Category: Political

Letter to Dr Sarah Wollaston – prevention of suicide and continuity of care

David Zigmond was a small practice GP in south London 1977-2016. You can read Obituary for St James Church Surgery here. This is an edited extract from a letter to Sarah Wollaston MP, Chair, Parliamentary Health Select Committee. Prevention of Suicide. The crux of personal continuity of care Late in December I heard a radio discussion (BBC Radio 4, Today) about how our community and its designated services might best prevent suicide. All the participants, including you, talked with clear sense about evident truths: our need for adequate (and increasing) funding, the need for skilled vigilance in primary care...

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Saving the NHS – the struggle to manage increasing anxiety

On the eve of the 1997 election, the year I became a GP partner, Tony Blair declared that the nation had ’24 hours to save the NHS.’ Twenty years on, like those who advised the emperor who paraded about town in his nonexistent new clothes, some politicians pretend they cannot see that the NHS is in the altogether perilous state of near collapse. One wonders if they have completed a DNAR form for the NHS without the agreement of those who love it most. One wonders if they have completed a DNAR form for the NHS without the agreement...

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GP partnerships – sinking into obscurity or sailing into the future?

This post was co-authored with Ruth Riley. Ruth is a medical sociologist and qualitative health researcher with an interest in the mental health and wellbeing of NHS healthcare professionals. She is Principal Investigator of a NIHR SPCR funded study: Exploring the barriers and facilitators to help-seeking amongst GPs: Improving Access to Support. In the past, the huge majority of GPs were partners, with partnership seen as the obvious career pathway. Partnerships consist of groups of general practitioners who own and run their practices, meaning they are in some regards their own bosses. However, the numbers of salaried GPs (employed...

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Book Review: The State of Medicine by Margaret McCartney

The State of Medicine is an eloquent, passionate, comprehensive, and, in many ways, dispiriting overview of the repeated damage inflicted on the NHS at the whim of successive governments. The frustration of the author, a GP from Glasgow, pours from every page, every paragraph and every sentence, as she contrasts the efforts of doctors to practice evidence based, safe, humane and cost-effective medicine, in a system that is routinely upended and overhauled according to manifesto sound bite, political opinion and, occasionally, outright self-interest. Whilst the general themes of this book will surprise few who work in the NHS, the...

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