Our town and village doctors surgeries, were replaced with a PFI monstrosity in a shiny new building. I had a spiky golf ball on the side of my throat, and was beginning to find I could not open my mouth properly. I rang, and it turns out my registration with the health centre is not complete so I was to use the walk in centre.

I walked into the walk in centre, to be told they were closed for lunch all day and would be back at 3. I dutifully returned to be barked at by a receptionist who was unable to see me in front of him, and I filled in a form. While I waited I watched adverts for car insurance and breast implants. Apparently the screen was provided ‘free’ by Lifechannel.

I saw the doctor, and she asked if I had ever had problems with my throat. I explained I had had a period of glandular fever, had been hospitalised by tonsilitis, had had a quinsy which nearly killed me, and an infection that laid me out for four months which started in my throat. I explained I needed to maintain mobility in my mouth, in case my breathing was obstructed or I found myself unable to access help, which had happened before.  I was given anti-biotics and directions to the chemist to buy the painkillers I needed. I got a Boots voucher with my prescription…

I laughed with a woman in the pharmacist about healthcare stripped to the bone and we wondered if the barrier in the surgery was where they would place the till…

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