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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Dinah is unsure whether to embrace the ageing process – or opt for Botox


Late leaving this morning: had a nasty shock first thing – saw myself in the mirror. Those anti-ageing creams are definitely not worth the money. Where is the fresh-faced young doctor I thought I was?

Only Botox can help. Note: phone friendly aesthetic specialist if I have time this morning – can he fit me in this evening? Rifle through daughter's drawers for lip-plumping gloss and rush off.

Surgery – Mr and Mrs D, both in their mid-80s. Mrs is depressed – they haven't been able to go dancing for weeks following her change in bowel habit and his sore hip. I'm astonished they're still staggering around at all – is it because of, or despite, the weekly truckloads of poisonous substances I dish out?

She's frightened, awaiting the results of a two-week referral. She didn't like hospital – 'it's full of old people'. I try to reassure them but they are keen to discuss my latest hairstyle and outfit. Friend's clinic engaged all morning.


PCT – going through requests for 'non-contracted referrals', including people wanting larger or smaller breasts and laser therapy for unwanted hair.

One patient had undergone a 'mini-thigh-lift' but was unprepared for scars visible below her shorts and feels she can never wear a swimsuit again – NHS treatment for the scars was deemed unobtainable because she'd gone privately for the original procedure.

Maybe this cosmetic stuff isn't all it's cracked up to be.


Surgery – Mrs B, an octogenarian, dragged herself in supported by what looked like a small wheelie bin. She'd sprained her wrist opening a jar, despite her vast collection of aids acquired in younger days working in the local hospital.

We reminisced – after all, my first job was as a hospital cleaner. I suggested a day hospital visit. Things were going well – then I realised she thought I was arranging for her to go as a ward helper... Er – well, why not? She needs to be useful.

Never mind the wrinkles – hope I'm as feisty as that at her age.Late appointment – Mrs D from Monday is back, alone (unusual). Turns out the real problem is that they are only having sex once a month. At 85. Drive home musing. Forget the Botox. I can't wait to be 80...

  • Dinah Roy is a GP in Spennymoor, chair of Sedgefield PBC group and co-PEC chair of County Durham PCT

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