I think there is far more that is wrong with our GP practices than the examples given here, it is an over simplification that solely blames the patient. GP's should begin by looking at themselves. Most GP's I have met are arrogant, lazy or both and some, clueless. I'll give you just two of many examples.
My Dad suffered for many years with emphysema and since childhood had been profoundly deaf. Just before Easter 1979 he became very ill. Because of his deafness and the fact he couldn't walk more than a few yards, my brother drove him to the Doctors. The Doctor, said to my brother, “there's nothing wrong with him, take him for a good walk”. We knew he was very ill and we paid to see a Doctor privately. He was found to be seriously ill and rushed into hospital. Less than two weeks later on Easter Sunday he died, aged 63. No doubt, our GP had my Dad marked as, a time waster, a malingerer.
In 2004 my Mum, aged 88, became ill with a chest infection. Over the space of three weeks, she slowly deteriorated. She was seen by her own GP and several emergency Doctors. Each saying in turn, stop taking those pills, I'll write a new prescription. On the 3rd August, her own GP visited, to take a blood sample, but couldn't manage it. “I'll come back tomorrow, don't worry Mary, keep taking the pills”. He left with a reassuring smile. On the 4th he arrived around 1:30pm. He managed to take a blood sample this time and promised to rush the results through, “I'll have the results by 9am tomorrow” he said. “Keep taking the pills, Mary, must go, I'm late for my lunch”. Same reassuring smile.
A few hours later, my Mum looked dreadful. I said, I'm not calling another damned Doctor, I'm calling an ambulance. The paramedics took one look at her. No examination, no questions, just straight into the ambulance. On the way to the hospital a paramedic filled out a form and asked, “when did she last see a doctor”? I told him. He asked, “and he left her like this”?. I replied, she wasn't a great deal better. He shook his head and said, “typical”.
In A& E, she was treated by a young Doctor, no older than 27 or so. Within 15 minutes the young Doctor came to me and said, “your mother has all the classic signs of pneumonia, she is very poorly”. She asked. “Is it right, she's seen a Doctor this afternoon”? I will never forget her look of bewilderment, and I swear, I saw a tear in her eye. My Mum was quickly transferred to a side ward. A senior Doctor and his sidekick were waiting. They too, asked about her GP's afternoon visit. They looked at each other, the sidekick shook her head briefly, until she remembered my presence. Within ten minutes, my lovely Mum, died.
The following day I booked an appointment with my Mum's GP, the only available time being 4:30 pm.“Ah, Stephen, you'll be after your Mother's results”, he said, looking at his computer. “I'm sorry, they're not here, I'll get them back by tomorrow”. I told him, there was now, no point. He asked what she had died of, I told him. He said, “I thought it was something like that”. I said, when you left yesterday, to enjoy your lunch, you left an 88 year old women to die. With that I left. I had to get out before I buried my fist in his smug face. And if I had thumped him, it would have been a free hit. To report it would be to admit his own incompetence. But then after all, my Mum brought me up to be bigger than that, and I am.
Did my family report this Doctor? No. My Mum, was a lovely, lovely women. We all agreed that she would not have wanted it. She hated fuss.
Did the hospital Doctor's report their colleague? Not a bloody chance.
When I read yesterday's post of Doctor's criticising patients. I got annoyed and angry at their arrogance. Before Doctor's even think of criticising patients. They must learn to openly criticise themselves. In any walk of life, no individual or organisation can hope to improve or survive without self criticism. Self criticism is the only way to improvement. Self criticism is the only mantra that can save the NHS.
One of the Doctor's in yesterday's post referred to a grinning suicide man.
Just before Christmas, a blue lit ambulance stopped outside my window. I'm not naturally inquisitive and other than hoping it was not too serious for whoever was involved, I forgot about it. A couple of day's later I bumped into a neighbour, I'll call him, Eric. “Hi Eric”, I said,“how you doin'”. Eric says, “did you see the ambulance the other night”. It was for me”. I tried to commit suicide”. Bloody hell, Eric why? You're the one around here who's always smiling and laughing, why, mate? Eric said, “I just want to die”. What struck me was, Eric was grinning. Eric, was grinning because of embarrassment, he was ashamed. I don't believe Eric wants to kill himself. Since Christmas, Eric has tried a few more times. This isn't a cry for help, this is a full blooded scream. Does he get any help? Does he bloody hell. I fear, one day soon, a grinning Eric, will succeed.