Dinah has young- person problems until a personal remark goes to her head
Meeting with practice manager – need to update surgery image to go with new building. Headed notepaper agreed, to fit with waiting room colour scheme. Visited by deputation from young people's drop-in centre seeking alternative venue: current base in local nightclub not working as young people who attend can't then pass off as 18+ when they return later for some innocent clubbing.
PBC group: local teenage pregnancy rate still rising despite huge effort of past few years – not to mention bucketloads of cash. What does it take for teenagers to use health services? Recent surgery focus group revealed salient facts: they eat everything in sight (including my lunch), view the world through computers and depend on mobile phones for life support. Funding is available for practices to support access to sexual health services: obvious solution is internet cafe in the practice but we would have to turf physio out of front office and put in extra data line. Need to develop website too – purchased domain name but where do I get FTP software?
Sneaked off for haircut. Hairdresser reports small area of alopecia – horrors!
Is it injudicious application of hair straighteners or, more likely, work-related stress? Hairdresser appalled with my new headed notepaper – gives me number for designer who also does websites.
Text from practice manager: drop-in staff returned to look round front office, forgot that substance misuse worker had been promised space. Interested in joint clinic.
Surgery: eight-weeks-pregnant 17-year-old (forgot three pills) in for third appointment; previously ambivalent but has now decided she wants a termination. Hasn't told parents – all hell let loose last year when her sister had a baby. Choose and Book not available so take mobile number to phone her later.
Home – request kids' advice on young person's clinic. After helpful comments on baldness (mum, it's head lice!) they tell me the country's teenage pregnancy rate hinges on availability of Arctic Monkeys on Wednesday afternoons. Apparently I also need to update my vocabulary ('guys' I can manage but I choke on 'dudes').
I'm also told the waiting room literature is too boring: they say I need Viz. Compromise with OK and drinks machine.
Dinah Roy is a GP in Spennymoor, chair of Sedgefield PBC group and co-PEC chair of County Durham PCT