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Independents' Day

Dinah's had it with Choose and Book – but may have a new cure for sinusitis


Surgery – block an hour for admin; funding now available for PBC chair role but need to go through PCT application process. Spend ages filling in form online, so many detailed questions – ethnicity, religion, what are my disabilities (how many can I think of!)?

Also computer keeps crashing as new antivirus software scanning every two minutes so put it aside as a treat for the evening…Interrupted by staff – phone system has gone down in surgery, they are trying to run the place with the spare mobile (thought it was quiet!) but battery running low; can they use mine? Suddenly phones start ringing, tidal wave of patients appears at front door. Cancel PCT meeting and dive in. Generate a few outpatient referrals but run reasonably to time, probably because we've abandoned Choose and Book. Final patient is new to the area, asking to register, but then demands a methadone prescription which I refuse to provide. Get home late. Forget about application, give me chardonnay.


Fourteen-year-old comes down with URTI so leave him in bed and go to PCT – early start to catch up on yesterday's emails. Hardly booted up when call from surgery; left my mobile there, it keeps ringing, could it be anything important? Rush over to find missed calls from son who thinks he's dying.

He ate a handful of what he thought were peanuts and mouth almost burst into flames, now his eyes are watering but his sinusitis is much better. Oh no – the wasabi beans! My favourite snack but not generally appealing to others. Recommend cold water and a long X-box session; should do the trick.Some hours later struggle home via Tesco. Son is still alive and it appears we have found a new cure for sinusitis. Eventually settle at computer with glass of wine to look at application form again. Questions! What is my sexuality? I didn't realise there were so many choices.


Surgery – see drug addict again, this time complaining about blocked nose. Consider recommending wasabi beans but he only wants methadone. Probably just as well as I'm sure wasabi would be highly unpleasant if injected.

Need urgent tea but receptionist is busy filling in long-winded online form. Is she applying for a job with the PCT too? Not at all – it's the new ambulance booking form.Apparently transport can only be provided after an intensive booking process and multiple choice questionnaire, but they still can't get you there before 9.30. Note: PBC group – look at private transport service. Put kettle on for tea.

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

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