The children are in the midst of school holidays. It is Sunday and a typical evening in our house. The twins are doing handstands and my two-year-old is setting up a fire station.
'Are you being a fire fighter?' I ask.
'Nee naw.. nee naw Fireman Sam!' he replies as he wrestles with the hoover hose pipe. 'Elvis and Penny,' he adds gesturing towards his siblings.
'What’s Mummy then?'
'Station Officer Steele.'
'I see. It makes perfect sense. And Daddy?'
Baby looks around, noting that Daddy is missing.
'On call...again!' he shakes his head and turns back to his game.
Perhaps I have come across one too many conspiracy theories, but I can't help but feel that seven-day routine working is all but a smokescreen for the real battle with GPs that lies ahead. The government is already sharpening its claws. The writing is on the wall. One of its big successes has been how GPs have been vilified in the mainstream media.
For those of us who have been soldiering on for some years now despite harsh changes to our working conditions it is no secret that the NHS is crumbling fast. This is in spite of, or should I say because of, the government’s meddling. It sometimes feels like general practice is being pulled in so many directions that we are being set up to fail.
But it is the constant attacks on the NHS, its staff, GPs and hospital doctors that is destroying morale on an unprecedented scale. I too signed a petition a few minutes ago. I have no expectation that Mr Cameron or indeed Mr Hunt will reconsider their position, but one can hope and it did make me feel fractionally better.
- Dr Aziz is a GP partner in north-east Bristol