Would you recommend us to your family and friends?

So it is there, a new NHS initiative.

Will it make the NHS better organised, more competent, less wasteful?  I doubt it, but judge for yourself.

http://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/AboutNHSservices/Pages/nhs-friends-and-family-test.aspx

It is now compulsory for all NHS services to conduct this survey.

Nobody asked me, of course. If they did, I would tell them it is completely pointless.

I love my work as a GP, and for my appraisal and revalidation, I had to get at least 34 consecutive patients fill  the Satisfaction questionnaire. The results were reassuring, the patients felt that I was doing a good job.

 Unlike lots of doctors, I did not cheat by giving the questionnaires only to people who like me.

I defected from a communist country not to have to lie. I try not to.

But this is different. First- we are supposed to ask everybody, day in, day out. As if patients did not have enough paperwork in their jobs. The questionnaires are printed in colour on good quality paper, and somebody is paid to produce them and evaluate them.

Paid by the tax payers’ money that could be used for other NHS health expenses like new drugs or more doctors or nurses.

One of my colleagues was joking that he will wave a prescription in one hand and the “Would you recommend us to your family and friends?” questionnaire in other hand. Blackmail. He was joking, but is this really so funny?

My other question is this:

What will the NHS do with the results of the survey? There is a massive GP recruitment crisis.

I am going to stop working this year. I am a senior partner in a large suburban practice. When we advertised for a partner 10 years ago, we got 50 applications. This time, so far we only got one.

I do not understand why, I think a job of a GP is interesting, fun to do and well paid. I do not find my work stressful.

Apart from… things like “Would you recommend us to your family and friends?”

It is in my opinion pointless, embarrassing and demeaning.

So I made a decision.

I will boycott it. None of my patient will get a questionnaire from me.

But of course, I am in an enviable situation that my smart but rather crude American partner called “Fuck You position”

I am leaving soon, nobody can sack or discipline me for this. Of course I am also blogging under my pen name. After I stop working, I will probably spend a lot of time  writing. Writing novels about women whose lives do not finish at 50. Writing, my uncertain but exciting new career.

My younger colleagues do not have my enviable position.

And if you do not get what “Fuck You position “means, there is a you tube video.  A speech by John Goodman from a film. I am too technologically challenged to upload it to this post. But you can Google it. Nice, ha?

 

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3 thoughts on “Would you recommend us to your family and friends?

  1. We have been dealing with patient satisfaction surveys for many years in the US. Truthfully, as I was starting out, they made me a better doctor. Now, I mostly ignore them. I did a post on this a while back. 5% of my income is tied to my scores. In our group they go out by mail or email to a “random” sampling of our patients. Physicians have no control over who gets what. Here is a fascinating article from JAMA thy apparently the NHS has not read about the results of patient satisfaction: http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/Mobile/article.aspx?articleid=1108766

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is really interesting. The patients Satisfaction questionnaires I mentioned were 2 pages and asked questions. ” Would you recommend us to tor friends and family” is a tick box. Going to the airport! Your comments were , as ever, insightful.

      Liked by 1 person

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