Without even really trying, I seem to be edging towards some kind of GP Guinness Book Of Records.
Instead of fattest man, most tattooed woman and person with loudest belch (all genuine records, by the way, and, now I come to think of it, quite likely held by patients on my list), I’ve recently offered you ‘Most Stupid Medical Misconceptions‘ and ‘Longest List Brought by a Patient‘.
So here’s my next entry: Dumbassiest Request for a Visit from a Residential Home. Over the years, we’ve had some monumentally lunatic, ludicrous and laughable requests recorded in the visit book, and so have you, so the competition’s pretty stiff. But this one…
It was my misfortune to be on duty this particular day, but I couldn’t get near the visit book because of the queue of people shuffling past to witness the message: GPs, not only in my partnership but also from other local practices, had heard rumour of this specific visit request and were filing in to pay homage to it, shaking their heads in disbelief and giving a resigned, hollow chuckle as they took it in.
This is what I read when I was eventually able to push my way to the front: ‘Patient has been in hospital for four weeks and just discharged today. Has lost weight so staff would like him checked over.’
As I stood there, my wise senior partner came over to console me and murmured, comfortingly, ‘I’d ring first, if I were you’. Yeah, sure. But it’s difficult to deal with these things over the phone when you’re speechless.
Dr Tony Copperfield is a GP in Essex. You can follow him on Twitter @DocCopperfield