Saturday, 15 October 2011

Engaging with the NHS (the only downside of being nomadic)

My last registered GP is on the East Coast and I did not want to give the name of that Doctor to the good staff of Derby hospital as it would have meant going back there for ongoing medication (initial consult plus routine reviews) and medical after a month free of attacks to regain my driving licence. Derby said I had to be registered somewhere before I go back on the 3rd so I decided to register with a GP in Birmingham as, in the Midlands, all public transport leads to Brum.
I printed off the NHS registration form and sent it off to the chosen practice, giving a friend's boat name and Sherborne Wharf as our address. After 3 days I rang to see if they had received the form - they had. Could I book an appointment please? No. You have to come in and fill out the form. Well could I book an appointment please and come in before hand to fill out the form (we had not reached Brum and I didn't want to get there and then have to wait a week for an appointment)? No. We can't make an appointment until you have filled out the form.
 WHY NOT? WHAT B****Y DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE? I said nothing but resigned myself to further delays.
We dutifully show up in the surgery on arrival in Brum on Wednesday to fill in the form. Have you photo ID? Yes. A document with your address on? No, we've only just arrived to take up the mooring (OK so are noses are starting to get quite long) so we have no post yet. Then I'm sorry but I can't register you until you can produce a document. I am now in the physical situation I have been told to avoid - my blood pressure is rising and I'm fair fit to have multiple TIAs all over their waiting room!!
Eventually, the practice manager was summoned and they agreed to let us have appointments provided that we produced something with our address on asap. Could have been worse - at least we were offered appointments that week.
I saw the GP on Friday morning and he seemed a straight speaking, OK sort of guy and then he told me that I must cut salt out of my diet completely. I replied that my appetite was poor at the moment and 'no salt' wouldn't help. He responded that I was overweight anyway and could do with losing half a stone. I thought, at first, that I'd found a GP with a sense of humour, but no...he was serious... I'm not even into my Michelin woman winter clothes yet - and there was I thinking I needed to put weight ON. Half a stone off would put me under 8 stone at 5ft 6". This is obesity obsession gone nuts.
He also told me that I couldn't resume my normal life for another 4 weeks - I had rather set my sights on being cleared by the hospital in 2 weeks.
I left the surgery in a state of high dudgeon and (probably) high blood pressure, so I took the dogs for a lovely sunny walk around some of the BCN's industrial heritage before round two - an appointment with the health professional at the surgery at 4.15.

My good humour and (hopefully) blood pressure restored by my lovely walk in the sunshine, I attended my 4.15 appointment where I was told that I was underweight and could do with putting on a stone. Is this what they call a yo-yo diet?

By the way, whilst I've been thanking people for helping us do the things that I'm not allowed to do at the moment; did I mention that I've also been forbidden to clean the oven and it's in a very bad way?


  1. If only you had an address I'd be delighted to come down and put a shine on your oven!!!!!

  2. Graham,for a shiny oven I'm sure - just like with the GP - I could arrange an address. In fact, for a shiny oven I'd do almost anything!

  3. Carol, I read your comment to G, he galvanised himself into action.....into the chair in front of the Rugby

  4. My God woman, the lengths you will go to to get out of cleaning the oven!!!!
    Nb Caxton

  5. You can't blame a woman for trying Lesley. The oven cleaning kit you bought me was great but I couldn't fit the oven in the bag! xx