Friday, October 5, 2007

A Gripe about GPs

Sorry Drs Rant and Crippen … this is really not about GPs in general and it’s not a "formal" complaint – it is about a silly little mistake by our GP practice which was resolved easily and would probably have been far more difficult to resolve at a polyclinic without an IT Spine that works.

When our daughter was registered with the NHS and a local GP practice, I am sure her date of birth was a component of the required information. A letter from our consultant at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital to the Senior House Officer at our local hospital, who made the initial diagnosis of leukaemia, was copied to our GP practice. It clearly stated Kezia’s age at the time and that she would need flu jabs each autumn.

She didn’t have one last autumn and I wondered why, thinking the RMCH would organise it as they had advised us that they should take care of all Kezia’s healthcare needs. And, surely, that would be the most logical way of doing it.

But, no, GPs are responsible for flu jabs to all vulnerable groups, including children with leukaemia over the age of two years. And they receive income for each jab given. And, with this motivation, they should advise by mail each member of a vulnerable group about the availability of the vaccine and offer an appointment (fuck it they offered Nanda a cervical smear within a month of registration).

Kezia is now 3 years and 8 months. Our GP practice has on their records that she is 18 months. So they were not going to send a letter! I guess they assumed her age was 0 years when she registered. Now we have an appointment for 31 October thanks to me enquiring of our consultant and my brother having a long telephone call with the GP practice. But Nanda has to produce an official document showing her age. A very very obese 18 months!? Swollen-up by two years on glucortisoids? Hormonal gigantism? Can our nurse practitioners (and doctors – she will surely not see one) no longer estimate the age of a child?


Anyway, John reckons the vaccine won’t really work as her immune system is too depressed to react to it – so where are the clinical trials, guidelines and protocols for giving flu vaccines (or any vaccine for that matter) to a child with a low White Blood Count?

Back to Darci’s interim report … yawn.

1 comment:

John said...

I think you'll find there aren't many drugs that have been "clinically trialed" for use in children
1.there isn't the market (Drug Co's only do thing to make money) insurance company in their right mind will indemnify a drug company - too many variables etc etc
3.Ethically - its a nightmare
it'ss only years of experience and use, that gives us drug dosages.
I work in neonates, only one drug is licensed for use in this patient group, but we use others "off license"
Why - becasue we have no choice