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CAMHS won't see you now

An open letter to Jeremy Hunt

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Dear Mr Hunt,

With reference to your latest idea about enabling care homes to update GPs records every day, I would like to make the following points:

Our objections are not focused primarily on concerns about confidentiality, considerable though these are.

Mrs A has not opened her bowels for two days now.

Nor are they based on the potential for overlooked messages, though this is a real concern.

Mrs B only ate half her lunch today, and it was her favourite.

Our anxiety is more that

Mrs C seems a bit sleepier than usual; do you think she’s anaemic?

With everyone and their dog having access to the notes

The community nurse dipped Mrs D’s urine because it was smelly and it shows signs of infection so can she have some antibiotics but not trimethoprim because that makes her sick, also she can only swallow capsules.

It becomes almost impossible

Mrs D looked yellow last week and her relatives said her lips were blue. She was rather pale yesterday and today she looks off colour.

To sift out the useful information from the dross

Mrs E has been threatening everyone with a knife again, the CPN said you need to examine her to exclude a physical cause.

Or, to put it another way

Just to let you know that Mrs F’s foot is black.


Mrs G is losing weight, can you prescribe something to build her up, she likes Complan Shake (but not strawberry. Or vanilla. Or that purple one.)

Mrs H is still getting her headaches and you haven’t left any instructions for how often she can have paracetamol, so we can’t give her any.

Must be

Mrs I is still passing blood out of her back passage, is that normal?

Mrs J is breathing fast.


Mrs K is breathing slowly.


Mrs L isn’t breathing. Or moving. Could you pop in some time?




Dr Copperfield


Dr Tony Copperfield is a GP in Essex. You can email him at and follow him on Twitter @DocCopperfield.

Readers' comments (9)

  • Let common sense prevail


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  • Absolutely brilliant - says it all.

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  • I'm worried about Mrs D. What colour are her stools?
    Usual brilliant insightfulness with generous dollop of vitriol and humour. Don't retire please(at least not before I do)!

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  • Peter Swinyard

    Just thought you'd want to know, doctor. And if I don't tell you I'm not covered....

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  • Brilliantly done!

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  • Class Dr C.

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  • How about "Old Mrs C's daughters who have not seen her since last Boxing Day have just arrived and wish for an update and a chat with her NAMED GP".

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  • Mary is not looking so good today, a bit off colour and she needs some water tablets, the pink ones, mind you the last ones were green.

    By the way Doctor she likes to be called Mary in here but we think that she is is actually called Joyce so we think we found the right record and put this comment here. If it is wrong could you transfer the note to the correct record.

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  • 'as an HCA/named manager,cook I have been told to write angina in Doris' notes because she had some back pain. Matron said that was the only way to get you to see Doris, and to hell with your QoF'

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From: Copperfield

Dr Tony Copperfield is a jobbing GP in Essex with more than a few chips on his shoulder