Christmas and New Year are now memories, albeit still relatively fresh, a bit like post-traumatic stress! I apologise for my rather dramatic comparison.
New Year is a time for resolutions, and my top 10 follows. My wife knows of my "top ten" obsession, which I've had ever since I happened to read Nick Hornby's High Fidelity! Sadly, my interesting early "courting" conversations with my now wife were uncovered when I foolishly lent her the aforementioned book.
But anyway, my top 10 hopes for general practice in my world and beyond are ...
I have a feeling that the Department of Health is desperate to make points acquisition more difficult. I hope points do not become allocated to out-of-hours provision as I'm not sure QOF could fit it in. But in the best traditions of the NHS I'm sure there'll be manipulation.
2. The Broken Hand Rail
It should be noted that this top 10 list is not numbered in importance. A hand rail has been broken at our surgery for nearly a year. I have found a carpenter: he is reliable, he has a saw and strong glue, he will fix it!
3. Staff Retention
In 2007, the turnover of our reception staff was obscene. Either we electronically tag them in 2008 or we devise a loyalty clause in their contracts. Alternatively, we could ask what could be improved!
4. Improve relations with Our NHS Consultant Colleagues
In fact, this is a resolution in evolution already! We have been proactive, hired a function room and invited our local district general hospital consultants and all local GPs to a "get to know you" session in late January.
5. Buy A New Car
My dilemma: do I go with my heart (another Alfa) or do I go with my green conscience (a small, reliable and more fiscally prudent vehicle). Answers very keenly sought …
6. New Premises
Could this be the year? January may be the telling month – meetings are planned with people who matter and who make decisions.
7. I Will Enjoy Paintballing
Our teambuilding day rapidly approaches. I'm rather anti-painting and guns, it seems that paintballing epitomises my least welcome way of spending a Saturday! But that's not the spirit!
8. Attend and Enjoy My First Experienced Trainers' Training Weekend
I sound like a killjoy. Hot on the heels of the paintballing (the following weekend) it's the trainers weekend. Many people say I look like any number of different people, depending upon the light – Greg Rusedski, Ben Stiller and some bloke off Emmerdale. Would any of them be interested in covering for me at the trainers' weekend?
9. Organise My Filing
Every March, I hire my children to find receipts for my tax return. Either we need to have more children (we have four) or I should improve my filing!
10. Enjoy Life
A sentiment that I sometimes forget among the trivialities and monotony of life. Every day has something positive to take from it. Now I'm in tears ... Happy New Year!