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Guest blog: David Hotchin


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Friday, 11 December 2020

Guest blog: David Hotchin

This week we have a guest blog that was submitted to us by David Hotchin, written by a retired friend....obviously, he's used a little poetic licence.

Written by a retired friend....obviously, he's used a little poetic licence.

My mum tells a story of when she was a kid. If her and her sisters became ill, the family doctor, would finish his morning surgery at 9.30am, jump in his Morris Minor, and start his home visits.

He'd assess my mum, and her five sisters, prescribe the poison of the day (?iron), and then drink his whiskey that my nana had waiting for him.

He'd do a few more home visits then play golf. Being a GP was a bit of a jolly old jape.

Around the mid nineties, someone, somewhere began to realise life as a GP, was going to change. There were various reasons for this, the main trigger at the time was a large cohort of doctors who'd come from overseas in the 1960's, were due to retire. So they plucked some of the more talented nurses out of the pool (or rather those who were willing to put their head above the parapet), gave them a decent education, and let them loose diagnosing, referring and treating patients. And so, was born, the "multi-disciplinary team.

Primary care was still a jolly old jape. We'd see someone with a verrucae, a snotty kid, a person with a sticky eye, and then something complex and meaty. I went for a swim at dinner, and left on time at night.

The patients were happy, they'd ring for an appointment at 10am, and be seen that afternoon.

Demand, of course, continues to outstrip supply. There are many reasons for this, I have the figures. But basically, we're living longer and we're more complex.

General practice is now on a cusp. Some will survive, some won't.

Those who survive will be those who think imaginatively. They will re define the word "appointment." An appointment won't necessarily mean a ten minute slot with your doctor. It could now be a telephone or a video consultation.

You may no longer see your doctor if you're ill. If your child has a fever, they may well see one of our excellent children's nurses. If you have a query about your medication, it may be that the practice pharmacist deals with you.

This isn't "dumbing down" by the way, nor medicine on the cheap. It's about getting the patient to the right person, in the right place, at the right time.

We need your help to. If a receptionist asks what the issue is, she's not being nosey. She's trying to direct you to the best person to help you.

If we ask you to visit a pharmacist for your verrucae, don't be offended. We're trying to preserve our time for those who need us, patients who are acutely ill, have an exacerbation of a mental health problem, or who have a  symptom of cancer.

We're not doing this because we want to by the way. There's nothing more I'd love than to bimble about the hills in a Morris Minor.

We're doing it because we have to. We want to give the best quality service to our patients.

If we don't change, we won't survive.

And that 'aint gonna' happen.

Not on my watch.

Sue Gerrard
Sue Gerrard says:
Dec 15, 2020 11:37 AM

Is this post satirical?

Maria Axford
Maria Axford says:
Dec 15, 2020 01:51 PM

Many thanks for your comment. The blog was written with poetic licence.