Have you tried to get a GP appointment lately?

What do you do if you pick up the phone in the allotted hour to be told this is a training day and no calls are being accepted? That means tomorrow they will all be in the queue in front of you.

If your surgery has more than one doctor, what are they training for? Or perhaps the staff on the reception desk are being taught how to avoid annoying the doctors.

When on the odd occasion you get through to them, having listened to a three minute talk on the dangers of COVID 19, as they told me mechanically, no more bookings for today.

Someone heard my cough the other day and said you should see a doctor. Being asked to transfer ones request to a three figure number, tread carefully as you might get an ambulance at the door.

As for information from the COVID 19 number, to get a lateral flow test, I was put through to a receptionist in the north of England, eventually I got my test locally.

Whatever happened to the old GP who eventually became almost a family friend? My old doctor in those days was a Dunkirk veteran with one arm and a sense of humour asking me to hang on one minute while he got the cricket scores on the radio.

When one thinks of those days, have we moved on? Our surgeries are overcrowded and the non-computer types are losing out.

The last time I tried I had to stand outside of the surgery, masked, and getting wet. So we carry on with the odd aches of old age and hope it will get better.

Alan Blandford