Get me out of here I am a Doctor
I am not so sure that I would describe this week as interesting but a learning experience it has been. I am not an ill sort of person and indeed do not recall the last time the GP would have had me in his notes for an acute illness. In fact the only reason that I went today was because of this ludicrous strike that is being wrongly perpetrated by Doctors tomorrow. I began feeling unwell a week ago but suddently found myself so tired that I was essentially unable even to stand up for more than a short time. Viral chest symptoms ensued, followed by ear pain, throat pain and no appetite. A real glut of viral symptoms, which I suspect is some type of viral pneumonia. It has taken 4 full days to get even up to 10% of wellness but today now am starting to feel a bit better. I went to the GP to have a second opinion and also in case I needed at some stage to have some illness letter for whatever. This is what I learnt
- No chance of getting an appointment on the day one phones. Fully booked. Stage 2 is then demanding to be seen and there is a triage service whereby a doctor rings you back, questions you in the format of Paxman and then allocates or not a slot. Being a medic I am aware of the right things to say. Others may not be
- On arrivial at the practice one speaks not a single word before being seen. the check in is via a screen. The receptionists sit around speechless to the patients, busy around doing whatever, but not speaking, doing anything but communicating to patients waiting.
- I spent 2 minutes in the surgery room. The examiniation was a perfunctory version of perfunctory. I could not believe how inadequate it was. Despite having never having had a chest infection before, my chest was not examined other than superficially.
- The aim was to get me out of there quickly. A prescription was what was needed, even though by their own admission it was not needed ( antibiotics do not treat viral infections).
I came away quite sad that professional service levels have sunk so far since I qualified in medicine in 1981. Little/no professional eqitquette, little/no skill and little/no attempt to hide this shambolic state of affairs. Finally, having not done what should have been done, my blood pressure was checked, am I being too cynical to even think that this was done to meet some NHS metric?