Andy Mitchell from Radio Wave

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I don’t know about you, but when I feel ill, like most blokes it’s like the end of the world and I just want to know what’s up with me and to get it put right quickly.

To get to the stage where we have actually acknowledged that we need help, is the end of a few tortuous weeks of trying to sort it ourselves and denying there’s anything wrong at all.

“See your GP!” is the persistent advice from all around. Now, Have you ever tried to get an appointment with your doctor? Such is the demand on a system that insists on only operating office hours, that you’d probably have more luck trying to book front row seats for Neil Diamond the night before the show.

The NHS says our A & E departments are themselves under immense pressure as the whole nation arrives on their doorstep every morning asking that somebody treats them/saves them or at least gets around to SEEING them.

Cue then the NHS’s own telephone advice service 111, a sort of Noel Edmonds phone line for those who might not want to mither the A & E department, certainly can’t get to see a GP when they need one, but not unreasonably want more than a 50/50 chance of surviving until at least breakfast time.

These well meaning people on the end of the line, can of course, only do so much when it comes to a bit of spot diagnosis at a distance, the only clues being the patient’s appraisal of what’s going on. Hardly surprising then that to cover all bases and to make sure no one inadvertently drops dead, the best advice is probably to report to A & E where they can been seen along with everyone else.

If you strip all this back, it strikes me that if people could get to see their GP when they want (within reason), we might be in a position where the whole nation wasn’t turning up at the hospital worried, in some cases needlessly, but sometimes you only need to be told THAT to feel better.

In the 21st century we need weekend and evening GP appointments to cope with our modern lives. Fund that, and they’ll solve the crisis.