Category: Opinion

Grabbing the digital innovation bingo ticket in 2020

When reading articles on digital innovation in the NHS audiences (and editors!) are finding that they need to update their editorial bingo ticket. Classics like culture change, interoperability or costs remain. But any self-respecting writer must now include something on how the NHS response to the COVID-19 pandemic has provided a greater impetus for digital transformation in primary care. And if you’re looking for a full house there should be some reference to the vital ways that general practice nurses (GPNs) are leading on digital transformation. A digital champion in a practice can help cultivate a permissive environment through use of patient and public involvement and engaging senior stakeholders. GPN digital champions recognise that digital delivery augments rather than replaces traditional approaches. And buy-in from stakeholders empowers GPNs, helping to build confidence and therefore momentum for change.

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BLM, population health and policing

The effect of being stopped and searched by the police can be psychologically traumatic and leave one feeling scared, powerless and humiliated. I thought about my patients. A lot of patients I look after are black and I wondered about how negative interactions with police could affect their psychological health and wellbeing.

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Pride and prejudice in the NHS

How much does it take for us to genuinely express sorrow and compassion for the terrible trials our patients endure? We have pride in the NHS but we have prejudice too. Perhaps it is the NHS clinician that is Icarus, flying too close to the sun of belief that we deliver optimal treatment for our patients and ignoring the unmet needs that drive them into the private sector.

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The absurd general practitioner

An individual working as a GP runs the risk of becoming an automaton. Evidence-based medicine and professional standardisation contribute to uniformity and by definition a reduction in diversity. Camus says that “if the world were clear, art would not exist” and I would suggest that if health was straightforward there would be no primary care.

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A retired GP — looking back with thanks and forward with compassion

Some reflections on retirement… Ours is a great community. I look back with thanks, but forward with both compassion for the world and belief in our ability to be better than this. And in a deeper parallel, just as we as individuals consider our era, our transitions and re-birth, so must a profession consider its own, prompted by time or the times, to move on.

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Trust Me I’m a Millennial GP

As a 20-something millennial GP trainee, the sudden talk about the future of primary care is exciting. I once heard a futurologist say, “Don’t ask ‘what will it look like down line?’ ask ‘what do you want it to look like?’” I may not yet be in a position to orchestrate significant service redesign, but I can tell you what I would like my work place and career to look like.

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