As you might expect, Professor Ian Cumming's comments were met with huge hoots of derision by many GPs.
The indignation that a 'past it' consultant could somehow slip in to an 'easy life' pre-retirement by working as a GP enraged many.
But I’m not sure that it is a bad idea at all. Indeed I’d quite like to have a consultant working in my practice. Actually, I’d like a whole lot of them.
Those tough to manage diabetics – 'I’ll book you in with Dr X.' The latest drug update session - 'Over to you Dr X.'
I think it would be a really useful thing. Mind you I would want a whole one to the practice - I’d need to be sharing them across a population, possibly a federation.
I’d also want them to mine the data - 'predictive analytics' - and proactively seek to manage a few patients who would otherwise decay into the clutches of outpatients.
Admittedly these people would not be a GP replacement but they would be useful. And having all those extra bodies around would certainly make it feel like a big box of presents had suddenly arrived.
I’d go so far as to say that yes, Christmas is Cumming.
- Dr Chris Mimnagh is a GP and co-director of clincial strategy at Liverpool Health Partners.