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Practical tips for surviving the future


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Monday, 26 July 2010

Practical tips for surviving the future

Here at NHS Networks we are increasingly asked: How do I survive the future? Here is the first of several clinics for those who may be feeling a little queasy about their prospects.

  1. Don’t read policy documents. White papers are not for the faint-hearted. These are holiday brochures that describe fantastic destinations but omit to mention travel plans. These arrive later, usually after you have already set out for the airport -- or landed in the Urals.
  2. If you work in a PCT don’t be dispirited. There are worse things in life than abolition. You have plenty to be cheerful about. Leaving a nice legacy for GPs, for instance, and the fact that the BMA now thinks you’re alright.
  3. Keep networking. It’s more important than ever to raise your profile, get in touch with old friends and colleagues, scan the horizon for opportunities. If you keep networking for long enough, you won’t have time to do a job anyway. Facebook now claims to have 500 million users who spend 700 billion minutes a month on the site. That averages out at about a day a month for each user.
  4. Rewriting your CV can be fun. To stop the process getting stale, get together with a few friends and write each other’s.
  5. GPs who are worried about becoming commissioners should read the small print (or bearing in mind point 1, get someone to read it to them). This says that membership of a commissioning consortium is mandatory, but commissioning itself is optional. That still leaves plenty of time for social networking and, where possible, seeing patients.
  6. Faceless bureaucrats have their uses. Once GPs discover how lonely it is being an NHS manager and MORI issues the fourth poll in a row that shows how their popularity ratings are on the way down, GPs will lobby to re-establish PCTs.
  7. As David Cameron’s Big Society takes shape, we can see that the coalition expects to run the whole of society along the same lines as the NHS. This will mean more individual responsibility, the devolution of power from the centre and, if people take the idea too literally, a lot more people dressing up as doctors and nurses.