My senior partner has just announced his retirement after 30 odd years working at the frontline of primary care . Before the ink is even dry on his letter to us, our thoughts turn to how to replace him. Who, in this day and age of political meddling of the highest order, restricted budgets and the promise to work for longer and longer hours, would want a job in primary care?
A friend of mine is involved in opening a new café in Brighton which has a strong cycling theme (http://www.velo-cafe.co.uk/). What a great idea-cycling and coffee have always been a perfect match so to bring them so close together seems obvious (especially as it is virtually on my doorstep).So what will he look for when employing new staff for this exciting venture and how will he sell his project to them? Presumably attributes such as an interest in cycling, coffee or both would be a good start? An interest in people? A believer in good customer care? This is beginning to sound like my perfect replacement partner-substitute patient for customer and we’ve got a deal!
In reality of course, there are lots of attributes that we look for in a new partner, and there must be many ably qualified doctors out there to fill such a role. It seems, however, that many of them are not looking for a partnership role, but choosing to bide their time and see how the political landscape settles down over the coming years before committing themselves to a permanent post.
Well-my message to them would be…don’t be put off primary care. The nation will always need GPs, and we need good ones. The organisation of healthcare is changing, but there will always be a requirement for good primary care teams. We also need interested doctors to be involved in shaping the future of primary care-this can be done alongside our daily work if you are part of a good team. We need Queen Bees and workers-you can develop your role over time and there is huge scope now in primary care to take up interests in a variety of clinical and non clinical areas.I feel you would be best supported in this as part of a good partnership-one in which you can rely on your colleagues, and they can rely on you.
I suspect in 20 years time our health care assistants will be performing coronary bypass surgery in the basement as a daycase, but we will still need someone to look after individuals and their families in the community. Despite the chaos around us, we can still focus for 10 minutes at a time on the patient in front of us-this will always be our prime objective, and is what makes our core job so special.
Come and join us.