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"George Pig and Dr Brownbear"

(22 Posts)
larrygrylls Mon 01-Aug-11 13:30:58

For those who know this episode, it concerns G Pig catching a cold whereupon Daddy Pig calls Dr Brownbear who:

1/ Answers his own phone politely in well spoken English
2/ Clearly knows and has a good professional relationship with the Pig Family
2/ Comes around to examine the patient and offer reassurance to his family even when there is nothing "seriously wrong.

AIBU in thinking this is much closer to what we should all expect of our GPs rather than what we currently receive for the £250k+ they can take home?

When I read a lot of the health threads, people seem nervous to call their GPs for their children and, when you see advice issued by GPs, they seem to only want to see patients with prolonged and complex problems but who are not sick enough to warrant immediate hospitalisation. With modern guidance on antibiotics, this means they prefer to hardly see children at all (apart from the relatively useless developmental checks and nurses giving vacs, for all of which they are v well remunerated).

It strikes me that one of the roles of a GP is to reassure anxious parents with sick children and to exclude serious causes, even if the parent/patient themselves thinks it is "only a virus". When I was a child we had a "Dr Brownbear" who would often check in on us on his way home if either my brother or I were unwell (and, admittedly, grab a glass of whisky from my parents).

AIBU in thinking medicine is more than a career and should still be a vocation?

BlueCat2010 Mon 01-Aug-11 13:33:02

biscuit

AgentZigzag Mon 01-Aug-11 13:34:05

Dr Brownbear can check my pulse any time he likes.

Sorry, did I just say that out loud? shock

AliGrylls Mon 01-Aug-11 13:34:51

completely LarryG.

sparkle12mar08 Mon 01-Aug-11 13:36:14

I'm sure you don't really believe that all or most doctors can earn £250k as opposed to the very, very, very few. Or at least, I hope you don't. That asides, it's not the doctors who are the problem, it's the system in which they have to work, and for that you need to be looking squarely at the various govts of the past twenty years.

larrygrylls Mon 01-Aug-11 13:38:24

No, I dont. But over half earn 6 figures and 1/10 over £150k, so they are hardly underpaid, especially relative to specialists working in hospitals.

AuntiePickleBottom Mon 01-Aug-11 13:41:57

do you actually watch the programme...i use PP to have some me time on her lol.

but it unrealistic for GP to do home visits just to reassure parents

MrsKwazii Mon 01-Aug-11 13:46:53

Yes, yes the NHS should be modelling GP behaviour on a cartoon character confused

My surgery is great and I often take my children there for diagnosis and reassurance. I normally see one of the practice nurses though which is absolutely fine by me. Doctors are available if needed, but I generally only seem them for my chronic illness and I'm glad that the nurses can free them up to deal with more important issues.

And as for 'answers his own phone in a polite way in well spoken English', are you suggesting that all GPs should answer the phones rather than deal with patients? Or that GPs are now rude? Or may - shock horror - not necessarily be middle class or are, perhaps, forrin shock biscuit

larrygrylls Mon 01-Aug-11 13:53:52

The point is a serious one but not meant to be taken literally! I am not expecting home visits for a cold but, equally, I don't feel that people should be agonising about whether to take a clearly sick child to see the doctor or that doctors should not want to examine the sick, even if generally there is little they can do other than offer reassurance.

AnotherJaffaCake Mon 01-Aug-11 13:58:22

I think Dr Brownbear is certainly a very old fashioned doctor, probably modelled on the sort of doctor the writers remember from their childhood. I remember in the town I grew up in there were only two elderly doctors who had surgeries in their own homes. They were happy to come out for home visits to anyone who needed them to do so. They were very caring and kind.

That was in the 70's, right at the end of that type of doctor. A couple of years on they had both retired, and a new medical centre had been built and so began the type of medical care we know now - often not seeing the same doctor for each appointment. I don't think that is necessarily a bad thing though, as some GPs are better at dealing with some types of problems than others. My daughter has an eating disorder and there's no way we'd have got the help we have if we'd been to see our registered GP as he's not a particularly sympathetic person, but one of the female GPs at the surgery immediately spotted there was a problem.

squeaver Mon 01-Aug-11 14:00:34

Ha Ha, you are Liz Jones!

