So 12 primary care trusts are getting additional cash to fund a new GP practice per patch. And my PCT is not among them. (Although a neighbouring London PCT is. Is GP access alone enough of a reason to move to the 'burbs? Hmm.)
Now I fully understand as a responsible HSJ staffer that of our 152 PCTs there are a fair few that could be considered under-doctored and there is only so much cash to go round.
But oh, readers, as a member of the NHS-using public my heart had leapt - if only for a minute or two until I read the list of those getting the cash - at the thought of having more choice of GP. Because my experiences of finding a doctor have not been heartening.
First off, hoping to use those carefully cultivated contacts so beloved of us journalists, I rang someone who both works for the NHS and lives close to my new pad and knows its health services better than I do. Is there a decent GP practice in the vicinity taking patients, I asked. They laughed out loud. Why don't you stick with your old GP? they asked. Because I have already told them I have moved. Why on earth did you do that? Because honesty is the best policy and should I need a GP, I don't want to have to get on two buses to see them, I huffed. So much for insider knowledge.
So with few options I went to what I thought was the only GP who would have me. You are not in our catchment area, they said, consulting a rather worn list of street names (bear in mind this place is seven minutes' walk from my house). But there aren't any other GP surgeries round here, I wailed.
Yes there is: Dr D- around the corner, they replied. Well, by now I was thoroughly perplexed as that is part of a neighbouring PCT, but ours is not to reason why, etc. The receptionist there, after consulting an even more worn piece of paper, confirmed that we do indeed squeeze into their catchment zone (this place is five minutes' walk from my doorstep).
But they were not taking new patients until this month (not sure why, maybe the doctor is not a winter person). So as I write, so long as I can find my NHS number and proof of address, we are going along tomorrow morning in a bid to register. I will report on progress next time.