This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

pul jul aug2020 cover 80x101px
Read the latest issue online

Independents' Day

Richard Sarson

Octogenarian patient with multiple co-morbidities.

  • A tale of two surgeries

    Richard Sarson's comment 04 Aug 2015 11:53pm

    Frankly, my dear Copperfield, I, a geriatric patient, use my named GP as if she is a member of Surgery A. She advises me, brilliantly, on risk, strategy and how best I can keep out of hospital. I handle the more trivial complaints you assign to Surgery B, by judicious use of the internet, a visit to the local pharmacy or perhaps, in extremis, a call to a junior member of my GP’s surgery.

    This seems to work for me, as I am still alive at 85, despite kidney problems, aortic stenosis, hypertension, arrhythmia, incipient diabetes, arthritis and gout. Nor have I been admitted to hospital for over 6 years. My last admission was the Marsden.

    For me, the proper place for experienced GPs is Surgery A, not Surgery B. I am disturbed that Copperfield and the other commenters here, should find the work of Surgery A “tedious”.

  • Since when was 'befriending the elderly' part of GPs' remit?

    Richard Sarson's comment 13 Feb 2015 3:47pm

    Aha, so non-medics (ie patients) are trolls! Perhaps, I should leak that to the Daily Wail. They would have fun with it.

  • Since when was 'befriending the elderly' part of GPs' remit?

    Richard Sarson's comment 11 Feb 2015 6:52pm

    Yes, Anonymous 3.03,as an octogenarian patient, I agree that this is the level of debate I have come to expect. What I would like to see is a a bit more respeck, respeck, respeck.

  • Hang out the tinsel! The Friends and Family test is here

    Richard Sarson's comment 26 Nov 2014 11:00am

    Three other good things about my GP I forgot to mention:
    She listens very attentively to what I have to say.
    She balances her attention to me with checking up what my record says on her computer, and writing the notes on my visit immediately. All done seamlessly.
    There is no paper in her surgery. All the paper from hospitals is scanned in on arrival. The surgery has been paperless for ten years.

    She and her colleagues in the practice are almost faultless diagnosticians.

    The question I always ask myself is "if my GP practice is this good, why can't other GPs do as well"?

  • Hang out the tinsel! The Friends and Family test is here

    Richard Sarson's comment 24 Nov 2014 3:16pm

    I too make a point of showing my appreciation in person, when I get good treatment. In fact my comments about FFT were about hospitals, not GPs. (My GP does not do FFT.)

    In fact, what I like about my GP surgery is:
    I can always get an appointment on the day.
    The receptionist is always helpful, and the staff generally appear relaxed. (None are about to retire early or get on a plane for Australia.)
    I never have to wait more than half an hour.
    My named GP is happy to spend half an hour or more about our "co-morbidities', when it is needed.
    My GP has saved my life twice in the last 20 years by prompt diagnosis.


    By the way, about two years ago, Pulse ran a survey of whether its GP readers would recommend their local hospital, and I seem to remember that only about 25% would. So, GPs, although hyper-sensitive themselves, are quite happy to criticize other doctors!

  • CQC's 'risk ratings' are incredibly damaging - they must be withdrawn

    Richard Sarson's comment 23 Nov 2014 5:16pm

    I am a geriatric patient. I get excellent service from the practice I attend. Many of my contemporaries do not. Dr Field estimate that a sixth of GPs are a risk, seems about right to me. But I am a simple patient; what would I know?

    I do get shocked that so many GPs seem not able to accept that they or some of their colleagues are no good. Most professionals admit their failings Why not GPs?

  • Hang out the tinsel! The Friends and Family test is here

    Richard Sarson's comment 17 Nov 2014 7:16pm

    What's the point of stroking the egos of doctors? Are their egos so frail? Isn't it more use to suggest ways they could improve?

  • Patients get in the way of our work

    Richard Sarson's comment 17 Nov 2014 3:29pm

    I and my wife always go to appointments together, with a printed list of the questions the non-ill one asks. The ill one is not capable of thinking up the questions or taking in the answers.. The non-ill one makes a point of writing down the answers.

    This procedure scares the pants off the doctor, who is forced to give sensible answers. We have survived well into our eighties, which is more than many of our more doctor-admiring contemporaries, who accepted any old rubbish.

    Twelve years ago, I explained our technique to an illustrious member of the GPC, who was horrified. He called me the "patient from hell", who is bankrupting the NHS, because our consultations last three times longer than 10 minutes.

    It seems to me that single consultations are useless to the patient, but I can see why lazy doctors like them.

  • Hang out the tinsel! The Friends and Family test is here

    Richard Sarson's comment 17 Nov 2014 2:33pm

    As a patient, I find the FFT convenient, because I can give an instant reaction to the treatment I am getting. I find however, that if it all goes swimmingly, I don't bother.
    I do fill it in if there is anything wrong,like more than 20 minute delay, or no board which shows if the doctor is behind schedule. Sometimes I fill in an FFT form if the doctor does not give me a physical examination, when I think one is necessary. Or if the treatment I have come for is more than 18 weeks after the original referral or investigation. (This has happened twice in two separate hospitals for BCCs removal, in the last two years.) I sometimes comment if the waiting room is dirty or overcrowded.

