Not stepping up

I won’t take long on this one.

Scotland’s national clinical director Prof Jason Leitch told the BBC the JCVI was trialling whether GPs could give boosters to older people attending flu vaccine appointments. However, Dr David Shackles, who jointly chairs RCGP Scotland, said general practice had been expressing serious concerns about the “already stretched workforce” for some time. He said: “General practice is already working beyond full capacity and GPs have had unprecedented demand for appointments due to backlog.

General practice is already working beyond full capacity?

OMG, there must be a crisis elsewhere in the UK because:

Unless something dramatic has happened since 2019, Scotland has more doctors per head of population than any other part of the UK and far more than many parts.

This is just shop steward stuff like the NUM or the RMT back in the day and a sickening tendency to politicise health at this time.

Realistic Medicine on Twitter: "Dr David Shackles shares his view as Joint  Chair of @RCGPScotland on #WhyRMMatters within primary care. Register now  for the CMO's Annual Report launch on 17 March:  #RealisticMedicine… https ...

Dr Shackles, just grow up.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is untitled-3.png

13 thoughts on “Not stepping up

  1. I saw that story about GPs and the booster jags which I thought was very odd because GPs no longer have responsibility of vaccinations..

    The contract they negotiated and signed in 2018 relieved them of responsibility for organising things like the annual flu jab which is now the responsibility of the local Health Boards. GPs may take part in local clinics administering vaccines but that is up to them. This change was phased in from 2018-21. Last winter the Health Boards organised the flu jab programme

    See: General Medical Services Contract in Scotland, Chapter 4 p27 on Vaccinations. One quote from this document:
    In 2017, as part of the commitment to reduce GP workload, the Scottish Government and SGPC agreed vaccinations would progressively move away from a model based on GP delivery to one based on NHS Board delivery through dedicated teams. The Vaccinations Transformation Programme is
    reviewing and transforming how we deliver vaccinations in Scotland. Delivery will move away from the current position of GP practices being the preferred provider of vaccinations on the basis of national
    The vaccination services delivered by the programme will form part of the Primary Care Improvement Plan in each area. It is expected that each area will make meaningful progress over the first two years of transformation to demonstrate commitment to the change.
    The aim of the programme is to reduce workload for GPs and their staff. This will mean that other parts of the system, with primary care multi-disciplinary teams, will begin to deliver vaccination services instead of GPs.””

    Somebody thinks our heads button up the back.

    Liked by 8 people

    1. This is correct. My wife and I and most of our neighbours – other than those who had additional health needs – all tottered along to our local health centre to get our jags.

      Perhaps, Dr Shackles also attends dinner parties with Mr John Beattie of ‘Drivetime’. Hearsay and texts seems to be the way BBC Scotland gathers news these days.

      Liked by 5 people

  2. Beat me to it! To reinforce the point. The BBC News website’s Scotland section today does indeed ramp up the ‘concern’ in the very first sentence of the article:

    ‘GPs in Scotland are concerned about delivering Covid booster jabs as they are working “beyond full capacity”.’ – quoting a senior representative of the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) in Scotland

    Is a comparable level of concern being sounded by the BBC across the nations of the UK? You can judge:

    BBC News website – UK health section: ‘Covid: NHS plans booster jab for those 50 and over before winter’.

    In an article absent any alarmist or contentious comment, the first sentence notes: “The NHS has been given the green light to start planning a Covid vaccine booster programme in the UK ahead of this winter.” Just straightforward public information reporting.

    BBC News website – Wales section: ’Covid: Booster vaccine programme likely to start in September’.

    This BBC Wales article includes the following: ‘Dr Richard Vautrey, British Medical Association GP committee chairman, said: “JCVI have listened to organisations such as the BMA by giving early notice of the roll out being prioritised alongside the annual flu vaccination campaign.

    “As all doctors well know, winter brings with it a surge in illnesses and infections, and we hope that by protecting our most vulnerable patients with both Covid-19 and flu vaccines, we will prevent more people becoming seriously ill and dying.

    “In turn, we hope that this will alleviate pressures on the whole NHS and social care, at a time when we know it is always at its most strained.”

    So lots of positivity from BBC Wales and from the GP reps it quotes.

    BBC Wales also tells us: ‘Mark Roscrow of the NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership said giving the population a third vaccination would be “a big team effort”.’ That must be reassuring too!

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Perhaps BBC Scotland’s coverage of the threat to the booster programme caused by GP’s already working ‘beyond capacity’ is being mirrored by medics’ trade unions in other parts of the UK. You can judge.

