You’d have time to grab a cuppa and a biscuit, have a chat with your other work colleagues who’ve also got a few gaps, and ease yourself in gently to the day. Well actually in Australia that sort of scenario is quite unwelcome, and people have left quiet jobs for that reason. If you’ve only got a half-booked clinic in the morning, then you’ll only be taking home half the pay.
Well that’s exactly the scenario that happened in my clinic recently. We’re not sure why exactly there were gaps, perhaps it was because of the Easter holidays, or because a new GP started, thus our workload was diluted, or maybe because the evening doctor had left, so some patients moved to other surgeries. Whatever the reason, it left all us GPs a little anxious and a bit thin in the pocket for a couple of weeks.
And to further kick us in the teeth, we still had occasional DNAs. Whilst most doctors in the UK secretly delight in DNAs in their clinics (but of course publicly moan about the wastage to precious NHS resources), here we genuinely loathe DNAs. They mean no money. When we get patients who regularly DNA appointments, we GPs blacklist them and refuse to see them because of the financial burden it brings. That’s right, as an individual doctor you are perfectly allowed to refuse to see a patient!