If you are dumb enough to have a NHS email account with all the benefits that any NHS IT solution provides, in this case free access to unlimited NHS sponsored spam, you will be aware of the second wave of the great NHS swine flu panicdemic arriving daily in your inbox.
For a more in depth analysis than we here at ND Central or the Department of Health could every hope to provide we provide this link but please be aware there are a few grunt words in this piece which might be on a par with edicts from government in terms of accuracy and believability.
Several chats with colleagues all reveal the same conditions that that we are starting to get bored with, the monotonous roll call of life threatening coughs. For most GP grunts in the field we seem to be seeing 3 major types of illness in our patients all of whom say they:
1) are really ill and think we have flu (but are in surgery despite the hot and cold feeling and sweats that we have as we listen to your tale of woe, aching all over and joint pain too?)
2) have a really sore throat (as opposed to the sore throat we just happen to have?)
3) have a really painful cough (as opposed to the cough that hurts which we just happen to have as well?)
4) have a croaky voice (like we have and have to ration to listen to 50 other people like you through the day?)
Well pathetic dudes welcome to common illnesses that happen every year at this time and most of us get and more importantly and unbeknown to all the actors and actresses we see actually get better on their own. They have occurred for centuries and get better despite of not, because of free access to wellcare, or is it healthcare?
If you have the above and your cough is dry it is likely to be a viral upper respiratory tract infection and needs no treatment. This is group one and most of them will probably not have noticed that the nice blond receptionist who booked them in had exactly the same symptoms and sounded like an 8 stone Brian Blessed instead of a shrill soprano but they still clocked your peffy cough and mousey pathetic voice on the phone blagging an urgent appointment.
If you are coughing up loads of crap, as our patients tell us they are, then depending on what kind of crap you are coughing up, sometimes antibiotics are required especially if your doctor is lucky enough to hear some signs of genuine illness when they examine your chest. This is our second commonest group.
The third group may have sinus distribution headaches as well as all of the above and again some of these may merit antibiotics. That, at present, represents 95% of our workload here at ND Central.
When it comes to swine flu we can honestly say we now know of 2 confirmed cases, not the “I am so ill I must go home as I think I have flu” confirmed case. This is pretty good for last year we were allowed to do one swine flu swab on all of our patients to confirm or refute the diagnosis of swine flu and so like most doctors we do not know if we have EVER seen a case of swine flu apart from the 2 cases confirmed in hospital we now know of. We have seen neither of these patients ourselves.
It is like trying to diagnosis AIDS/HIV without a blood test (and some of us are old enough to recall the HIV panicdemic without serological proof to confirm the diagnosis). Without accurate confirmation of a disease it is not possible to refine ones skills of recognising the clinical signs of a particular disease. Hence it is difficult to reliably guess how many of our patients, if any, may actually have swine flu.
Which is probably why none of us have diagnosed a case of swine flu preferring instead the term viral upper respiratory tract infection instead. Obviously this is primitive Northernshire medicine for there are a lot more GPs out there who are better at guessing swine flu than we are for “confirmed” cases (guesses) are rising and these expert guessers probably have MRCGP after their names.
So an email today which spoke of high level communication along the lines of a James Bond SPECTRE international meeting of criminal minds where those Blofelds in the DoH are stroking their pussys and dictating to their underlings in the soon to vanish SHAs and local Soviets that swine flu bad, vaccination and anti virals good.
This meeting of alleged minds was described as a teleconference which would have been a laugh as we can see those grainy black and white flickering images with several seconds of delay between mouths moving and speech sounding for the NHS broadband connections can be downed by one person watching a video on Youtube so the thought of a “conference” between more than one person is probably closer to a delusion than reality or was just a one way video from Youtube called a “teleconference”?
Still the DoH has set new “outcomes” for the comrade GPs to meet as well as new “outcomes” to try and clear the unused vaccines and antivirals as well. We love the new Party can anyone tell the difference yet?
Still back to the grindstone. Dry painful cough, sore throat, husky voice, temperature "it’s a virus" next (as we think of Brian Conley’s it’s a puppet clip) . . . NEXT!
And don’t let your practice manager catch you watching this at work after they report the slow speed of your practice computer system to your local Soviet’s IT department. You have been warned!!
Praise be to the Party for priming the country to panic and condemning pharmacists for engaging in anti free market activities. Whatever next selling the NHS off to the private sector to make a profit for someone?