Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Belated Bad Luck

...and, I'm back again. Apologies for my absence, this time I wasn't ill, just busy with work. Last Wednesday I had a whole day of medical bad luck, however, which I propose to tell you about right now. I know, I know. You can hardly contain your excitement.

So, I set off into town, to visit my GP's surgery, to find out whether my new address means that I'm out of their catchment area and consequently would need to find a new doctor. My local GP's would appear to have the world's most illogical catchment area; I used to live a forty-five minute walk away and had no problem staying on their books, but when I moved much closer (a fifteen minute walk away) they warned me that I was "only just" still inside their boundaries. W, I hear you cry, TF.

Anyway, I moved house basically down the road, so I'm still just as close but in a slightly different direction. My new house is nice, by the way. It's painted yellow on the inside, which is cheery, and there is both a gardener and a dishwasher. Decadence, thy name is me. Or moi, probably. I hear Decadence is French.

When I arrived at the doctor's surgery, a bad omen was pinned on the door. No, not a dead raven - a notice that my long term GP, Dr Boris (who I have previously written about here) had left the surgery and was working at another one nearby. Now, Dr Boris isn't so much of a legend that I would weep tears of watery saline solution from my lachrimal glands at his departure, but still, this could be inconvenient.

I went in to the surgery and asked the receptionist if my new address was still in their area. She looked up my postcode on their computer system -

Haha, no.

She looked up the name of my road in a tatty folder which contained an alphabetical list of all the road names in my city. Apparently only people living in a road underlined in yellow highlighter are allowed to register at the surgery and, alas, my new road is not highlighted.

I point out to the receptionist that I live absurdly nearby and need to have a fairly unusual injection once every month and that there are three nurses at this practice who are trained to give them and potentially may be none at another GP's practice. "You have to go register at another GP's," she says.

Ok, fine. I ask the receptionist what other GPs are nearby. She looks at me like I'm insane and responds that she "doesn't know the area".

Fortunately, I asked mainly out of curiosity. I know there is one other GP's in the town centre, which my boyfriend used to be registered at, so I head there to ask about registering.

In the window is a sign "GP's closed 23rd March - 19th April". Ah, the joys of the NHS.

So currently I'm still registered at my old practice (I cunningly told them I "would be moving shortly" because I am a deeply suspicious person by nature) but I have to find a new one. Ho hum!

I have to say, I cannot for the life of me understand having a GP's practice boundary which extends less than a mile to the north and east but several miles to the south. And if you're going to have such a strange and arbitrary boundary, surely keeping a list of other GPs with less mental regulations is only common sense?

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