Has Coronavirus changed General Practice for ever?

There is no doubt that General Practice has changed remarkably since the start of March Use of telephone and video consultations have become the norm. All calls are triaged. Practices are routinely open on Bank Holidays. There has been a dramatic reduction in use of locums. Local support groups have been mobilised.

But these have been responses to a specific threat Keeping clinicians safe from COVID retains their skills and contribution for the longer term. Managing risk is easier if you are experienced and know your patients. Abandoning bonkers targets gives doctors free range to solve problems and release their creativity. Doctors who know their communities work together to look after patients they care about .

And we have required no incentives except the freedom to get on with what is needed.

Contrast this with the huge cash rewards required to force GPs to offer routine care at evenings and weekendsMaking us grudgingly offer video consultations required changes to our contract but we all adopted them freely when they made sense clinically.Some things we will keep, but most will not make sense when (if) we get back to normal.Seeing patients face to face will still give clinicians the most information to diagnose and treat.

We have learned from each other, got together to source PPE and worked out how we would run our practicesThe thought of going back to being micro-managed by QOF and CQRS and returning to target driven medicine is awful.Like the Emperor’s New Clothes these pronouncements from on high have been shown to be pointless and useless.

They have let clinicians off the leash and let us get creative for our patients and staff

We have risen to the challenge and showed what we can do.

That is the true legacy of Coronavirus