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The modern out-of-hours monster

The doctor picks up his leather consulting bag, filled with beautifully handcrafted instruments.

He kisses his wife and children goodbye and heads off, wearing a crisply ironed shirt, into the gloom. He sits by flickering candlelight next to a sickly child, mopping her feverish brow and perusing his materia medica into the early hours. He is austere, his face lined with years of fatherly concern and he performs his art with unhurried gravitas…

The reality of out-of-hours care is a little different. It's a modern-day monster – flabby, hairy, consumerist and many-bellied. It belches, pukes and heaves its pasty, fornicating body to the nearest drop-in centre where it vomits its petulant demands onto the laps of the public servants. If it could have drive-thru medicine for even greater convenience it would! Its expectation of the world is that everything should be in farting distance and that on no account should anything even vaguely annoy it... ever.

Dr Kevin Hinkley

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