First day back after a minor 2 day break and the roads in Northernshire were deserted. The GPs’ Ferraris were in top gear all the way in to work as the usual go slowers were doing just that at home and on full pay during the annual Christmas and New Year do nothing for 2 weeks other than eat and drink too much fest that is Christmas unless you are in the health service or retail therapy branch of team GP. In which case life isn’t quite that easy unless you believe Mr. Hunt.
Still not having had access to any medical care whatsoever, anywhere in the UK for a whole 2 days has led to a game of happy families here at ND Central for the doctors who we now under GMC censorship guidelines are forced to report for. Like many surgeries in the UK the GPs at ND Central offer only book on the day appointments to mop up any “illness” that could not be treated over the preceding 2 days due to the complete National Health Service shutdown over Christmas.
Most of the happy family dire emergency consultations went like this:
We all have the same symptoms which are mostly really, really, really bad coughs (note the not just a cough symptom) associated with eyes looking pleadingly towards the doctor like a hungry puppy dog desperate for some food,
these symptoms are all no worse (but equally no better and that must be the point?) than when we were all seen with the exact same symptoms on Christmas Eve as emergencies or extras.
Examination of all these poor suffering
puppies, punters, clients patients revealed
completely clear chests and a complete absence of any coughing throughout the whole
of the multiple happy family consults.
Is there anything you can do for us, doc?
The advice that you were given on Christmas Eve still applies. You all have the same very, very, very minor viral upper respiratory tract infection that virtually every other “emergency” seen today has had and you were all told it will take up to 3 weeks to get better. Remember that you were told all of this only 2 days ago.
Not happy with your GPs’ Christmas Eve advice?
Well you could ring NHS DICK for Jeremy Hunt care but more likely you will ring (have rung) NHS 111 who will tell you, especially if it is your little Christmas cherub coughing all night, to go straight to A&E or to see your GP ASAP within a time period of hours generated by a random number generator or a more likely a modified game of odds and evens by the “highly trained” technicians answering the NHS 111 call.
If you went to A&E and were seen by a half decent doctor you have been told the same thing as your GP had told you the day, or two, before and been sent home. The ones we don’t see today will have blagged some antibiotics from A&E but will pitch up with the same story after the New Year’s Day total NHS shutdown when the antibiotics prescribed for a viral infection haven’t worked.
And can you guess how these post booze and food fest holiday “emergency” appointments all ended? Can you?
Can we have some Calpol as we are running low, we seem to be running out, I haven’t got much left and it is a holiday etc. etc. . . .
Still 2 appointments at say £ 25 (+/- £ 59-117 an A&E appointment) to be told the same thing to blag a bottle of Calpol costing less than a fiver is a good use of NHS resources. Perhaps Sir David could vector in these facts into his "challenge" as we are sure NHS management will be sticking their fingers into the dike to prevent the 4 hour breaches given the empty CCG car park today while they expect the NHS to be open all hours that they do not work?
Still some areas are now going to allow pharmacists to dish out freebies via a scheme called Pharmacy First (just google this many areas are doing it) which will save the NHS a fortune and free up GP time in the same way that NHS dumb, dumb, dumb does. Go to the chemist blag a bottle of Calpol or headlice treatment then do the same at the doctors.
Given that headlice are endemic as are very, very, very minor viral URTI at present in some areas it won’t be long before some Arthur Daley’s start doing the rounds of their local chemists and then sell their freebies at a discount to their less bright friends in the same way drug addicts “losing” their drugs and getting a replacement have been overheard in the waiting room to say “I told you I would get you some drugs”.
No doubt all of this would have been inspired by the market forces demonstrated when one of the team going to the supermarket was met with a tsunami of customers exiting a store carrying several large boxes of Christmas crackers each and not much else. Once inside the newspeak tanoy was repeatedly telling those who had paid either £ 7.00 or £ 4.00 for quality Christmas crackers before Christmas that these were now available for £1.75 and £ 1.00 respectively, while stocks last.
Did we miss yet another tanoy idiot announcement from Jeremy Hunt that post Christmas all families can be seen free at their GPs for a fraction of the normal cost for doing so?
Praise be to the Party for ensuring that market forces means the NHS is treated like McDonalds. I want my burger and I want it now.
Unfortunately the Party forgot the bit about educating the public about illness and the fact that it sometimes takes longer than eating a burger for illness to get better and not to request another burger when you are not cured instantly of your illness over Christmas.
Or that you buy Calpol in a chemist for less than the cost of a packet of fags, a GP appointment or an A&E attendance. Still the remarkable antiviral properties of a free bottle of paracetamol are well documented even on NHS Choices and are clearly above and beyond these same properties being available by paying for the same product yourself.