Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Personal doctor appointments save lives and have to come back

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L.A receptionist saved the life of a patient last week. She took him straight to a personal appointment early in the day. I saw him and urgently sent him to A&E (any doctor would have done the same). He had an operation later that day and survived.

I will of course let the receptionist know. It is a special responsibility to be a receptionist. I could not do it. You have an impossible job of getting large numbers of patients into a few places and you have to keep calm. When the slots run out – which is sometimes the case at 9 a.m. – you have to persuade one of the doctors, at the end of their tether, to put every patient who is particularly close to your heart on your list.

It is therefore not surprising that when the demand for appointments fell by 30 percent at the beginning of the pandemic, some very stressed and overworked GPs found that their life without patients was much nicer. And now that the cast numbers have finally normalized again (as of May 2021), the demand is very difficult to cope with for some.

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