Category: Opinion

Prof Kamilla Hawthorne: GPs must focus on community-led care

Professor Kamila Hawthorne explores how NHS Wales can reprioritise its resources to better support and use the skills of its GPs to lead innovative, community-led care.  It has been a long, hot summer for general practitioners – in more ways than one. Not only have they been dealing with the usual casualties of a heatwave, they have also been the focus of heated debate on issues such as “a constantly escalating workload” and a lack of GP appointments here in Wales. Many of the major contributing factors to these crises will be familiar: chiefly time, money and people. In...

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Do we care about sadness?

“All men seek happiness, this is without exception”. So wrote Blaise Pascal in his Pensées. But despite his assertion, and our best efforts, too many of us, it seems, find only sadness. In such circumstances we may well feel useless, but that’s not necessarily so. Knowing our inadequacy allows us to stop being doctors who can’t help and allows us to become people who can.

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Aristotle and general practice: What do good doctors do?

Aristotle had it right when he asserted in his ‘Metaphysics’ that ‘Those who wish to succeed must ask the right preliminary question’. More than 2000 years later, doctors would do well to listen to his advice. Before adopting each and every new advance that claims to be good for our patients, we should ask what we are hoping to achieve by following such recommendations.

We ought to consider whether the answer we come up with tallies with what I would propose might, in Aristotle’s eyes, be a good preliminary question to ask ourselves: ‘What do good doctors do?’

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Advanced Access – a step in the wrong direction

Peter Aird is a GP in Bridgwater, Somerset. If the recent film ‘The Darkest Hour’ is anything to go by, Winston Churchill would have liked a ‘Drinks by the Dram’ Advent Calendar – available last December on Amazon for a shilling short of £10,000. But then who wouldn’t want to start the day with a 60 year old Glenfarclas or a shot of Pappy Van Winkle’s 23 Year Old Family Reserve to accompany their Coco Pops? Churchill’s penchant for starting the day in the manner he intended to continue may have had us reaching for our CAGE questionnaires and...

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Is reflective practice safe?

Chloe Webster is a 4th year medical student, a yogaholic, creative writing enthusiast, and an aspiring future GP. You can read more of her articles. Back then, reflection didn’t really mean anything. It was just another word branded and thrown about through my early years at Medical School. It was always ‘just one of those things’ we had to do time and time again, because we were told to. We didn’t have to think, because we didn’t have to care. We just scattered our work with buzzwords like ‘effective communication’ and ‘multidisciplinary team’ with the hope that this would...

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