Dearest darling GP,
I moved my healthcare to your business a couple of years ago because my previous GP was failing to deliver. He was medically mediocre and administratively hopeless. I like your surgery because you take in a lot of trainee GPs. Terrifying as this may first sound, they’re actually rather good – they’re young and enthusiastic, they haven’t heard it all before so they actually listen to what I say and when they don’t know something they run off and check with a grown up, rather than just making stuff up. I find all that quite endearing in a doctor.
Overall, you’ve been doing very well. Medically you’re performing. You developed a worrying interest in delivering my diabetes care but I managed to steer you away from that and we’ve agreed that you won’t meddle in things that you don’t really understand. We’re getting along just fine.
Administratively you’re above average in my experience, although my benchmark for good GP admin is pretty low. If I ask for a repeat prescription you normally manage to issue one within 48 hours. And most of the time it’s more or less correct. You also get extra brownie points for not accidentally giving my medical records to a little old lady to read whilst she was in the waiting room as one of your predecessors did.
It’s not all good though. We’ve been having a little issue for a while now. You understand that I need blood testing strips and you’re happy for me to have as many as I need. You’re not misinterpreting any silly PCT guidelines about rationing strips like some of your less bright colleagues. More brownie points there. Sadly, while your intentions are good, your delivery is a little random in this area. If I request blood test strips sometimes I get them, sometimes I don’t.
We’ve talked about this and you explain that the nasty PCT won’t let you put blood test strips on my repeat list in case I order too many, start selling them on the black market and the NHS isn’t left with enough money to buy biscuits with. I explain I’m happy for people to put sensible measures in place to manage budgets, but we still need a process that works. At the moment if I order blood test strips I sometimes get them and I sometimes don’t.
You say that I should ask my pharmacist to check my prescription when he collects it for me. I say it isn’t his job to double check your work. You say I should highlight when I’ve requested blood test strips. I say the list I sent in only had 5 things on it and blood test strips were in bold size 14 font and you still managed to miss it. Short of sending a singing telegram I don’t see what else I can do.
For the love of god this shouldn’t so difficult. Please put a process in place that means I get blood test strips when I ask for them. I’ve spent a couple of years training you to deliver my healthcare and you’ve been doing it well, I don’t want to have to start all over again with someone new.
Lots of love