Well, not having a good day today.
Have had two rather shocking but totally unrelated letters.
The first is that my entire GP practice (three partners) have resigned! They are going in January, with NHS England working to put “interim measures” in place, until “a more permanent solution” can be found.
The letter is from the partners themselves, and they’ve been quite reserved about the exact reasons, but the long and the short seems to be: “It’s getting too difficult to run a doctor’s surgery.”
This is absolutely scandalous! I would have been upset if only my own doctor was leaving, but would have felt relatively confident about switching to either of the others, both of whom I’ve seen from time to time. One of them I did not hit it off with at first, but since I’ve been diagnosed with something serious, she’s been much, much better - I no longer bear the “Whiny middle-aged woman” stigma. But anyway, all that’s irrelevant now, as the whole damn lot are going. Very concerned about continuity of treatment, and specifically whether all my medication will continue to be approved, as not all doctors agree about all of it. I had found one who was sympathetic, and treated me as responsible, and largely able to exercise my own judgement. Obviously, whoever I get won’t know me, so won’t have built up the picture that I’m sensible and conservative with meds. I’m worried I’ll go back to being treated like a child, and they’ll be trying to get me off stuff or to cut down.
Then, as if that wasn’t shitty enough news for one day, the next envelope had an ominous looking solicitor’s logo on it. I knew they weren’t writing to offer me a job, as it’s years since I even put out any feelers in that direction.
So: “Oh dear, who is alleging I’ve done what?”
It turns out I’m wanted as a witness in a case of a contested will.
I was a witness to the original will. An innocent favour I did for a neighbour and his mother (witness the latter’s will) has just blown up in my face, as one of the family has contested the will, and I’m now being asked a whole load of questions about it.
It’s not a court summons, but I’ve got to reply in detail, in writing, to a number of very specific questions “at my earliest possible convenience”, including how did I know the testator, how long had I known her, did I discuss the terms of the will with her, did she make any representation as to why she was doing what she was doing, did she know she was making a will, did I know of any health issues that may be affecting her, did she say anything that could be considered evidence of confusion, blah, blah, blah…
It was four bloody years ago! I can’t remember what the old lady said, although if it had seemed odd, I’m sure I’d have remembered.
I do remember that the terms of the will were quite controversial and divisive (in my opinion), so in a way, I’m not surprised a challenge has arisen. But like I need this - for doing someone a favour!
Usually, witnessing a document for a colleague or neighbour is just a formality, to confirm you were present and saw it - that there were no guns etc. You do not generally expect a detailed interrogation about everything you can recall, years later.
I thought at first it was going to be a nice letter, and that someone had left me a surprise legacy (all headed up “Last Will and Testament”, and all that). For a fleeting moment, I thought: “How kind, that somebody remembered me.” Fat chance!