Life as a GP practice manager

Chat about anything you like... Fed up with the state of the world today? Tell us!
User avatar
Janey Dal
Posts: 10348
Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2010 10:34 am
Location: Stockton on Tees, NE UK.

Re: Life as a GP practice manager

Post by Janey Dal » Fri Apr 15, 2022 12:35 pm

So this week we had both Nurse Practitioners catch the dreaded lurgy!

The trouble is that in health care settings we still have to isolate until we have had 2 negative lateral flow tests on consecutive days. This does not apply to any other area. Some people are negative from day 6 some are still hanging on until day 10. One of our GPs was so frustrated because he was well enough to come into work but the regulations said no because his lateral flow tests were still positive.

He was able to work from home but it still creates extra work for the others. You can't work from home as efficiently.

I am still amazed that I haven't had it. Well not officially anyway. Luckily it now seems to be more of a nasty virus than anything more sinister. Apparently the local ITU ward has no COVID patients at all and the majority of patients who are in hospital with COVID have been admitted with something else and the COVID positive result is an incidental finding. I still vividly remember the fear of 2 years ago when people were dying in their thousands.

I feel quite laid back about it now and only wear my mask at work. I also think I need to start to build back up my immunity to other viruses that I will have lost over the last 2 years due to the restrictions. I seem to be lucky in that I am not very often ill with viruses. I don't even regularly catch cold.

Well I've put that out there now! Watch me catch COVID!

User avatar
maz
Posts: 7893
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2010 11:29 am
Location: Harrogate, UK.

Re: Life as a GP practice manager

Post by maz » Sat Apr 16, 2022 9:11 am

Better to catch it now before your vaccine immunity really goes Jane, or so I have heard :roll: Good to catch it as long as you don't get post viral or Long Covid.

Still don't really want it. Harrogate always seems a bit of a hot spot. It goes down then back up again. Looks a bit like an ECG on the chart :lol:

Oh and now there is Omicron sub variants BA.2.12 and BA.2.12.1 spreading super quickly in New York. It is elsewhere as well. Even more contagious than the Omicron 1 and 2 we have had but so far appears less dangerous. So glad this virus is going down the route of being more contagious than dangerous, could have been the other way I guess.
Marilyn

User avatar
Janey Dal
Posts: 10348
Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2010 10:34 am
Location: Stockton on Tees, NE UK.

Re: Life as a GP practice manager

Post by Janey Dal » Mon Apr 18, 2022 12:17 pm

So bored with variants! So bored with COVID!

We are getting little support from the NHS England at work. NHS England seem to think that having helped to support practices for 2 years we should now be standing alone when earning extra income. Okay but: On our first week of providing Extended Hours (which is the practice opening for extra hours on a Tuesday evening to earn some extra income), and our first week of Minor Surgery for 2 years (again extra income for the practice) one of the GPs who was covering both went down with COVID so we are short on the number of hours we offered (we have to make them up within 2 weeks) and no income earned from minor surgery. Both due to COVID.

So whilst we are doing our best to stand alone again, COVID is still affecting us. Do NHS England care? Not one bit! They also appear to have forgotten that GP practices have been open right throughout the pandemic (well the good ones at least!) and everybody in GP land is tired and weary of the constant changes and extra work that have been required to stay open.

I am not for one minute criticising hospital staff, the front line staff (A&E, Urgent Care, ICU) have worked above and beyond what could be expected of anyone, but many of the specialities have had a lovely break. They simply stop accepting referrals from GPs and as a result had nothing to do. GP practices still had to do the usual day job, with extra restrictions and, at the beginning, a very real fear of catching COVID when it was at its worst and killing people.

Sorry for a bit of a rant, but it is on behalf of all good GP practices in the country. We are still dealing with the aftermath. And I can't help but blame my mum's death partially on COVID. She couldn't live forever obviously, but I feel the lockdown and the associated boredom expedited her demise. Had she been able to continue to get out and about, her atrial fibrillation may have been helped with more exercise.

No matter! We are where we are and will have to continue keeping on buggering on!

User avatar
Janey Dal
Posts: 10348
Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2010 10:34 am
Location: Stockton on Tees, NE UK.

Re: Life as a GP practice manager

Post by Janey Dal » Sat Apr 23, 2022 12:19 pm

I had a lovely phone call with the wife of a patient on Friday. Quite uncommon as you know - they are usually complaining.

Well to be fair, she was complaining initially. The basis of the complaint was that she had made an appointment for her 72 year old husband (who has COPD) because his breathing was getting worse, he has not had a change of medication for years and she wanted a thorough MOT for him because she was so concerned about his deterioation. The nurse had not bothered to do that and simply sent him away with no examination or change of medication.

