Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

'Nurses have become too important for basic care', and other nonsense


With a patronising nod and a proverbial pat on the bottom, nurses are put firmly in their place by an angry GP from the internet. As far as Beyond the Bedpan is concerned, this just got personal.

“Dr Crippen”, the prolific and anonymous Guardian blogger, is one jaded GP.

He scoffs at the swine flu vaccination programme, wags a finger at the British Medical Association, and generally laments the downfall of the NHS with a series of witty and often brilliant invectives against the government, nurses, and anyone else who would obscure the view of the medical profession’s all-seeing eye.

It’s not that he doesn’t like nurses. He just doesn’t like nurses who prescribe, study for degrees, become clinical specialists, or concern themselves with anything other than “basic care”.

A recent Nursing Times story, reporting the findings of a study published by the British Journal of General Practice, really made his blood boil.

The study found that GP practices with more nursing staff tended to have better quality and outcomes framework scores on COPD, heart disease, diabetes and hypertension.

For a start, Dr Crippen dismisses the QOF system as a shambles and attacks the government for daring to measure the performance of GPs in the first place. He is not the first to question the reliability of the QOF, and he does make some thought provoking comments about the true relationship between outcome measures and good medicine.

But the QOF is too “mind-numbingly repetitive” for doctors to bother with. “Because the work is dull, it is often handed over to nurses”. Thanks, doc.

And it is precisely this kind of dull work that nurses should stick to. Not only is the idea that they might improve care preposterous, but their very pursuit of such lofty ambitions is damaging health care.

“This is why Granny has bedsores. This is why there are no nurses on the wards. This is why the Macmillan nurses do not do hands-on nursing. This is why district nurses no longer do bed baths. These nurses are all ‘graduates’ now. They have their BSc (Bedpan) from the University of Formerpoly and have thus become too important to carry out basic nursing care”.

So what promises to be an interesting commentary on a key issue quickly descends into a blinkered tirade against the entire nursing profession. At least it keeps Beyond the Bedpan busy.


Readers' comments (49)

  • No surprise that he remains anonymous!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Oh please the last thing we should care about is what a GP thinks. most outdated and poor practice in the communit stems from them and their clique of old geezer medics.
    Nurses advancing , to him, is probably like his wife wanting to learn how to drive, or hi daughter getting married on a beach.

    i can see the jowls wobbling.
    he should worry about his own backside. GP's are crap. his experience is based on people coming in with probably less than 20 indivudual problems, all very easy to spot and the rest is referred on. His job could be done on a computer.

    or he might just be annoyed that everyone like Nurse Practitioners more.
    jealousy is an ugly thing. but with a name like Dr Crippen........

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I'm guessing that this poor GP feels incredibly threatened by nurses (mainly, perhaps, because 90% of NMC registered nurses are female??). But let's face it, there are many old-school, sexist (indeed, 'nursist') GPs around. Hopefully, they'll go the same way as the dinosaurs.

    Meanwhile, must go and polish my BSc .....

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Interesting the comments that come from a GP who considers COPD, heart disease, diabetes management education etc too "dull" for himself to bother with. Isn't this the reason HE got a degree!!!

    Is general practice not about looking after those in the community. He should be fortunate that there are Nurses who are expanding their education in order to care for those he considers not exciting enough.

    The fundamentals of nursing care is "basic care" but when expectations and demand is increased to such that we [nurses] are also required to do the basic job of the doctors of 20-40 years ago and also battle with under-staffing the priority of basic care is often weighed against the priority of chasing up the doctors for a patient that has more acute care requirements.

    Perhaps he needs to spend some time back in ED/ICU instead of his office where time is of his choosing

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Hmmmm! No doubt he will become a patient one day and in our care! Interesting thought, let's see what he thinks of us then as we tend to his needs and advocate for him.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • one of the reasons Nursing has been forced to take on degrees and be more diagnostic in it's care is because of the idiotic drs we have in this profession, who besides not being able to diagnose their own degenerative brain cells(Dr Crippin) in their emaciated spineless reasoning, project an all seeing all knowing facade of lies, which nurses see through clearly, and often rescue the patient from inconsistent poor practice. This makes dr's quite uncomfortable.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Well he may have a point nurses take on more and more indeed But the real probleamatic/differential diagnoses will always land on the doctor's surgery Why cant you all work together We need our GP's

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • This made me feel a little bit sick, but I am hoping that he is due to retire soon.x

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • This made me feel a little bit sick, but I am hoping that he is due to retire soon.x

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I think I know this guy, Brian is that you!!
    Seriously though, we all know Drs with this attitude. Either old school or young arrogant. Thanks to my qualifications and my knowledge I have bailed them out on several occasions (some serious).

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Show 102050results per page

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.