More unpleasant surprises in store

From: FREDERICK E.J. PEACH, Northiam Road, Staplecross

As Rob Nash grows older he may be interested in further unpleasant surprises he will meet in terms of localised medical treatment and advice.

I am in my very late eighties and my wife and I live in Staplecross. At this time we both have full driving licences but as time goes by we may be forced to relinquish them for one medical reason or another.

When this happens I will have no means of getting to my local GP in Northiam or my wife to hers in Battle.

There is no public transport between Staplecross and Northiam or Staplecross and Battle; taxis are almost unheard of and that of which we know is notoriously unreliable.

My GP tells me he knows of no solution to the problem of getting to his surgery without using a car or the assistance of other car-owners. Others tell us that “You can always get a family member, neighbour, friend, whatever, to give you a lift”. This assumes that those mentioned do not work from 9-5, are not in the same boat as us, are resident within a reasonable distance and willing to take us to the surgery and wait while our 3.15 pm appointment is over.

This may, of course, be from 3.15 to 3.25 (“Ten minutes and the clock’s running!”) or more likely your 3.15 appointment may not start until 3.35 and end about 3.50 for one reason or another. There is a ten to one chance that you may be asking your relative/friend/neighbour/whatever to devote the best part of their afternoon to the problem.

How you will dread telling them that the doc has ended your consultation with the words “Come back next week if it hasn’t gone off!”

So there you are. Medically housebound. The days when a quick phone call to your friendly GP would bring him to your house within a reasonable time are seemingly gone forever.

You will be a second-class citizen in terms of General Practice medicine. The only option left to you is to try to cure yourself of your ailments and/or call an ambulance and receive the excellent treatment of our local A&E department.

If your need for GP treatment is a minor accident try bandaging a nasty cut on your right hand with your left while the blood is running down to your socks!

Finally, Rob, the last paragraph of your letter mentioned diagnostics by mobile phone in the future... Rob, it’s here now and was a suggestion seriously put to me by my local surgery.

It’s about time we sought a solution to this and chose the best of past experiences…

I can recall the days when the doctor came when called and was required to use the “Tradesmen” entrance on arrival… happy days.