Having undergone the physical and mental strain of moving I have my reward - not only living in my very own flat but a GP practice with more than one doctor, operating out of a purpose-built surgery.

Yes, the practice with which I was registered for three happy years when I last lived in this particular part of the neighbourhood was, hurrah, taking patients and, double hurrah, had not shrunk its catchment area so we reside within its patch.

Arriving to register was not like coming home exactly but I noticed all kind of reassuring signs. The practice has about eight doctors, of whom about six seem to be on duty at a time. Several of the doctors are women. (Yes I know it might be thought of as a bit sexist but there are times when a lady only wants to see a lady doctor. Plus it makes perfect sense in an area with large numbers of ethnic minorities.) It opens its doors at 8.30am and shuts at 6.30pm.

Interior design

The passage of time since I last walked through its wheelchair accessible doors means that perhaps the interior is looking a bit tired - are beige seats compulsory in waiting areas? - and the patients are not looking any more cheerful, but we won't hold that against the GPs.

The practice has several nurses and does a bunch of clinics. There is a machine that allows you to book in without having to queue at the desk and another one that tells patients to go through to the doctors, which saves receptionists having to bellow out the name of the next patient. Interestingly I also noticed that among the stop smoking and antenatal clinic posters was one for the British Medical Association save our surgery campaign.

Although I have not yet been in a position to test if convenient appointments are available at short notice (or, indeed, at all), there are no weekend clinics and I am going to have to wait four weeks for my initial registration appointment with a nurse, at this point I will be grateful for small mercies. For after filling in my registration form I had a look at the practice's catchment area courtesy of a map on the wall... The street I have moved to is just one away from where the catchment area ends.