Posted by: Witch Doctor | June 4, 2008

The REAL market place



Remember the olden days, My Black Cat?

Remember the time one of our Less Irksome Friends was asked if he wanted to become a partner in an inner city practice. He had reported to a practice first thing on a Monday morning for a two week spell as a locum so that the regular GP, Dr Wearyandworn, could get a break to visit an ill relative.

Our Less Irksome Friend had never met Dr Wearyandworn. He had not been interviewed for the post although there had been an informal telephone conversation. Nobody had asked for evidence of his medical degree. Nobody had asked for his GMC number. Nobody had asked for evidence of membership of a defence union.

Our Less Irksome Friend had qualified as a doctor one year earlier and had just competed a one year residency in medicine and surgery!

On arrival, he was met by Mrs Helpthedoctorkeepesane – the precursor “practice manager cum nurse.” She was a housewife who wanted to earn some pin money. She kept everything in the primitive office running smoothly. She cleaned, she typed, she kept the records tidy. She welcomed patients. She knew every family in the practice. She knew where they all lived and how they all lived. She knew the ones who would “try it on” with a locum to get extra supplies of “Mogadon.” She was not a nurse, but sometimes she did some simple dressings and assisted in some minor procedures.

She took great pride in her job.

The idea of a Skills Escalator would have made her chuckle!


She would accompany the locum doctor on the house-calls. She would keep him on the right track.

But first she had to try to secure a partner for Dr WearyandWorn before he dropped dead from exhaustion. She had been given that responsibility.

At the end of Day 1 of the locum job, she knew that she had found a suitable partner.

She asked My Less Irksome Friend if he would consider joining the practice permanently.

A fairy tale?

No. True.

It is what happens when there is a shortage of GP’s willing to work in a UK inner city.

When demand is excessive and supply limited.

When there’s only one egg left in the box, and everybody wants an omelette, anything goes.

The warning signs are there.

It’s a pity no-one in the Department of Health is old enough to remember Dr Wearyandworn and his inner city practice, My Black Cat.


redapple.jpg a red apple ……………………

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