Letters, calls and emails: Keeping body and soul together for Christmas

Dear Editor

Flick through any GP paper and you will repeatedly come across news of zero per cent pay rises.

I too was shocked like my GP colleagues and reached for a cheap glass of wine. Well, I simply cannot afford all those luxuries which I have got used to. No more Chardonnay in future.

Like my friends I blamed all those elected people who should have guarded my wage and made sure I got at least a 10 per cent rise.

Approaching Christmas time, how am I to afford the Christmas bonuses. My staff have got used to luxurious gifts too.

So, I called an extraordinary practice meeting. There was only one item on the agenda - how to save money. For a change all the staff attended. Yes, they were worried about losing their hours or maybe their job.

The practice manager came up with a five-point action plan:

Open our doors to pharmaceutical reps to bring lunch five days a week, thus saving on petty cash.

No more invites to patients for chronic disease management. Attach an invite to the scrip or ask staff who live locally to personally deliver the letters thus saving on first-class stamps.

No doctors to do any home visits to save on petrol. Luckily both the doctors live near each other, so share the car.

Ask the practice participation group to raise money to buy equipment, stationery, etc.

Get involved in any research going on.

We are now a happier and stronger team. I have even bought an Eco kettle as a Christmas present to the team to save electricity.

It may be time for you to look into your expenses. As GPs, we need quality points,so it pays to keep your staff happy.

Dr Anita Sharma, Oldham, Chadderton.

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