” to make sure that the promises made for additional funding for primary care are honoured in the CCGs’ investment plans and in the Sustainability and Transformation Plans, which are...

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How research is helping with GP wellbeing and informing performance at Feel It Festival

GPs work back-breaking hours, often in isolation. They make hundreds of decisions every day, sometimes without time to eat, drink or breathe. The fear of making a mistake or receiving a complaint is ever present.  GPs feel constantly under threat, overly scrutinised, under pressure, disillusioned, demoralised by the battering they receive at the hands of the press. Many GPs love their jobs, yet find themselves crumbling in the face of ever increasing workloads, a constantly changing system which seems almost designed to trip them up, and the pressure of running a small business with ever decreasing funds. I am...

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The Do-It-Yourself ‘Package of Care’

Liam Piggott qualified from St. George’s Hospital, and completed his GP training in Brighton. He works as an out of hours and urgent care GP, and is pursuing surgical training. As an out of hours GP, nothing can be more soothing to hear than the words “package of care”. Think of the setting, the very familiar crisis of a long-widowed frail patient, living up until now independently, who tips over edge following a UTI, fall or similar event. Often in their late 80s, with no family nearby, who by product of their generation would not readily ask for, or...

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Heroes: general practice and Karpman’s triangle

Living in a different culture is exciting and fascinating. But living in Bahrain we do miss “culture” in its other sense. There is a magnificent National Theatre, usually empty, putting on just a few touring shows a year. The nearest opera house is 500 miles away. But for a small nation it sure has lots of cinemas. So this evening we went to see Sully, a film by Clint Eastwood. It stars Tom Hanks as the eponymous pilot, Chesley ‘Sully’ Sullenberger, who heroically landed a passenger jet with 155 people on board on the Hudson River in New York...

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