      British Medical Association – in two recent press releases: (i) ’Good to hear planning is already underway for Covid-19 booster programme, says BMA (30 June); and (ii) ’GP practices in England ‘must have flexibility to deliver Covid-19 booster jabs in a way that works best for their patients’ (1 July)

      And what about the Royal College of General Practitioners itself? This is from its own website from 30 June: ‘Details of booster campaign needed ‘urgently’, says RCGP’

      It notes: “GPs and our teams have worked incredibly hard …” and “… under intense pressure delivering record numbers of patient consultations and this must be taken into account’ and ‘perhaps using trained non-clinical staff as vaccinators alongside GPs and our teams’. Anything alarmist here?

      This RCGP statement goes on: “The success of the COVID vaccination programme and last year’s expanded flu vaccine programme has been the result of meticulous planning by GPs, our teams and colleagues across the health service. It’s good to have clarity that there will be a COVID-19 booster vaccination campaign this Autumn, but we still need to know how this will work – in particular, how it will work alongside the annual flu vaccination programme and what the role of general practice will likely be – as a matter of urgency, so that plans and decisions can be made appropriately.”

      So the UK RCGP is acknowledging the workload challenge; it is confirming the importance of the booster programme; it is pointing to a track record of overcoming similar tough challenges in the past; and it is offering potential solutions.

      Only in Scotland it seems that GPs are concerned about delivering Covid booster jabs because they are already working “beyond full capacity”. Or is it only in Scotland that a trade union rep opts to use such alarmist language?

      Or perhaps the truth is that only in Scotland does the BBC seek out negatives and frame its report in an alarmist manner!

      Liked by 9 people

  3. News not news.—
    NHS England facing doctor overtime ban.
    Another serious baby scandal reported by Channel 4, yet not a mention of the English Health Minister in the media.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. Having spotted the picture label “All adults aged 50 and over in the UK are likely to be eligible for a third booster dose of a Covid vaccine in the autumn”, the observation by @stewartb on the ‘Covid: NHS plans booster jab for those 50 and over before winter’ piece, is this merely HMS Sarah Smith’s Propaganda Unit simply reforming the UK article with their own special poison ?

    It may well be that Dr Shackles only verified they could use his quote from whenever, and was neither the instigator nor complicit…

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’m confused. I was thinking earlier, that given Britain is now a country, all for one and one for all type of stuff, it doesn’t make sense because surely if we are all ‘one country’ in the UK then if Scotland is doing badly it’s because of the state of the ‘country’ of the UK and Britain…I know it sounds daft but just a thought. A bit like the you are far too poor to be independent Scotland, but we love you and want to keep sending our hard earned cash to you lazy good for nothings in Scotland lol.

    Liked by 5 people



  6. I do think some of our GP’s have forgotten their training. The public comes first not their top of the class range rover. I think doctors working out of our hospitals are more than hard worked. They must wonder about the BMA and if they only represent GP’s.
    Their GP colleagues have protected themselves over the past year with no appointments, with their receptionists delaying, answering machines that take 20 mins to go through the options and then tell you to phone someone else!
    They are private contractors leeching the nhs. I think I am right in saying that GP’s in Australia earn about 15% less than their Scots colleagues.
    This is about money 1 appointment, 2 jags 1 payement . They want more money, that is all.


    1. Hamish,
      That is by no means true of all GPs and certainly not been our experience of our medical practice over the course of the last 16 months. We have never had any problems contacting the relevant people in the practice and in fact our GP has on occasion contacted us out of the blue to check up on how we are doing. Our GP along with the other GPs in the practice takes turns working at the local Covid hub. Fifty of these hubs were set up across Scotland early on in the pandemic. Their main purpose was to deal with people displaying symptoms of Covid thus keeping them away from the medical practices so that they could deal with the usual routine practices.

      What we have experienced has also been the experience of friends and family in different parts of Scotland.

      Yes there are likely to have been cases where this was not people’s experience with their medical practice but not to the extent that you can tar all with the same brush

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Sorry Hamish but must respectfully disagree, this “story” does not originate from doctors but from the Union Unit.

      EVERYONE in the medical profession and beyond have worked their socks off to beat this pandemic, they deserve our gratitude and to suggest otherwise plays straight into the hands of the McSmirky Bowie brigade playing their good ole divide and conquer propaganda games.

      I’d hazard a guess the vast majority of medics look at this propaganda and shake their heads in disbelief whatever their political persuasion, perhaps we should do similar…

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.