So I looked at the patient notes. The nurse had quite clearly stated that the patient had said he was absolutely fine, didn't know why he had an appointment booked and was happy to wait for 6 months for his annual review. :lol: :lol:

There was no permission on the patient's record for me to speak to his wife about him which I explained to her. However I took a risk and said "Mrs Brown, I hear what you are saying and I can understand your concerns, but what you are telling me is not what your husband told the nurse."

"Oh he does that!" she said "He doesn't like to make a fuss or waste nurses' or doctors' time! But what can we do about it?"

I said to her that I could book him a further appointment but to be honest if he wasn't going to be a good historian there would be no point, and he would be doing exactly what he was trying to avoid: ie wasting nurses' time. I suggested that I make another appointment but that she should attend with him.

She was initially reluctant because she said he wouldn't be happy with that, but saw the sense in what I was saying and agreed.

She said to me "He's such a worry me when he does this!" I said to her "Mrs Brown, you married him and he's yours!" She laughed and said "Yes he is!" So we parted good friends and hopefully we can get to the bottom of what her concerns are.

I have no idea whether he needs an 'MOT' but if it puts her mind at rest and avoids a pointless complaint then the appointment will be worth it.

That's one of the reasons why I love this job! You have to 'suss' people out on in a few minutes of conversation and think on your feet. That lady was very concerned about her husband and felt that we had not examined him properly. When she comes to the appointment with him she will see that we do look after patients but the clinical staff are not mind readers! They can only act on what they are told by the patient.

User avatar
Janey Dal
Posts: 10348
Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2010 10:34 am
Location: Stockton on Tees, NE UK.

Re: Life as a GP practice manager

Post by Janey Dal » Sat May 07, 2022 11:27 am

And to add to the above story - the patient cancelled the appointment! :roll: :roll: You can only do so much for folk.

A completely insane week given I had last week off. I had 181 emails to respond to and while trying to do that everybody came to see me with issues they had had the week before :lol: :lol:. One of my GPs always says it's better to have 2 weeks off because your colleagues have to deal with issues whilst you are away. If you have 1 week off they save them for you :lol: :lol:. So I did get loads of work done but haven't finished all my emails as yet.

We are still awaiting guidance from NHS England on what GP practices' next steps are in terms of COVID restrictions. All my staff and GPs are still wearing masks. The Reception staff have to wear them because we can't make patients wear them if the staff aren't, despite there being a glass screen it wouldn't be fair and would cause arguments. And we can't really mandate mask-wearing for the downstairs Reception staff if we let the upstairs staff off from wearing a mask. I've told them they all look more attractive with their masks on anyway :lol: :lol:.

I had a patient complain this week that she didn't know what the doctors were doing because the waiting rooms were nearly empty. I had to explain to her that therefore our policy on social distancing is working because we can't have waiting rooms full of patients like we used to (until we are advised otherwise). People still don't get it. She was furious because she had had to wait so long to get through on the phone. I had to explain to her that we have had loads of Reception staff off isolating due to COVID recently so there haven't been as many to answer the phone. She was somewhat mollified by this but again, some patients just don't understand the effect COVID is still having on practices.

To be fair, neither does NHS England who now expect us to work like we used to prior to COVID whilst still dealing with the aftermath and the current strains of the virus. So currently we are working with one hand tied behind our backs. Does NHS England care?

Not one bit! It's all political :roll:.

User avatar
maz
Posts: 7893
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2010 11:29 am
Location: Harrogate, UK.

Re: Life as a GP practice manager

Post by maz » Tue May 10, 2022 9:15 am

We old folk can be a pain, as in your patient mentioned in your previous post. But we have been conditioned to think we are a pain. But most(not all by any means) don't want to be a nuisance and bother the medical profession unnecessarily.

I am very happy to wear a mask, I still do in shops and anywhere necessary and wish more people would. At least for a few more weeks. We are still careful here, though at last our Covid numbers are dropping quickly. We seem to have been a hot spot for some reason. People were dropping like flies :roll:

The one thing I wish GP's would bring back is online appointment booking. That is all I will say on that matter :lol:

I am beginning to research my health conditions more and deal with things myself if possible. I think that is what they want now. Apart from a couple of terrible GP's over my 73 years, I have always liked and respected my GP's. I still really like mine if I could get to see him, but he is part time now and works 1 day for the overall 3 practices in the building, and the local GP group that was/is organising the vaccinations and other local issues. Called Yorkshire Health Network. Plus of course who you see is much more of a lottery these days.

(Had to delete a bit as I was leading into a big rant :shock: :lol: ) Basically I am just too old for how things are and look like they are going to be. I give up :lol: :lol:
Marilyn

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests