The NHS reforms

It’s 8.30am. I ring up the surgery to make an appointment with my GP. The line’s engaged. I try again. And again. Eventually, at 8.40am, I get through.

‘No, I’m afraid she hasn’t got any appointments left today,’ says the receptionist.

‘How about tomorrow?’

‘It’s same-day appointments, I’m afraid. You have to ring at 8.30am tomorrow if you want to see her tomorrow.’

I think about this. ‘Are you telling me,’ I say, ‘that all her appointments for any given day disappear in the ten minutes between half past eight and twenty to nine?’

‘She’s very popular,’ says the receptionist.

I’m not entirely sure what the new NHS reforms are all about. But I do hope the GPs at my surgery are better at grappling with enormous health budgets than organising a simple appointments system.

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