Well I’m standing in the RCGP National Council elections. There are 20 candidates for 6 places, and the rest of them are a pretty impressive bunch – I’m in serious need of an election strategy.
I have had a think about this and decided the obvious thing to do is to find something clever I’ve written about a popular, vote-winning cause and remind you of my great eloquence and wisdom – job done; I could clock off early with the briefest of blogs and you could get back to whatever you are supposed to be doing, relieved that you need worry no more about how to cast your vote. Only I’m having trouble finding anything.
It’s not that I haven’t said anything clever or wise, of course. I’d be the first to admit how wonderful my writings really are, it’s just the pesky comments that have been left show that other people don’t always see it that way. There’s my erudite pronouncements on Government dementia policy, for instance. This is certainly popular (well it’s always in the news anyway, and most GPs I know are less than enamoured with ill-thought out policies like the dementia DES), and I thought it was pretty good, but someone else decided I was corrupting young minds through teaching such nonsense to GP trainees on our VTS scheme – now that’s hardly the sort of person you’d want on the National Council, is it?
Then there’s the whole issue of immigration. If I’d stuck to a rant about GPs not being an outlet of the border agency and how we had better things to do than check someone’s immigration status I’d have probably got away with it, but I did have to go on about the ethics of the whole thing and the immigrant’s basic right to healthcare – the comments testify to my naivety. Let someone like that on the Council and the nation would go bust within 6 months; we all know deep down that health tourism was the single biggest cause of the crash, after all.
As for the post on declarations of interest and the crazy idea that all doctors should have to provide a public declaration on a GMC website – it could have been a real winner if only it were patients who were voting and not doctors. It has too much of a turkeys-voting-for-Christmas feel about it to get me elected. No-one left a comment on that one – perhaps raising an objection in public only draws attention to yourself, or maybe no-one was that bothered. I have a sneaky feeling, though, that most GPs are far too busy with the strain of general practice to have time to develop a conflict of interest even if they wanted to – so maybe this wasn’t such a vote loser as it first seems.
Saying we should campaign for prisoner rights won’t cut it – prisoners, almost by definition, are not on our lists; arguing that we really should consider the idea of e mailing our patients – that’s not going to help (although I did say Skype was a crass idea, so maybe I’ll get half a vote for that); as for defending the LCP, that was a classic case of sinking with a lost cause – even the greenest of politicians would have seen the writing on the wall and told me to get out quick before I was damaged by association.
With extensive scouring through the archives proving so fruitless, I was about to give up when I remembered this: it’s called 10 Minutes for the Patient, and I think it works. Maybe you’ll take the time to read it and you’ll agree with me that we need to keep the presence of the Health Secretary out of the consultation so that we can get on with really treating the sick. Maybe you’ll think to yourself, ‘this Brunet bloke – he’s a bit naive sometimes, bit of an idealist, not really grumpy enough for a good blogger, but you know, he’s not too bad – we could do with a bit of new blood on the RCGP to liven things up, perhaps he’s worth a punt after all.’