What a load of shocking (and stressful) stuff from the postman!

Thanks Hazel,

I am fine with wording letters - I trained as a solicitor myself - so I will be able to do it OK. It’s just the nause of having to, really - plus unwillingly becoming a party to someone else’s family dispute.

I think it’s that, more than it just being chore to have to dredge up stuff from years ago and write it all down. You don’t mind as much if it’s a positive thing you’re doing, but when you feel you - a neutral party - are getting dragged into someone else’s private shit, it’s not a great feeling. :frowning:

So sorry I’ve not been in touch by the way - you can see how on top of the letter-writing thing I am - NOT. :wink:

Off to watch French zombies now (“The Returned”). Love that!




I cannot comment on the will business - Tina has a much better knowledge of the area than I do.

The GPs going is another matter.

Most developers of large housing projects usually have to provide more than just roads by way of “Infrastructure”. Often this means that they put in schools (usually primary), small shopping precincts and the like, and health centres. I am going to assume that the three GPs have resigned from the NHS. So, they are probably going to walk away from a leased building, and theoretically take all the bits and bobs with them. The big problem as I see it is the records.

Ols NHS records were on paper.
Modern ones are on computer - and usually “talk” to the local District Hospital…
If the GPs own the computer system, who owns the records?

It may be that they expect the NHS to get someone like Care UK to run a GP service in the same premises, and hope to sell the computer system to whoever takes over.
If this does not happen, they can walk away from a valuable asset - leaving the records behind, or
They can take the system with them which would put them in the position of holding records that did not belong to them.

I am sure that they will have thought this through (well, fairly sure), but this could happen to a lot of us.
But one other thought comes to mind, do they have any staff?

Do let us know what happens, Tina.


That is an interesting one, Geoff.

Yes, the three partners were (for the time being, still are) NHS doctors - it’s an NHS practice.

I do not know who owns equipment and facilities in such cases.

I know the partners certainly have some say - and presumably budgetary control - over what gets purchased, because, in my former employment with a large IT company, we were encouraged - most improperly, I thought - to approach our GPs next time we were in there, with a view to drumming up interest in an IT system “we” (not me personally) had developed.

I never did it, of course. I thought it was completely outrageous to suggest that employees, however loyal to the company, try to use their relationship with their doctor as a sales lead! Besides, even if I had thought it a great idea, I hardly think the typical doctor’s appointment is conducive to presenting a business proposition.

Casually over a drink is a lot different to potentially being in a state of undress, with some implement in you! We - particularly the women (I need not elaborate on the sort of routine checks we women have) just had a good laugh at the total incongruity of attempting to initiate a sales talk from such a…position.

Anyway, that’s by-the-by. I just know the doctors must make IT purchasing decisions, otherwise we wouldn’t have been encouraged to try it.

But, by the same token, I assume it cannot be a complete free-for-all, otherwise how could the NHS ensure minimum specifications are met, that the equipment and software chosen is compatible with the systems it may have to integrate with (e.g. at the hospital), and so on?

So I do not know how it works.

I am quite sure the doctors do not own the patient data - the NHS does. And that is another reason why there must be some system of approved suppliers and equipment, so that data protection requirements are met, and also so that data does not get “stranded” on proprietary systems that are incompatible with anyone else’s. It simply would not do that each surgery builds its own system - as idiosyncratic as they like - and then the data is just trapped there.

I am sure all this must be addressed in any handover plan, and that it wouldn’t be something nobody has thought of. Either the doctors get to keep the kit - after all the data has been safely migrated to a replacement system - or else they sign it over to whoever takes over, and are reimbursed. If it were me, I’m sure I’d rather have the money. Do many people want to keep the probably now ageing kit they had where they last worked?

In the short term (and very much reading between the lines), it’s looking as if the NHS will parachute in agency staff to keep it running.

What sounds more ominous is the longer term, when they are talking about “consulting with patients” to reflect their needs.

Er…we need a doctor’s surgery. Everyone knows what one of those is. Call me paranoid, but “consultation” sounds like: “How we can get away with closing it?”

Oh, and yes, they do have staff. At least a couple of associate doctors - only part-time, I think. Two or three reception staff, and at least one practice nurse - but she may also be part-time, perhaps rotating round different local surgeries, a day at each. I do not think they have a nurse in full-time attendance, but I may be wrong.


Hi Tiina, our GP surgery has recently had staff retire and new ones in.

My own GP had been with them for 26 years! She was good in her treatment and sometimes rang me out of the blue about various treatments etc. She rang to tell me she was leaving…very good I thought, as she was always busy. I rarely went to see her, it was more common for me to have telephone appointments.

She told me she had made sure my notes were up to date and clearly explained so her replacement would know me as best she could. I felt priviledged that this had been carefully done.

