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NHS chief confronted by ‘entertaining’ GP receptionist

NHS chief executive, Sir David Nicholson, has described how he was almost turned away by an overeager receptionist when he came to register with her practice.

Sir David spoke of his 'entertaining' experience at the hands of the reception staff at a GP practice in Bedfordshire at the Commissioning Live conference in London yesterday.

The receptionist initially refused to register him as a patient, and corrected Sir David - the most important NHS manager in the NHS - when he said it was his 'choice' to register there.

Speaking at the public meeting, he explained: 'I've moved house, as it happens, and been through that process of changing GPs. I don't know if you have been through that process before, it is an entertaining and interesting process... in lots of ways!'

'I saw the woman on reception and said I'd moved into the area and I wanted to register with the GP. Her response was, "Where do you live?"; "Broom" I said. "Oh. I think that's out of our area," she replied.'

'I looked at her bemusedly. Then a chap a got up and said "I live in Broom and I'm registered here", to which she replied, "Yes, but you're a hangover from the past!'"'

On explaining that he'd read all the information about the practice and it was his 'choice' to register there, the receptionist cried out: 'Don't use that word, the doctor doesn't like it!'

After requesting to speak to the practice manager who was initially 'too busy in a meeting' to speak to the chief executive, the matter was resolved: 'As it happened the practice has taken me on and I am very happy with it,' he said.