Monday, 11 September 2006

British NHS humour

Let me warn you.. this is British humour

Modern General Practice.... The monologue....
(GP STARING AT COMPUTER SCREEN. ENTER PATIENT) Hello.... Come on in have a seat.... I know what you�re thinking.... With all that money I�m earning, the least I could give you is a smile and a bit of eye contact but the thing is I only get paid if I do what the computer tells me and according to this you haven�t had a cervical smear for five years.... you don�t want one? Why not? Because you�re a bloke. (LOOKS UP) Ah yes, so you are. Sorry, wrong patient. Ah yes, here you are. Now, I need to do your blood pressure, so if you�d just like to roll up your sleeve....

(GETS OUT BLOOD PRESSURE CUFF AND PUMPS IT UP) This might feel a bit tight.... (LOOKS CONCERNED)... ah... oh... dear.... It�s ever so slightly high. However, I can pretend its 148/88 which means we hit the target or I can give you lots of tablets for life. Which would you prefer? You want me to tell the truth? OK, it�s 190/110 so we�d better get you started on some drugs. (HANDS HIM THE BNF) Here you are....

Chapter 2.... Under the patient choice programme, you get to choose your
own treatment.... there are 158 drugs for blood pressure.... tell me
which ones take your fancy
You�d like some guidance? Well, you can�t have anything on those two pages because they�re too expensive. These are nice.... A sort of bluey-purple colour and easy to swallow.... And these have got little hundreds and thousands in... shall we put you down for one of each, four times a day? Do they work? Good question. If a hundred patients like you took these tablets every day for the next five years, one life would be saved but I don�t know if it�d be yours. Would you still like them? And we can throw in something for your cholesterol too.

You�d like a second opinion? From a cardiologist.... Are you saying you don�t trust me? Fair enough, would you like to go to Bristol, Bath or New Delhi? Where would I recommend? I�m not here to recommend, I�m just here to help you exercise your choice as a patient. Here�s a booklet with lots of coloured dots on to help you. (HANDS OVER BOOKLET) You can�t go there....they�re full for the next 18 months.... They�re shutting the department and that one�s for private patients only. That�s been turned into offices, that one has sacked all its staff and that one�s been relocated to Inverness. So it�s either Animal Hospital, Holby City or me. You�ll stick with me.... Excellent.

That�s your ten minutes I�m afraid.. Oh, you haven�t told me why you came to see me. Your dog died.... And she was the only friend you had left in the world? I�m so sorry.... (BACK TO COMPUTER) I�ve just got to find the correct code for that.... Hang dog... dog.... Dog bite?..... Dog Breath?..... Doggie fashion? How about I just put it under diabetes and we can bang on another couple of drugs to keep your sugar level down. So that�s fifteen tablets a day, every day for the rest of your life.... Do they go well together?.... Not really no. That one brings your blood pressure down and that one pushes it back up again.... What you could do is mix them altogether, sprinkle them on your porridge and it�ll keep your blood pressure at exactly the same level as it was before you started taking tablets in the first place.

I know it�s ridiculous.... All this extra NHS money is going on prescribing dozens of drugs that you�re never going to remember to take. And if you do take them, they�ll only make you fall over. Tell you what... how about I rip up the prescription and we spend the money on buying you a new dog. It�ll bring your blood pressure down, give you friendship and unconditional love and make you healthier than any drug could ever do. You like the idea of that! Excellent. (HANDS OVER BOOK) Well here you are then... there are 726 breeds to choose from.... But you can�t have a Labradoodle - that�s for Chew Magna patients only....

You�re Brislington.... So that�s bull terrier or bust....

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