The Anonymous Widower

My First Real Telephone Consultation With A GP

Last Monday, I had my three-monthly B12 injection, as I have since I was diagnosed as a coeliac around twenty years ago.

I said that I needed to see my GP, or at least talk to him, as it was time for my Warfarin review, where we check my dose and order more tablets, as appropriate.

The receptionist said, she’ll get him to give me a call and professionally checked that they had my correct telephone number.

I’d been home about thirty minutes, when the GP phoned and we review the Warfarin and he said, he’d sent a prescription to Boots. I also told him, that my hand would need a proper examination after we’d got rid of the menace of COVID-19.

The call took about five minutes and I suspect that we’d both rate the outcome with at least four stars.

I find it strange, that in my seventy-two years, I’ve never before had a telephone consultation with a GP.

Even, when my wife and son, were dying of cancer, I never spoke to my GP at the time by phone. I did occasionally send messages by FAX to the surgery, as that was the only way to leave a message, as e-mail and text wasn’t an option.

Surely, though simple systems could be developed, so that everybody can have a telephone or video consultation with their GP, if the patient has the technical knowledge.

With my Warfarin review, I might send a message, by phone, e-mail or text, saying I need the review.

  • The GP’s system might then text me to say, my phone appointment was at 14:00 on the 17th, in much the way it does now!
  • I would be able to use a simple reply system to say that was OK or not!
  • The doctor would hopefully be able to phone at the appropriate time.

All sorts of systems would be possible. I’m sure Zoom has something suitable.

If COVID-19 means that GP capacity is increased because of the need to social distance, so be it!

There is also the benefit, that on a wet and windy day, walking to the GP, might not be what I want to do.

April 27, 2020 - Posted by | Computing, Health | , ,

1 Comment »

  1. My GP practice has used telephone triage for years. You ring in early and the doctor calls you back late morning.

    I went in 1993 when gastric flu caused symptoms you are advise to consult a GP for. I did not physically visit again until 2014, when an arthritic knee and the practice’s own desire to take bloods etc. (because I was getting old) lead to one.

    Things diagnosed on the phone included a sub luxed toe (easy) and reactive arthritis in my right ankle (difficult). AIUI a good proportion of minor cases are dealt with this way.

    In the last couple of months they have actively discouraged visits, especially unannounced ones, so I guess this procedure is being applied even more.

    Comment by R. Mark Clayton | April 27, 2020 | Reply


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