Last week I was at the RCGP annual conference in Harrogate and a jolly good time it was too, meeting friends old and new and having all the same conversations, with a new case study from Belfast. Even made it to a fine Yorkshire tea at Betty’s.
But the highlight by a mile was when I snuck in to one of the plenaries to hear Kate Allatt give her astonishing story. Surviving a rare brain stem stroke, she told how she worked her way out of locked in syndrome, from being left almost for dead on a hospital ward to taking her first running paces a year later.
We will never know all the ups and downs of that year but what hit home to me was when she was back home and struggling daily with 3 young children on top of everything. In desperate need of help she suffers the usual nightmare of trying to get an appointment with her GP.
“Why can’t I call my GP at any time of day?”
What an utterly reasonable request.
Huge applause for her talk, and I think we were all genuinely moved. We’ve talked since and the common bond is that what Kate sees as utterly reasonable, we know is completely possible (and actually less work). Watch this space!
PS I won’t bore you with the agonies of this job but we have survived five years, and just occasionally there’s a shaft of light. Millbrook Surgery in Somerset launched earlier this year and a patient put this story in the local paper.