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News and Comment September 2021

Index: 2019202020212022

17 September (Part 2) - No doctors. No care

The GP service is for many of us close to non-existent. I have been able to see a nurse via the e-Consult service who as it turned out was very good but GPs prefer to hide away somewhere. None more so than my 84 year old friend’s doctor in Bromley. He is still not being treated for a breathing problem mentioned here last January.

Back then he reported that the only form of face to face consultation offered was with a receptionist through a slightly opened window but assumed that those with agreed appointments with a doctor would be allowed inside. That has proved to be an optimistic assessment.

For two months approximately he has had an inflamed patch on his shoulder about the size of an elongated tea plate. It has been painful and could be anything from a serious reaction to an insect bite to skin cancer, no one knows.

After hand delivering a printed photograph his GP deigned to see him. Unfortunately when he turned up at the appointed time the receptionist said the consultation had to be conducted through the open window in front of a queue of people waiting in their cars. He objected.

Reluctantly the doctor dressed in a Hazmat suit and heavily masked opened the front door himself and looked at the skin patch. The photograph was passed on to a dermatologist and his verdict is awaited.

It seems to me that if a GP is not providing a service the NHS may as well strike him off their list of approved contractors. Patients would not be much worse off and it may act as incentive to the others to get back to work.

The four receptionists inside appeared to be doing absolutely nothing apart from chatting among themselves.


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