18 August 2008

The GP's receptionist

There were six new patient's in Dr Grumble's clinic this morning. That's fewer than usual. Two didn't turn up. It's the holiday season you see. It would be nice to know that they were not going to come but it may well not be their fault. Letters may have been sent to people who are away. Targets mean patients have to be given appointments within a certain time come hell or high water.

Anyway, one of the patients came with her daughter, a GP's receptionist. She had seen many letters from Dr Grumble so was interested to see him in the flesh. Dr Grumble was naughty. He had time to be naughty. He tried to find out about the life of luxury now being led by GPs. No out-of-hours like before. Plently of walk-in centres to take away the worried well. So probably lots of time on the golf course for the doctors. But no. Not a bit of it. What the GP's receptionist said was that the doctors in the surgery are working their fingers to the bone. As for the walk-in centres she said that these sorts of initiatives are 'frightening the elderly'. The elderly, she said, want a GP close to where they live. They want to see somebody they know.

Dr Grumble needs these conversations. He knows already what he was told by the GP's receptionist but sometimes he wonders why the powers-that-be think otherwise. Dr Grumble tries to keep an open mind. After all it could be old Grumble that has it wrong. But it isn't. A GP's receptionist has no real axe to grind. The GP's receptionist knows the truth. Why doesn't the government? Or is there a hidden agenda here?

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