My new GP is part-time and job sharing. I`ve only spoken to her once and she sounded nice.

Having gone through so much with my old GP, it feels odd she has handed me over to someone else. But needs must and all that.

Your situation is quite different of course. Do you think they are trying to close the surgery? But where on earth will you all go?

Worrying in deed!

luv Pollx

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I’ve lost count of the documents I’ve witnessed over the years - thankfully none have been contested (yet).

I do find myself in a similar position to you Anitra - my brilliant GP has retired [KHHHAAAAAAAAAN!], as have two of his colleagues (they were all much of the same age) and the practice has employed a string of locums, a couple of really good ones that I hope will be taken on full time, some not so great, and one to whom the riot act was read to on why I was prescribed my current cocktail of medications and told in no uncertain terms that no - she was not the one to decide whether they were necessary or not. I shock my Mother constantly with the way in which I question the thinking and motives of medical professionals - in my view, yes they are medical professionals, but they don’t have to live in my body.

Good luck with the new GPs Anitra - hope you get some good ones.

Thank you Theresa - yes, when we think of all the documents we may have witnessed for people over the years, it’s quite shocking to think that any of them could be the subject of an investigation, isn’t it?

Of course, I knew it was theoretically possible, but you don’t, in your heart of hearts, really expect trouble later, do you?

I suppose I could have foreseen in, because the old lady’s will was divisive (just my opinion), and certainly not the way we do things in our family - but equal division is not necessarily the fairest or only way to write a will. Just because I thought: “Ooh dear, I wouldn’t have done that!” doesn’t mean she didn’t have her reasons.

Anyway, got the letter to the solicitor out of the way last night kept it as neutral as possible (aware it might find its way to my neighbour’s solicitor, for his response).

Avoided saying anything that implied I had concerns (even if I did…slightly). I wasn’t asked to comment on the “undue influence” aspect (Thank goodness for that!), but only on whether I observed, or had any reason to believe, the testator was ill, or confused or anything. I could only report that she didn’t say or do anything odd (she didn’t!), and all seemed OK to me. They wanted to know how I knew that she knew she was making a will. Well technically, I didn’t of course. But just because someone is old, you don’t assume they’re gaga, and ask: “Now are you sure you know what this is?”, do you?

I was concerned it was all a bit stage-managed by her son - but then she was an old lady - she depended on him for a lot. I wouldn’t expect her to be able to organise her own will-signing, and pick witnesses etc. without cooperation from family. Where is the boundary between “helping”, that anyone would do for their mum, and undue influence? She shouldn’t have had to sort it all out by herself, but it probably shouldn’t have been sorted by the person who got the biggest bequest, either. If they hadn’t tried to save a few bob on a solicitor, this probably wouldn’t have happened, as he or she would have made sure it wasn’t open to allegations of impropriety.


Anyway, it’s all a great shame. I’ve no wish for it to sour things with my neighbour (though I don’t think I’ve said anything that drops him in it), and I’m upset for the old lady’s sake, that there are all these shennanigans after she’s gone. So much for: “Rest in Peace”.

As for the doctors thing, it’s business as usual until January, but after that, I don’t know who we’ll get, and it sounds as if even that is only expected to be a tide-over, until someone decides what’s going to happen.

Yes, I will have to stand up for myself, if anyone questions why I’m on all the stuff I’m on - and have been almost since diagnosis - I’ll have to tell them: “Look I’ve got an incurable condition - who are you to challenge how I’ve been managing it for the past five years?”

It is not the most convenient doctor’s for me (actually, none of them are convenient, for anyone who doesn’t drive), so I’ve been thinking about moving for some time. My excellent relationship with my existing GP has been the main reason I’ve never done it. But if I can’t keep her anyway, what’s special about that surgery any more?

I’ve researched other surgeries in the area. The one that’s got super-dooper ratings from the CQC and excellent feedback from patients is still a pain in the bum to get to (15 minute walk and NO public transport option - I’m aware my mobility is likely to deteriorate).

The other one, that is on a bus route, has yet to be assessed by the CQC, and has negative feedback from patients - average two stars out of five! So that’s not very encouraging, on either count - no independent review, and patients say it’s crap. But do I settle for that because I can get there, and it’s not 15 minutes walk each way, in all weathers?

Obviously, I’d like to go to the super-dooper one - excellent ratings for care, compassion, and management of long-term conditions - almost everything, in fact. But how long will I still be able to do the 15-minute walk? I can still do it at the moment - indeed, much better on a good day. But I won’t say it isn’t an obstacle. Choosing to do your 15-minute walk in the park, on a nice sunny day, is a lot different to having to do it, whether you want to or not, on a day you’re already not well, and it could be bucketing.