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At the heart of general practice since 1960

How a time machine could solve the problems of general practice

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I pretty much uniformly hate most modern technology. IPads, tablets, slabs whatever, you can keep them all as far as I’m concerned, I just can’t see the attraction. Although it’s beyond the scope of this rant, I also fail to understand why, when you can buy a digital camera that fits in the palm of your hand, people choose to take photos with something not dissimilar in dimensions to the screen at their local cinema.

I’d love to travel back to around the end of January 1966 with a large box of fire crackers

Having said that, if anybody does ever invent a time-machine I will be camping out all night on Oxford Street to buy one.

I think I’d choose a retro-model made to look like the Doctor Who Tardis and have it installed in the corner of our waiting room.

It would be fantastic:

Patient screaming at receptionist, insisting on being seen even though they are an hour late for their appointment? No problem, just pop in the Tardis and dial back 60 minutes and we can start your appointment at its allotted time.

Patient wanting me to examine a skin lesion on her knee, but dressed in tight leather trousers and knee-high lace-up boots that it would take a professional costume team half a day to extract her from? Not an issue - jump in the little blue phone box and we’ll send you back to when you were about to get dressed this morning and you can put on loose tracksuit bottoms and slip on shoes.

Patient with a broken hand sustained during drunken brawl? Hop in here and we’ll go back to when you’d finished your fourth pint, just before you started the shots challenge. You can say goodnight, get a taxi home and wake up in your own bed rather than a police cell, with all your bones intact.

I imagine A&E departments could make good use of a time travelling device also, especially for some of those more embarrassing problems: that is a very unfortunate accident. Now we could call the surgeons, but alternatively our revolutionary time travel pod could send you back to when you were doing the vacuuming wearing just a bath robe and allow you to reflect if you could have done anything differently.

Personally though I’d love to travel back to around the end of January 1966 with a large box of fire crackers and create one almighty cacophony in the street outside a certain Mr and Mrs Hunt’s house just as they are getting in the mood.

Dr David Turner is a GP in west London

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Readers' comments (6)

  • Why don't we just turn back time to when consultants and Matron ran the hospital, doctors were respected and there were no managers in sight. Oh and people had more manners and less 'rights'.

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  • There was no such Halcyon time, it was slave labour then. 80 hour weekends with no sleep.
    1:2 rotas often 1:!, 168 hour weeks and so on.
    There was more respect, less litigation but also less sleep. I remember becoming a GP and getting 3-4 hours sleep in a weekend of call.
    NO THANK YOU.
    Fix the present if we can. If we cannot, Indian doctors will be there to do it. No Problems.

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  • Hahaha... the cacophony idea seems perfect! Lol.

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  • Wrong ! Jeremy Hunt is not of human woman born.

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  • Anonymous | GP Partner09 Apr 2016 10:10am

    There was no such Halcyon time, it was slave labour then. 80 hour weekends with no sleep.

    Agree completely - the work was different but I remember days where I never ate when working ion hospital because I never had the time to go to the canteen and I was on for 24 hours a day. Also paid at one third normal rate for overtime. I think the job is harder now but the hours are certainly better and the rewards more appropriate. Don't get dragged back to a rose tinted past - I am glad I did it but I don't think it is feasible these days.

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  • Admiral Sir Nicholas and Lady Hunt

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