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GPs, ever want to throw in the towel?


GPs asked to repair old ladies’ washing machines, a Pulse survey can reveal.

More than one in four GPs have been asked to provide extra services for patients.

GPs said the requests were ‘ridiculous’, and ranged from chasing up in-patient bloods to general plumbing and gutter maintenance.

Asked on several occasions to put together his patients’ Ikea furniture

‘It’s been known for a long time that general practice is the dumping ground for other services’, says a GP representative, ‘but this survey really highlights the breadth and depth of the problem.’

The survey found that 27% of GPs had been asked to repair a washing machine, whilst another 15% were asked to read a gas meter or house-sit for a cat.

A locum GP in Croydon said that he has been asked on several occasions to put together his patients’ Ikea furniture. ‘I’m now a dab-hand at the Angerstroom shelving range, but the Schoongmeister wardrobe with its high impact Banganaarse handles still defies me!’

‘The survey confirms what we already knew’, says the BMA. ‘But everybody knows you need a degree to put Ikea furniture together!’

Dr Kevin Hinkley is a GP in Australia who previously practised in Glasgow and Aberdeen