Well that was a turn up for the books. At first I thought it was a spoof email. It was from a lady who organises training days for GPs in one particular part of the country. It was asking if I had any ‘flyers’ for my book and if I did could she have some to distribute to primary care physicians at training events starting in a few weeks time.
I get far too many emails to reply to all of them and so I did like I usually do and asked her to call my mobile. Within the hour I had the telephone call and no it wasn’t a spoof email, and no I don’t have any flyers about the book. But, I told her, I could get some printed pretty quickly. And that’s what I shall be doing for the first part of this morning – writing the copy for the new flyer. It will feature the cover of my book but will then have excerpts from the content, soundbites if you like to highlight to doctors the problems with the diagnosis and treatment of PA. And there’s lots to choose from; the fact that you are five times more likely to have your B12 checked in some parts of the country than others; that the test results are not in any way reliable and that’s why the new guidelines tell doctors to ignore the test and treat the patient if there is a discordance between the symptoms and the test results; that the test to determine whether or not any deficiency is caused by Pernicious Anaemia, or more correctly Autoimmune Metaplastic Atrophic Gastritis, is next to useless and “you might as well toss a coin”, etc. etc. You get the picture.
This really is a milestone. For the first time doctors who are so highly criticised for failing to diagnose and treat patients adequately will have the evidence of the not fit for purpose tests placed before them. And they will have more – they will have the results of our survey, published and peer reviewed, that shows in statistical form how these inadequacies are impacting on patients.
“Could we have links to the CPD test on the new guidelines?” she asked. And that necessitated a series of telephone calls yesterday afternoon to get permission from the Professor who I know works at the Dept of Health in London on Wednesdays. I finally got hold of her. She was ‘over the moon’ with this development and not only gave me permission to reproduce the eCPD logo and add a link but also told me to use it wherever I wanted. It’s all systems go then.
I’m meeting the lady responsible for the training events at 12:30 today which means a 70 mile journey for me, but I’m sure you’ll agree that it will be worth it. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a leaflet to write….