Wednesday, May 31, 2006

London life: Is there a doctor in the house?

I originally posted this as a comment on Dr Jest's caseblog, then decided that it was so long I shoudl put it here. He was talking about the new NHS computer system, and his own computerised records in his office - saying that most surgeries used computers now...

Speak for yourself - our local GP in Notting Hill still uses little library card sized pieces of paper in envelopes. We tried to make an appointment once and I was told that Universal Wifey was not registered. I said she should be, because her registration appointment was straight after mine - I even held the door open for her. They came back on the phone and said that actually, she had emigrated. I said, "Why would she have done that, we've just emigrated here." Receptionist said that she'd told that doctor that and that it was written in the records. I said that sounds unlikely, given that we had never actually met the doctor - having only just registered. (They made her have a pap-smear before they would re-register her - some sort of punishment we assumed.)

Most recently she needed more Clexane (she gets DVTs) before a long haul flight. She sat down and asked for the prescription, in single dose syringes, and reminded the doctor of the dose. The doctor said, "You've only had glandular fever - you don't take Clexane for that." She agreed, and said she was recovered from the glandular and that the Clexane is for DVTs. He said that there is no record on her record. She said that there should be, because she had given it to them - about fifteen pages of letter, test results and medical history. He said she didn't, and he wasn't giving her the drug. She reminded him that Clexane is not exactly a party drug, and asked him how many people had casually requested it over the course of his career. He said none, and he couldn't just give it to her. She said he'd better, because she wasn't leaving until she did.

At that point, a stare down ensued. Now Universal Wifey is not your average Notting Hill yummy mummy. For starters, she's not a mummy. She is a hardcore investment banker, and you don't get there without being able to stare someone down. She sat across from the doctor, wearing her smart work suit, and stared. Slowly the rustling from the waiting room became louder and louder. She stared. The clock ticked towards hometime. She stared. His phone rang with and enquiry from the desk to see if everything was OK. She stared. He picked up his men and doodled on her card. She stared. She clicked his pen a few times. She stared. He may even have perspired a little. She stared.

He stood up and walked over to the cupboard. She turned her head so that she could keep staring. He grabbed a handful of samples. She stared. He said, "How much do you need?" She smiled, and told him.

She thanked him, placed the syringes into her handbag, zipped it shut and left. Honestly, it's easier to get the stuff through customs.

So I say bring on a system that doesn't rely on the ability of three dessicated, resentful, old biddies who prefer to gossip about the patients than manage the records. Bring on the professionals!


Blogger Doctor Jest said...


Sorry did the reply proper back at base, but I have to spock an eyebrow here at the phrase "hardcore investment banker".

Sounds like an interesting business to be investing in ;-)

Wednesday, May 31, 2006 4:16:00 PM  
Blogger Damian said...

I do chortle, now that you point it out.

Haven't you always wondered who re-invests the deposits at the sperm bank.

Speaking of which, I heard a thing on Radio 4 the other day saying that since sperm banks in the UK have refused to guarantee anonymity the numbers of sperm donors in the UK have dwindled to something like eleven individuals - who are presumably a bunch of blokes so unattractive that they must revert to sperm donation as their only hope of offspring, and so destitute that they have to rely on free porn. Either that or they still live with their mothers.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006 5:18:00 PM  
Blogger Doctor Jest said...


You sometimes see them in the lobby of the Womens Hospital (no really) in Brum, hairy palms, knuckles dragging the floor, that kind of thing....

As for the re-investing, not going there.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006 5:27:00 PM  

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