Panzee Mon 01-Aug-11 14:01:53

I assumed that Daddy Pig had excellent insurance to afford that kind of care. Even Peppa got two visits for a minor rash.

MrsKwazii Mon 01-Aug-11 14:02:02

But if there is little they can do what is the point of them seeing sick children? And there's a big gap between saying - yes they have a cold - to checking for meningitis or other serious illness.

I don't recognise the attitude you've painted from my own experience, but feel sorry if there are people that don't feel supported by their surgery. I still feel that your telephone comment in your OP was rather hmm

MrsKwazii Mon 01-Aug-11 14:04:38

Previous point should have said that there is little point in seeing children with common illnesses that can be readily diagnosed and treatment given by other healthcare professionals. Obviously they see some sick children, but if GPs spent all their time on 'reassurance watch' who'd see everybody else?

Even I see the practice nurses for minor things. I rarely really need to see my GP.

GwendolineMaryLacey Mon 01-Aug-11 14:06:26

Well we never had a dr brownbear. My mother had to fight to get a dr out to me when I was very little and had a very bad case of measles. As soon as he saw me he went apeshit at how ill I was but he absolutely didn't want to come out.

Guildenstern Mon 01-Aug-11 14:19:21

Every time I see an episode with Dr Brownbear I start muttering and grumbling.

A doctor doing a home visit? I am not able to willingly suspend my disbelief that far.

TattyDevine Mon 01-Aug-11 14:22:31

He's clearly in breach of current pharmeceutical guidelines, giving medicine for a cough.

Unless it was a placebo grin

Damn that pig show it is the root of all evil in society.

MrsKwazii Mon 01-Aug-11 14:26:07

Tatty grin

superjobee Mon 01-Aug-11 14:29:14

DD used to take fever fits and one morning she had a really high fever, was lethargic and wouldnt settle after calpol and was drenched in sweat. we went straight to the doctors with DD still in her jamas and almost delusional for the receptionist to say ''is it an emergency?'' no fuckwit i thought i'd bring my sweaty baby out in her jams at lunchtime for the fun of it!!! stupid woman.

the doctor was great DD was given antibiotics and was fine within days but that bloody receptionist.. angry

cheekeymonkey Mon 01-Aug-11 14:30:03

Dr Brownbear had to make a home visit, it could have been Swineflu! grin

larrygrylls Mon 01-Aug-11 16:09:39

Reassurance is also excluding serious things.

And, GPs do seem to have the time to see a lot of well patients. Surely, if they want to be efficient they would not have to:

1/ Do every child development check. They actually call us up to do these, even when we have absolutely no concerns.

2/ See healthy women every 3 months to represcribe contraceptives. Surely the checks they do (bp etc) could be delegated to a nurse.

My personal worst was our doc's receptionist who, at 1pm, offered us a 5pm appointment for our then 5 week old baby who was lethargic, would not feed and was hard to wake up. Luckily we knew better and took him in to A&E, where he ended up admitted to PICU for a couple of days. But what if we had not known better and taken her at her word? He might have died. Surely there ought to be some common sense in the system where you fit a seriously unwell 5 week old in somehow, even if only for a 5 minute once over.

I am aware the system is stretched, but the prioritisations seem financially rather than medically skewed.

EightiesChick Mon 01-Aug-11 16:23:29

Having been in and out of hospital for years I am very aware of all the system flaws, let's say, of the NHS. However one sadly unchangeable thing now is that home visits for ANY reason are now as good as gone, unthinkable (rather in the way that the concept of free higher education is gone angry). If you're not critically ill, GPs don't see it as justifiable; if you are, then you should be calling an ambulance. Now I would mind this less if you could get an appointment at the surgery more easily as a result.. oh, wait...

I have to say, though, that my surgery are not great with me or DH asking for appointments but will always fit DS in within the same half-day of asking.

I know this thread will be accused of doctor-bashing but I would like to see more open discussion of both flaws in doctors' ways of working and of flaws in the system that they work within, with the aim of actually making things better.

Alternatively, perhaps the PP illustrators just couldn't be arsed to draw a doctors' surgery background when they could just bring Dr Brownbear round to the house.

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