So I registered with a new GP. Once I had finally found one it was a pleasantly pain-free experience.
The receptionists are not too scary, although they seem to perform appropriately as guard dogs to the doctors' services. (I was privy to one end of some fascinating conversations, including one about when a patient would be fertile. Too much information, for a Wednesday morning.)
The waiting room is unlikely to be featured in Elle Deco any time soon, but looked clean enough. I got a morning appointment to see the nurse easily and have hopes of being able to get evening and earlyish morning appointments. Time will tell.
I do feel calling itself a clinic might be a slight exaggeration; there are limits to what one nurse and one GP can achieve, after all. Which brings me to my primary concern with the place. I would love to find somewhere with more than one doctor. What if they get hit by a bus or you don't like them? I once had a GP who made me cry but I still had to go back to him a week later.
Fingers crossed, anyway. At least if I have to visit them you can be sure I'll find something to tell you about in this column.
Visiting the GP would also give me the chance to see if they have put up one of those British Medical Association 'Save Our Surgery' campaign posters. I am hardly the first person to have noticed that the BMA seems to have lost the plot when it comes to polyclinics. But have they considered some GPs might actually like to move into a shiny new centre with extra facilities for patients? How much fun can it be to run a single-handed practice anyway?
Still on my local area, I have been staggered to see punters drinking lager outside a pub at the stomach churning hour of 9.30am. A quick call to the pub in question confirmed it is indeed licensed to begin selling alcohol at 9am.
I know we are all supposed to be continental these days but there remains a difference between a quick carajillo and sinking pints at 9.30am on a Thursday. With such a set-up, is there much point in fancy graphic-laden TV ads warning us all how many units there are in a pint?