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The Duty Doctor: a cautionary tale of function creep in GP land

By Dr. Colin Coulthard |

function creep. noun. 1. the gradual widening of the use of a technology or system beyond the purpose for which it was originally intended, esp when this leads to potential invasion of privacy.

This is a phenomenon that we are all too familiar with in GP land. Something starts out as one thing and then gradually mutates into another. Services are commissioned, and then gradually over time the funding reduces, and we find that we’re expected to continue to provide them as it’s now just part of our job.

However, the concept of the “duty doctor” in a GP practice is an excellent cautionary tale of how an ad hoc modification to a complex system can lead to unintended adverse consequences. If you want to find out more then read on…

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