So a week has passed and to be honest it has felt like I am on holiday from work. In fact, I have not had a full week off since last autumn, as I have tended to take a couple of days here and there to make long weekends etc. I was surprised by just how tired I was, but not having had a break and having been involved in a very protracted and stressful HR process it is not surprising.
Of course, I have not spent the week being idle, that really isn’t me. Nor have I yet worked out how to sleep in past about 7am, perhaps that is healthy since I am not finished with work by any stretch of the imagination. The first thing I did last Friday was to buy myself a new laptop; a MacBook to be exact. I am now converted to Apple, last year I got my first iPhone, for Christmas an iPad and now I have the full set. I had to get some kind of computer since my previous laptop died a few weeks ago and I had been using my work one. That and my Blackberry were returned last week. So now I have just one phone rather than two, and I am getting myself set up for some home working.
I have watched the news coverage of the NHS changes with a kind of detached interest this week. All of a sudden the news channels and papers other than the Guardian work up to some of the issues of the new NHS. Things like the conflict of interest that GPs have faced for years, but are only just being challenged about. Like the fact that many of them have shares in the companies that they commission to provide services. Then there is the role of the NHS Commissioning Board, now renamed NHS England (we did laugh last week when colleagues who have jobs with them discovered the rebrand). How will this highly centralised organisation carry out the job of performance managing the CCGs? Nothing has yet been said about the Commissioning Support Units and the duplication that their existence will surely bring about. Or about the fact that most of the hated managers still retain places within the CCGs, often they are the accountable officer rather than a GP. No one has yet asked, who is really in charge here? Does the balance of power really lie with clinicians or does it lie in Leeds and their various Local Teams. All of these questions will no doubt be asked in the future.
For me, well my week has been filled, as promised with some reading, some retail therapy, some resting up and pottering around the house. I have made a start on sorting the spare room, but need to replace the chest of drawers in there with a desk. I need to buy a printer as my lovely son has claimed the family one and it currently resides in a house in a university town. I have seen my financial advisor about investing my lump sum, but NHS pension hasn’t produced any actual money yet so there isn’t actually anything to invest. The PCT was late in offering me this option and therefore the forms were completed at the last-minute. The lady in payroll who deals with pensions told me on Tuesday that they had been very tricky to work with. I have updated my CV with the final bits that say that my job ended in March 2013 and I have updated my Linkedin profile with the same. I have arranged my first bit of paid work for next month and am expecting to hear about some more work in the next week or so. I need to complete an application to NHS professionals for another piece of work and I need to send my CV out to a few people. Work then for next week!
So at the end of week one, I feel a little more alert, a little more rested and a little more ready to face whatever is ahead.