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Joe McGilligan: what Brexit means for me as a GP


27 June 2016

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I was at a conference in Marlow when I woke to the news, texted by my wife that we had voted to leave the EU. At the dinner the night before there had been much speculation but a sense that "the remains would prevail". We had been discussing all day how to best solve the age old conundrum of integrating health and social care and the main issue was lack of resources.

I was at a conference in Marlow when I woke to the news, texted by my wife that we had voted to leave the EU. At the dinner the night before there had been much speculation but a sense that "the remains would prevail". We had been discussing all day how to best solve the age old conundrum of integrating health and social care and the main issue was lack of resources.

By resources I mean not only money but people to do the jobs needed. We don’t have enough of either to provide the public’s ever-growing expectations. There was a lot of enthusiasm and positive rhetoric that by building the right relationships we could resolve a lot of issues.

At breakfast however it was very different. The panel discussion changed tone as the enormity of the decision sank in and the economic reality that there will definitely be no more money. Serious conversations will have to be had as to what the state can and now can’t afford.

As a GP I will see the fall out first hand with those most vulnerable in our society in my surgery trying to make sense of the cuts and rationing that is inevitable. It certainly won’t entice many colleagues to stay or join primary care. The promised extra funding will evaporate. There will be calls to get rid of clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and put all the decision making at the Sustainability and Transformation Plan level.

Whatever happens now life will certainly be very different for the health and social care system, which could be a great opportunity to work collectively to achieve integration and serve the public as they require.

Richard Humphries tweeted a T S Elliot quote: “Between the idea and the reality, between the motion and the act falls the shadow.”

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