Editorial Comment

Oh you are awful but I…

Oh, you are awful, but I ………..

A crisis is a time when there are sadly those that like to take advantage. I hear tales of employers telling staff to attend work despite symptoms. I here tales of employers trying to sack staff for being off work, self isolating. I hear tales of employers saying ‘there will be no bonus this year’. This is the world we live in. 

Now is the time for the Government, NHS England and the medics that run General Practice to start to take on board that General Practice is a ‘team effort’ and to get the most out of your staff, at a time of national crisis is to be fair and reasonable. Your staff need to be safe, and work in a controlled environment. You need to be aware that the doctors and other clinical staff are not the only ones under pressure. Front of the office staff are key to the smooth running of a Surgery. They are the first point of contact and arguably the ones at most risk from face to face contacts. 

There are two sides towards rewarding staff. There are those that pay well and there are Locums reaping the benefits of ridiculous daily rates, yet there are front of the office staff still on the minimum wage. Now is the time to wake up and start to pay staff above the National Living Wage. It is not the time to place an embargo on an April pay rise. But the Government, NHS England, CCGs and the BMA all have their part to play in this. Otherwise it’s a case of you are all awful and we don’t like you.

Let’s praise all of the good work being carried out in Practices who have suddenly had to wake up to using telephone conversations for consultations, for those who are getting to grips with video messaging, and online services. Lessons may be learned from all these dreadful experiences but most importantly we will survive. 


Robert Campbell

By Robert Campbell<br><img src="" alt="Robert Campbell" class="avatar" width='50' height='50'/>

Started work writing medical cards in 1966 at Staffordshire Executive Council. Have worked at Inner London Executive Council, Hertfordshire Executive Council, Lambeth Southwark and Lewisham FPC, Birmingham FPC, Dudley FPC and Wakefield FPC and Family Health Services Authority. I was seconded to the NHS Appeals Unit and have worked as a full time GP practice manager since 1992 until 2010. I was also an AMSPAR trainer at Park Lane College, Leeds. Now I work as a freelance author.