Annoying things about General Practice: Number 2

Answer the phone general practice...

Answer the phone general practice…

I carry an annoying thing called a pager, so everyone and the hospital swtichboard can access me any time they like, they also have my mobile and home phone numbers. If you want to speak to me you simply phone the hospital and say “Page KBW” and I will answer the phone minutes later. In contrast to this, if I want to speak to a GP I must first phone the practice, which goes like this:

“Thank you for phoning Marychapel Medical Centre, you are third in the queue, please hold and we will answer your call as soon as we are able” this goes on for some time. Then I am predictably, second in the queue, then first in the queue, until….”You are through to Marychapel Medical Centre, if you require a repeat prescription press 1, if you require the practice nurse press 2, if you require a home visit press 3, if you wish to speak to the receptionist about an appointment today press 4, for all other enquiries please hang up and phone this number 07798856864235984″ At this point I discover I have misplaced my pen, so am not able to do that. I repeat the whole scenario, this time I am sixth in the queue.

Finally, I get through to the correct number and the correct receptionist, now I must prove I am important enough to be allowed to speak to “Doctor” as they call the GP (never “the doctor”, just “Doctor”), I am almost never allowed to trouble Doctor and getting arsey from the outset is the only way forward; “This is Miss Marvellous Pants the Surgeon calling  from the Big Fancy Hospital. I am phoning about a very important matter, I must speak with the doctor today about a mutual patient of ours”. This approach seems to work moderately well.

Invariably though, I have to leave a message for the GP and they ring me back at their convenience, usually the next day and say “I didn’t get your message until after 5pm yesterday so I knew there was no point phoning you back so late” which prompts me to say (because I cannot resist the bait) “As a matter of fact I am always in the hospital until at least 6.30pm”.  And then they snort, amused and delighted that surgeons are still such easily wound up twats.

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Boston Bombers: twitter twit

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The great Gene Hunt says “anything you say will be taken down, ripped up and shoved down your scrawny little throat” he is a fictional policeman from the 1970’s.

It is appalling that some people have bombed the Boston marathon spectators, the police department should of course be pleased to have apprehended 2 suspects. They certainly were keen to tweet the news, “CAPTURED!!! The hunt is over. The search is done. The terror is over. And justice has won. Suspect in custody.” Really? From this I gather they have apprehended another suspect who will have to be questioned, charged and then be subjected to a trial but then I live in the UK of course, not the land of the free.

Our police also tweet, albeit in rather more restrained tones “14 football fans were arrested today following the Wigan vs Millwall game”. “A murder investigation is underway following the discovery of a deceased male, aged 23”. “A man has been apprehended and charged with the rape of 17 year old girl on a bus last week”.

I hope they find the right people responsible for this atrocity, and that they are appropriately dealt with by the full force of the law. Police should tweet in line with these general principles and not whoop hysterically like they have, it certainly isn’t very British unless of course Gene Hunt is tweeting on their behalf.

What Margaret Thatcher did for me

Today brings the news that Margaret Thatcher has died. She became Britain’s first and only female prime minister fairly shortly after I was born and remained there until I was almost a teenager. As a child in the 1980’s I was of course politically unaware so my Maggie memories are pretty low brow, I remember my modern studies teacher crying with delight when she resigned and telling us how important this day was. I thought it was an important day because we had witnessed a crying teacher, a  male one at that.

Feminists don’t like her, they think she did nothing for women,  she didn’t care or understand social equality and behaved like a man. I think that she did rather a lot for women, she certainly influenced my peers and I who grew up under her shadow. Here was a woman at the ultimate helm, who pissed everyone off, didn’t care what they said about her, who had a firm and clear view of where Britain was going and ruled her party under the nickname “iron lady”.  She may not have been doing it the way the feminists would have liked her to but there is no denying she was a woman and a wife and mother and there has never been any female as powerful as her since. She hated the feminists in return and had only one woman in her cabinet, but perhaps there just weren’t any women appointable.

Hanging on her every word the PM addresses the assembled press.

Hanging on her every word the PM addresses the assembled press.

She had a strong sense of her own image in the days when having a stylist or a dresser or a team of guru’s was uncommon. Fast forward to 1995 and Cherie Blair (in true First Lady style) submitted an invoice to the Labour Party for £7500 for hair styling during the general election, revolting behaviour.  The impact Thatcher had on me is not insignificant, I grew up truly believing that women can do anything they want to whilst wearing heels, pearls and an alarming amount of make up. I wonder what girls today feel about how high they can reach and whether they have the same expectations of unlimited by their gender success.  I think she showed a lot of little girls that women and men were undoubtedly equal and that women could do anything they wanted to do and for that I am very grateful.

She also believes women can do anything, and also had a fairly significant influence on my life but has not yet been the prime minister.

She also believes women can do anything, and also had a fairly significant influence on my life but has not yet been the prime minister.