No surprise then to read that millions are being wasted on misdiagnosis of blood pressure problems, apparently patients give false indications (white coat syndrome) when present in the doctors surgery or hospital.
It has been suggested by NICE, the organisation that advises the NHS on such matters that rather than rely on testing in the surgery, which is the case for most, that in future, patients should be monitored for 24 hours using a special gizmo designed for the purpose.
Now it seems obvious to me, that patients blood pressure is raised attending surgery, given that medical centre’s appear to be run for the convenience of staff and medics, not consumers, most of us, will have had a hard time getting an appointment, either due to criteria such as “You’ll have to ring in the morning” (to find if lucky enough to get through the telephone lottery, that 5 minutes after office is open there are no appointments) or “is it an emergency” ( you tell me?) etc.
I’m sure many people, in middle age, are subjected to routine blood pressure tests in surgery’s and I just wonder if any of these readings are a true reflection, many tests are done using grubby machines (presumably for cost reasons), placed in waiting rooms, they have, rather optimistic advice, relax and wait 5 minutes, how you relax in a busy thoroughfare is never explained.
I have no illusions about the health service, all those, clichés in TV dramas of caring medics, might have a tenuous link with the truth (who doesn’t want to do a good job in their work), however it seems to me the rather saintly view doesn’t hold water, I used to think that G.P. stood for general practice/practitioner, now I’m not sure it isn’t gross profit.
I don’t think I’ve seen my doctor for some years, its too difficult, earlier in the year I had an ear infection, after two days I saw the out of hours one (job done in three minutes), it seems like a major trauma, to conform to whatever the criteria is for arranging an appointment, this is down to the command economy of the NHS, like most I’ve paid for a service, to which I’m disconnected, as there is no link between service provider and consumer. Everything controlled by well paid Muppets who can go private.
General Practitioners are well paid, and so they should be, although a witless Labour government, probably overdid it on pay and decreases in hours, which explains why if you have some pressing health problem, the chances are you’ll have to see an out of hours doctor, who has kindly flown in from Lithuania for the weekend.
There needs to be some balance between what patients expect and what doctors can deliver, at the moment health industry in the form of the NHS has us consumers by the dangly’s there ought to be some element of rewarding good service or discouraging bad, maybe patients could be required to give marks out of ten, the health authority could then reward.
When I next have to do a blood pressure test, I shall try to relax by thinking happy thoughts, as how things should be and ignore the conversation 3 metres away, as some naive patent tries to arrange with the receptionist, that appointment “next week” which the doctor convinced them was so necessary. Anyway I shall keep taking the tablets.