Dr Zara Aziz: Mumsnet GPs are not to blame for the NHS crisis

There are many things that keep me in general practice: the patients, the colleagues, the desire to learn something new each day and the chance to help in some small way. But my resolve is tested daily.

I look back at the last few years when we have had so many half-baked and so-called 'innovative', yet non-evidence-based, ideas pushed at us, only to be abandoned with little in the way of positive outcomes.

From admissions avoidance, to email consultations and now super practices (based apparently on a theory about monkeys!), it is no wonder that we GPs have become a cynical and unhappy bunch. Ten years after completing training I feel like I may have seen it all – although I suspect there is more in store and I may have seen nothing at all.

Is the 'do more for less' mantra of government about to be replaced by something worse?

Divide and rule, perhaps?

Because you must admit that GP bashing is a bit old now and needs to be revamped. The government would like a new scapegoat. Let us pick someone on the fringes. How about the fat cat GPs with their bulging pension pots who are retiring in spades, or the 'Mumsnet GPs'?

If we are in this current state of unhappiness, it must be these groups who are bringing the NHS to its knees.

I have previously introduced myself as a plain and simple GP (who happens to work part-time). But I am afraid I have been misleading. I am in fact a 'Mumsnet GP' (as someone so censoriously referred to the thirty-something flexible working female GPs).

Technically I have never been on Mumsnet. But I do spend an inordinate amount of time watching Postman Pat and Justin Time, so I think I fit the bill.

As insults go I suppose this is rather mild.

Although I refuse to foot the blame for our NHS crisis. That must lie elsewhere.

This government has done its utmost to denigrate doctors in every way. When threats have failed they have resorted to bribes. But what they have forgotten is that when many doctors are already overworked, fatigued and starved of family time, throwing more money at them is not going to make them work any harder or faster.

There are many things that keep me in general practice. And yes being a 'Mumsnet GP' is also one of them. It is this that keeps me grounded and renews my sense of vocation, wellbeing and equilibrium.

  • Dr Aziz is a GP in Bristol

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