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by Our GP partner in practice
12 March 2009

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Noah meets Hendrix in general practice

Now I know how Noah must have felt. I suppose I shouldn’t overplay my role, but there has certainly been a “nature theme” to February.

Our practice recently went to the council for premises planning approval. The pressure groups were out in force – Natural England, Save our Derelict Victorian Buildings and The Water Vole and Bat Protection League.

Here’s where the Noah analogy begins. We must assess the roof of the derelict building for bats. What the batty group don’t realise is that the building we hope to convert has no roof, so there will, in all probability, be no bats, although I’m no expert.

The water voles however pose problems. We need to pay a man £750 to count voles. Unfortunately, due to the cold temperature of the loosely labelled trickle that is called a stream, the voles won’t come out until the water temperature goes up.

I’m not sure whether the Rats R Us Protection League or the Worms Without Frontiers are aware of our proposal. If the water voles do indeed live among the disused shopping trollies and plastic bags, I think they deserve recognition – the freedom of the borough seems appropriate.

At home, we have toads. I bet they’re protected too. They emit a liquid that stings your hands (or so I’m led to believe). They’re welcome to our garden. Over the last two years, we’ve had three pigeons, one blackbird and a mouse. Sadly the mouse refused to be trapped humanely and now lives in a different world.

Back at surgery, Choose and Book continues to grow. It’s much loved, and all our reservations have been thrown out.

However, there was a technical problem this week and the PCT sent a team of six to gather around a computer screen to try and decipher what went wrong. Why they couldn’t do this remotely seems odd. In the end, I think the pressure was too much and they disbanded to return another day.

I’ve also finally got my computer log-in time down to less than five minutes. With a prevailing wind and the right sequence of codes, I’m in!

I had my annual appraisal this week. It’s always a bit nerve-racking. My appraiser is very thorough and offers a “traffic-light approach”: green means good, amber means “needs more work” (essentially you become remedial) and red means “danger” (no progress).

I think I may suggest a fourth way: Jimi Hendrix’s traffic light, the one that “turns blue tomorrow” (as he sings in The Wind Cries Mary). General practice isn’t what it used to be!