Monday, 16 July 2012


In general practice all our patients have friends and lots of them as a lot of our patients never attend of their own volition. Someone, a friend, a relative or sometimes an anonymous complete stranger always tells them to attend.

However a recent consult made us think about just how many friends our patients have and how much work these friends generate for us as GPs. Our patients' friends advise them daily on health care surely obliterating the need for Big Party NHS (re) direct and 111 interventions?

Take last week and a few examples of what our patients' friends advising them:

A friend said I ought to see you because I have had a car accident (and they said can you make sure something is in my notes?).

Friend = money grabbing patient/lawyer or claim's management company.

I could not sleep and a friend gave me a couple of these tablets and suggested I have a few more weeks of these to help me sleep.

Friend = drug dealer or drug user who is using you to get currency. No deal.

A friend said if I get a letter from a doctor I could get a holiday in Barbados/get a new house/a new television like they did from the social/council etc.   . . .

Forget it.

A friend said I did not look well and should have a few weeks off as they thought I had (insert) name of disease after reading (insert name of learned journal) magazine . . .

Isn't it amazing how many friends our patients have in general practice all of whom have given such considered opinions and worthy advice to our patients to attend their primary care physicians urgently to address their health needs?

Praise be to the Party for ensuring that as a result of all the friends our patients have GPs and their staff will never ever be lonely. Best of all it doesn't cost their friends a penny.

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