I've been trying really hard to stick to my resolution not to work on Saturdays, and so far I am keeping to it – but only just. It's taken some resolve and a few late evenings, but I've managed to have weekends to myself (and haven't taken much home).
It's particularly difficult at this time of year, not only with the QOF to check on but now all the LESs and DESs to report on – bring back Items of Service, I say! ("What are those?" I hear some of you cry. So now I'm showing my age as well).
Seriously, I am very tired of battling to achieve all the deadlines set by the PCT for the numerous report and audits to be run, when they never seem to keep to any themselves!
As an example, we were given three months' notice at the end of December 2009 of the cessation of some LESs, as they would be replaced. And have we seen the new ones yet? Nope, still waiting for the exact details, even into the start of the new financial year.
As usual, one rule for them and one for us … I try very hard to not criticise them too much, after all they are also having a tough time, but a bit of leeway on our deadlines sometimes would make it seem a bit fairer.
At least the weather's been great. Just seems to make everyone feel so much better when the sun is out – which we need with all the election fever around us!
I've just about had my fill already of the continuing campaign, and we still have 10 days to go. There doesn't seem to be much cheer in the manifestos for any of us. Could be a case of "out of the frying pan into the fire" as far as I can see …
Still, whatever party we have in government and whatever gets thrown at us, I'm sure general practice will pull through as usual, respond positively and meet any targets, new policies, etc – it seems to be what we are particularly good at.
It does seem, though, that whoever is in power we will be facing a lean time this year – and probably next. This is also a constant battle: where to find an increase in income while nailing down expenditure.
I've recently taken the tough decision not to replace fully two staff members that have left, in an effort to reduce some expenditure.
The increased use of technology is supposed to mean a need for less staff. Has this helped you? How are you tackling this area? Have you any great ideas for reducing expenditure? Please share with us all!