Life

UK GP’s & the Working Girl

My immune system is terrible. Any bug that is going around the office, I catch. I’m a chest infection gold medalist, 6 times in under a year is my record. On that sadly, I’m not proud of. I don’t know why I keep picking up bugs… air conditioning at work? sitting close to others who have the dreaded man flu? or just plain bad luck?

My local GP knows me by name without looking at my encyclopaedia thick medical records & I’m quite lucky that he’s only 5 minutes down the road. I can normally get an appointment within 48 hours or an emergency one on the day if really needed.

Most recently, in between quitting my hell of a last job (blog post on that coming up soon!) and starting my new dream job, I got a really bad dose of the flu which turned into a really bad chest infection, I couldn’t breathe without coughing my guts up, I started choking from coughing so much, got into a panic attack because I couldn’t breathe properly then started crying in pain. Not really a great first impression when you start a new job? But there I was, stuck in a hotel away with work, so ill I could hardly move but I couldn’t take any time off ill and out of antibiotics that I was prescribed by my doctor back home.

I called NHS24 for help and they suggested I find UK medical centers nearby the hotel I was staying at & register as a patient but the only problem with that was I had to wait nearly a week for an appointment. So, with no antibiotics, I had to try battle through a killer of an illness with the help of a local pharmacy picking out cough syrup, pain killers and a nose inhaler for me to help control the pain. It was the longest month of my life being that ill & touch wood I haven’t been ill since!

I hate the fact that GP’s in the UK do not have work friendly hours, which was featured in this BBC broadcast. They operate between 9-5pm and sometimes, especially in my case, I couldn’t go to a GP between those hours as I was hundreds of miles away from home & even though I went back home on a Friday afternoon, it was too late to ever get an appointment.

I don’t understand why they do not open on a Saturday to cater for those who can’t make appointments Monday to Friday due to other commitments. Growing up in Kuwait, our local GP was in a hospital nearby and you could go 24/7 without even making an appointment! Just wait in line & you were seen practically straight away. I miss those days! Maybe each local district in the UK is different, but it’s something that should really be looked at UK wide.

Now, due to working in another city every 3 weeks for the foreseeable future, I’ve had to register with another GP just so that if I do get ill again during my week away, I have a backup. I don’t want a repeat of what happened to me & being unable to do anything to help.

Do you have this problem? Do you have another GP you are registered to? Does your GP surgery open on a Saturday? OR are you one of the lucky ones who never needs to visit a GP? If so, I hate you. Yes. I do.

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