A couple of months ago we got a call from the GP surgery we had been registered with for the past 10 years. We were told in a somewhat abrupt manor that because we no longer lived in the area we were no longer registered with them and had to make other arrangements. I explained that we did not have a permanent address and could not register anywhere else, but they already knew this as had given a letter ages ago to use to get repeat medication where ever we went. “You will have to register as a temporary patient where ever you are then” click and they hung up. Nice.
So whist we were in Dorset near Corfe Castle we visited the local GP practice and was supplied with one months supply of what we needed. Although I did get the impression the doctor was not entirely happy with this and it was the minimum amount he could give.
As we were approaching the site at Loch Ness I noticed a medical centre within a short walk of the site and at the first opportunity walked up there to see if I can get some medication. Whist explaining we were roamers and showing the letter we had to the receptionist the, only what I can assume was, practice manager came over, have heard what I was saying, and asked if I had my medical pack. I gave her one of my completely blank stares as I tried to work out what the hell she was on about and then said “a what?”.
It appears that our last surgery, when we left, was supposed to supply us with a medical pack that contained all our medical notes to carry around with us. I laughed and said you got to be joking they didn’t even give us a chance to discuss our options and hung up on me. She said she will look into it for me and made an appointment to see the Doctor the next day.
I arrived for my appointment in good time and whilst I was waiting the nice lady came out to speak to me and said she had printed out a pack for me for my medical records but only form today onwards and had given to the doctor.
The doctor was great and gave me a full exam and took bloods for a complete check and said they would be in by the end of the week and if I came in then they will give me a copy of the results. She also gave me a 2 month supply of all my medication, which there is quite a lot as I am a hypertensive diabetic, to last me until we go abroad, filled out all the details in a nicely bound set of printed sheets designed for medical notes and then placed it in a blue plastic folder to keep it nice.
I went round with her to the pharmacy (same place as reception) where they photocopied my prescription to include in my notes as the good doctor was not happy with my blood pressure and had increased one of the dosages and wanted me to carry on with the increased dosage but under the strict instruction I was to purchase a BP monitor and keep an eye on my pressure, which I am now doing. It also appears that prescriptions are free in Scotland.
Overall it appears that if you want excellent healthcare you need to go live in a remote part of the Scottish highlands where it seems GP’s still actually care about the well being of patients rather than the cost. I do hope that however the vote on independence turns out next month this doesn’t spoil what they have.