Thursday 10 July 2008


Today I was, for the first time in ages, genuinely astonished by two patients.

Not their presentations. Not their diagnosis. Not their comorbid physical illnesses and idiosyncartic polypharmacy. Not their narratives, experiences and lives. I see weird and interesting everyday, it was something unexpected and unusual and wholly incomprehensible that thoroughly disarmed me.

Two elderly patients have moved house and relocated to this patch, purely to get what they think will be better psychiatric care. I could be flattered, instead I have just incredulity and feel perplexed. Good grief, life shouldn't have to be like this for folk! You move your home just to get what you reckon will be better NHS health care!?



Cat said...

I wouldn't have even considered it - but then, I'm (relatively!) young and haven't needed medical care for anything other than fewer-than-five stitches or the odd chest infection for the last 30 years. I might think differently if I were older. I think if I were moving anyway, and in poor health, it could be one factor that I might consider - but to actually move house on that basis - it's hard to believe.
Mind, people do the same for children's schools which is another thing I can't really understand so if you'll do it for one, then why not the other...

Jobbing Doctor said...

This is actually quite common in General Practice.

Some people will actually come into the Jobbing Doctor's surgery and ask for a map of the practice area.

They then take it to the estate agent and say that they want a house in the practice area.

Shrink, you should be flattered. It is a sign of being a really good doctor. It rarely happens to consultants, so bask in the warm feeling.

You, and your posts, suggest that you would have been a really good GP.

A great compliment.

Disillusioned said...

I would consider it. In fact, were I to be in the position of relocating, then provison of mental health services (with ratings as well as the experiences of others) would be a major consideration for me.
Not sure whether I would actively move house to obtain service - but I think I probably would. I certainly made sure my new house was still in the practice area of my current GP when I moved 5 years ago.

The Shrink said...

Hmmm, still bemused by this.

"You, and your posts, suggest that you would have been a really good GP."
Sadly, I know otherwise!

XE said...

Oh dear oh dear. However, I know that it is very much true in Canada as well -- people move cities in order to get better health care quite often, sad as it is.

dutchdoctor said...

Couldn't you tell your postcode. When I would stay in your country till I'm old ,I might want to do the same.

The Secret Life of a Manic Depressive said...

I did. I moved from one borough to another because the standard of care I received was so bad. Straight out of a mental ward people threw drugs at me and didn't care. I moved borough, got a good CPN, a good doctor and a good therapist.

David said...

Interesting... where do we find these league tables? :-) ... itchy feet.

Off Topic:

I hope you don't mind, I complimented your comment over at Mental Nurse on my blog. If you'd rather not be associated then please let me know forthwith...

... and apologies for letting you know through a comment, I couldn't find a contact email etc etc yawn...

I enjoy reading your stuff very much. :-)