RCGP Council 18/11/17

bear in mind that I can only tweet what I said – there is no point in repeating someone else’s point in council – it wastes time.


things I said today:

  1. we should surely move to a central recording system of all declarations of interest – it’s not always obvious when a conflict arises and sometimes can be subjective. The ideal person to host this would be the GMC, but this seems to have faded into long grass, so in the absence, I think all council members, and GPs who work for the RCGP, should have a public declaration of interests. There is already a functioning website to do this – whopaysthisdoctor.org – but the RCGP could easily host one on the RCGP website. This work is going to be taken forward, and I’ve said I’ll help.
  2. Babylon sponsorship of conference. This will stop as of next year, because of an issue with what they did rather than a decision about stopping these types of companies advertising. I am still against  the idea of allowing private services to market careers to RCGP delegates – it’s not vacancies in the private sector which are causing such major safety issues in general practice.
  3. GP at Hand. My concerns are that this will widen inequalities and worsen NHS resources for the most vulnerable patients, more broadly. The evidence for the Babylon 111 app pilot has not been published or independently peer reviewed. I am not against technology – far from it. The issue is about evidence. If a technology works it should be available to all NHS patients, not just a select few. I think patients are best cared for longitudinally and locally as well as ‘as quickly as needed’. I don’t think we are currently working safely from either patients or GP perspectives. (one of the reasons I work part time is because to do it reasonably it takes far more time than I am strictly contracted to do.)
  4. the expanded practice team. There is no question that general practice is a team sport. I’m worried that we are losing ‘the team’ – the importance of long term relationships with trusted colleagues whose practice develops and where we fit in with each other. I’m worried that there is a fragmentary pattern where new team and staff members exist and have strictly defined roles, are managed outwith the practice, and are repeating work already done or not doing  more important work. Yet GPs end up being responsible for all the gaps, and often end up taking responsibility for patients they haven’t seen and professionals they don’t know. This is stressful and I think unsafe.
  5. genetics paper. This was a really good paper and I am hoping that the forthcoming work proposed by the RCGP over diagnosis group will help to delineate the NHS responsibility (or not) when it comes to the management of non evidence based screening which the UK National Screening Committee hasn’t approved. I would urge the college to work closely with the UKNSC .
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