Tough talking from GPC chairman leaves little room for laughs
The biggest laugh during the GPC chairman’s keynote speech
was for a joke about the Titanic – which doesn’t make it sound particularly
But Dr Laurence Buckman was not excited. Last year he had
been – and just a bit worried – with the potential of the White Paper due out a
few weeks after the 2010 conference.
This year he is very worried and not at all excited – in fact
he is ‘very concerned.’
Cue some of the tough-talking style that helped Dr Buckman
win the chairmanship in the first place.
The government’s reforms were cutting the legs off the NHS,
he said, and private companies would ‘show no mercy’. NHS structures were ‘already
collapsing’ before the legislation had even been passed.
He wondered whether the government was deaf or had ear-wax
problems. Either the way, the listening exercise could not be just a ‘re-spray
The quality premium idea ‘stinks’, he said, and was ‘an
And the plethora of changes running alongside the Health
Bill were given shortshrift in the colourful language we used to expect in his
The abolition of practice boundaries was a ‘barking idea’, and
also on ‘the torture horizon’ were the CQC’s registration plans for GP
Oh, and what about that Titanic joke? Talking about the large
number of GPs joining consortia, Dr Buckman said: ‘Getting into the lifeboats
is not the same as supporting the sinking of the Titanic.’
He ended, not surprisingly, with a standing ovation.