    In all, as you may have gathered that I, a humble patient find the FFT a splendid innovation, if the hospital or surgery takes it seriously, which, I suspect, some don't.

  • Patient record access initiative is yet another part of the DH agenda

    Richard Sarson's comment 17 Nov 2014 1:03pm

    It is nice for me, a patient, to know what my record says, because it often shows that the doctor, GP or consultant, has totally misunderstood what I was trying to say to them.

    Suggest, dear Dr Copperfield, how else I can check up on my doctor's ability to listen?

  • GPs are to be replaced with apps

    Richard Sarson's comment 12 Nov 2014 1:40pm

    The article and comments above demonstrate the luddism of GPs. Some apps are clearly silly, but most Apps are an opportunity for self-monitoring, which should appeal to over-stretched GPs and help them to get patients to manage their own health. As a patient, I welcome apps, and am sad to see the cynicism and negativity of doctors

    By the way, as a patient, it is nice to be able to comment on a Pulse article. I had understood that we were verboten in the secret walled garden of GPdom.

  • Jeremy Hunt: ‘I have no problem with GPs being well paid’

    Richard Sarson's comment 27 Feb 2014 11:54pm

    You quacks may not like him, but for me, an octogenarian patient, his aims are great;
    1. Giving oversight of OOH back to GPs. SAFER FOR ME
    3. Calling for an end to snail-mail. INTO THE 21ST CENTURY AT LAST

    You lot may not like me saying so, but IF he finds the money, and delivers what he promises to me and all the other elderly frequent flyers, he could go down as the most patient-friendly Health secretary ever.

  • GP hit with contract notice over plan to opt all patients out of

    Richard Sarson's comment 20 Feb 2014 5:08pm

    What right has a GP to opt me, a patient, out. I can make up my own mind, thankyou.

  • RCGP demands new publicity campaign to address 'crisis in confidence' over scheme

    Richard Sarson's comment 17 Feb 2014 11:36am

    More luddite comments, typical of clinicians, who seem intent on holding up the use of technology in the NHS as long as they can.

    Surely the proper response should be "research does indeed need better patient data, and we, the RCGP will engage immediately and deeply with DH or NHS England or whoever to iron out our real security worries."

    Personally, I believe the scheme is technically a Bridge too Far, but that too should be debated coolly.

  • Telemonitoring fails to cut COPD hospital admissions

    Richard Sarson's comment 25 Nov 2013 1:53pm

    Typical GP scoffing. I suggest the commenting GPs visit those bits of the country where Telehealth has saved a lot of carefully-selected patients many visits to hospital: like Airedale, Swindon, Cumbria, Cornwall and Kent. The, come back and admit whether they can still scoff. Open your eyes.

  • Patient experience scores may be included in GP ratings, says NHS England chief

    Richard Sarson's comment 11 Sep 2013 2:02pm

    I am grateful to Anonymous 9.44 for saying where he works,and I understand why he does not want to give his name. What I need from a commenter is "where he comes from", whether he is a clinician, administrator or simple patient. Then, and only then, can I understand his comment. I don't really need the name.

    In the spirit of openness, I am an octogenarian journalist with multiple (minor) co-morbidities, who spent a lot of his career in the computer industry.

    I do indeed agree with him that some doctors' troll-like comments provide brilliant fodder for the national press. I use them all the time.

  • Patient experience scores may be included in GP ratings, says NHS England chief

    Richard Sarson's comment 09 Sep 2013 7:53pm

    Oh dear, I am sad to see patients hide under the Anonymous cloak. What have they got to fear: their GPs taking it out of them in revenge?

    Doctors, too, should have the guts to show their real names. Otherwise they might be taken for trolls.

    If everybody became transparent, we might have a sensible debate, and a patient/doctor debate is badly needed just now. At the moment all we have is a dialogue of the deaf.

  • GPs plan trials of seven-day opening to combat A&E crisis

    Richard Sarson's comment 28 Aug 2013 1:26pm

    Typically negative Anonymous responses to that dreadful thing A NEW IDEA. Clearly, PULSE responders see no reason for change of any sort, and will resist it to the last breath of their bodies. Long live the 19th century.

  • Unwelcome intrusions

    Richard Sarson's comment 28 Aug 2013 12:22pm

    As a patient, my behaviour is impeccable. As a journalist, I try to have "real conversations" with doctors, and get a few courteous replies, mixed with a lot of abuse. I was once called the "patient from hell" by a a GP, a badge I wear with pride.

    If, as the CQC has just found, 23% of practices are non-compliant, it seems to me, a poor patient. that more rather than less regulation is necessary.

  • BMA rejects 'undesirable' Labour proposals to integrate health and social care

    Richard Sarson's comment 02 Aug 2013 6:42pm

    Did the BMA ask the patients about what they think about the integration of care? I am of an age when I and my contemporaries are reliant on smooth transitions from NHS to social care. But the BMA seems to want to stay stuck in the separate past. No change there, then.