Viewpoint: The many uses for a pre-retirement consultant joining primary care

Did you read that the chief executive of Health Education England has suggested that specialists nearing the end of their career might be usefully employed in primary care?

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.

Photo: UNP

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