DR. MAX PEMBERTON: Patients need to see GPs, not their mail carriers

There can be no clearer example of how ramshackle and dysfunctional the National Health Service is becoming than the news that postmen are to be used as makeshift caregivers.

Royal Mail Health, the branch of the postal service set up to deliver prescription medicines to homes during lockdown, suggests their postmen are acting as “community sentries”.

Not only do they deliver the mail, but they also take care of elderly and vulnerable customers, such as B. itinerant health visitors and social workers.

Has this become UK welfare? It is shameful that we should even consider downgrading community health to this level and making it a by-product of the postal service.

Even the idea shows how badly the nursing services have collapsed. When we have to rely on untrained postal workers to care for our infirm and elderly, we have allowed the system to degrade to the point where it is no longer fit for purpose.

Of course, as any hospital doctor knows, posties are already informally functioning as unpaid health visitors.

according to dr For Max Pemberton, there can be no more vivid example of how ramshackle and dysfunctional the National Health Service is becoming than the news that postmen are to be used as makeshift caregivers (stock image).

according to dr For Max Pemberton, there can be no more vivid example of how ramshackle and dysfunctional the National Health Service is becoming than the news that postmen are to be used as makeshift caregivers (stock image).

according to dr For Max Pemberton, there can be no more vivid example of how ramshackle and dysfunctional the National Health Service is becoming than the news that postmen are to be used as makeshift caregivers (stock image).

It’s common to glance at the paramedics’ notes when a patient arrives in the ambulance and see that the postman has sounded the alarm.

This is often the case with patients we refer to as “long lies.” A frail person has fallen or collapsed and lay unnoticed for hours or even days.

A postman notices that yesterday’s mail hasn’t been cleared from the mailbox and peeks through.

A few feet are visible at the foot of the stairs or in the kitchen door…

Posties provide an invaluable service to the community in this way. There used to be other guards, like newsboys – and milkmen, like my father. He did a milk round for years and I used to ride his wagon with him as a kid.

Dad knew everyone, and when he was collecting the weekly payments, he would stop for an informal chat with scores of customers to make sure people were okay. That’s how it should be.

At 5 a.m. one morning, he met an elderly woman walking around in her nightgown and slippers and knew her immediately.

She was a few blocks from her house, quite confused and obviously shouldn’t have gone out. Dad gently steered her back and called the police to alert them to the situation. I wonder who would find her now and help her.

The tragedy of our increasingly atomized society is that few people know many of their neighbors. We no longer live in large families, but have become increasingly isolated. The people who live in the apartment above or across the street are all too often strangers.

When Kate Bush’s 1985 hit Running Up That Hill topped the charts last month, I was touched to read that the singer has been known to stop by to see her elderly neighbors.

dr Max (pictured) says we can't afford to lose the neighborly concern we've had for each other during the pandemic

dr Max (pictured) says we can't afford to lose the neighborly concern we've had for each other during the pandemic

dr Max (pictured) says we can’t afford to lose the neighborly concern we’ve had for each other during the pandemic

I find that charming. It’s a symbol of how we all want Britain to be.

During the pandemic, many people have become more aware of their neighbors, sharing contact details and running errands for them.

We cannot afford to lose this neighborly concern. It needs to be nurtured as a positive legacy of a traumatic time.

But we cannot allow these informal networks to replace good and professional health care.

It would be very wrong to burden postmen and women, who already work long hours in all weathers, with such a onerous responsibility. Shifting that duty of care to posties means GPs are being taken off the hook again.

It was time for the family doctor to know the home situation of each of his patients inside out and maybe even stop by without being asked. The local district nurse could do the same.

dr Max says no one should expect postmen to be door-to-door health workers and that they don't have the appropriate training (stock image)

dr Max says no one should expect postmen to be door-to-door health workers and that they don't have the appropriate training (stock image)

dr Max says no one should expect postmen to be door-to-door health workers and that they don’t have the appropriate training (stock image)

Examining frail or elderly patients was part of the job, although today it seems unimaginable.

Today, community-based healthcare is so busy and in-person GP appointments notoriously hard to come by that the friendly, well-informed, sometimes even social connection between patient and GP has all but disappeared.

I have previously written about the problem that older people also have in making themselves heard in a medical setting.

Doctors are quick to dismiss the elderly as too frail or decrepit to benefit from treatments that could actually significantly improve their quality of life. And that feels to me like another rejection of the elders.

With all due respect to postmen and women, our seniors don’t deserve a patronizing neighborhood watch system of unqualified visitors, but quick access to GP appointments when they need them.

Posties have always been good minders, but they don’t have the training to be door-to-door health workers — and no one should expect them to be.

We cannot leave something as important as our health to the postman, the milkman and Kate Bush.

Splits crush families

Ewan McGregor, pictured with second wife Mary Elizabeth Winstead, has described a family divorce as

Ewan McGregor, pictured with second wife Mary Elizabeth Winstead, has described a family divorce as

Ewan McGregor, pictured with second wife Mary Elizabeth Winstead, has described a family divorce as “a bombshell that goes off in everyone’s life”. He divorced his first wife after photos emerged of him kissing Mary Elizabeth Winstead in 2017

Ewan McGregor has said that “divorce in a family is a bombshell that goes off in everyone’s life” and admitted his family is still “healing”. When pictures of a married McGregor kissing his co-star Mary Elizabeth Winstead first surfaced in 2017, his daughter Clara branded Winstead a “piece of trash.”

At least the actor has recognized the impact of his actions, although I have little sympathy after seeing the harm done to children who divorce. In fact, the way adults behave these days often makes me angry, as people like me—doctors, teachers, social workers—see the devastation that affairs, discord, and divorce wreak.

We know that children of divorced parents are at risk of substance abuse, eating disorders, anxiety and other mental health problems.

People might not want to hear that; You can reassure yourself that your divorce has not affected your child. But the facts don’t care about people’s emotions. They are stark, somber reminders that adult behavior can have devastating and lasting effects on their children’s mental health.

Arthritis symptoms can be reduced with positive thinking, a study published in The Lancet has found. Those who were prescribed cognitive-behavioral therapy or exercise performed much better than those who received standard care. I hope the NHS takes these findings into account so that everyone affected can benefit.

NHS patients are to be monitored at home as part of plans for a ‘digital revolution’. Around 800,000 patients will be able to track their blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease in this way.

That got a lot of attention – but not from me. I recently visited an elderly woman with diabetes who had been given a blood glucose meter. She told me it was broken.

After almost 30 minutes I realized it was just too complicated for her. What a waste of time and resources. I suspect those behind the NHS digital revolution are young, fit and tech savvy.

I also suspect they have little experience with medicine at the coal mine.

DR MAX PRESCRIBE: FREE SUNSCREEN FOR KIDS

dr Max says celebrities including actress Kara Tointon have supported a program to give underprivileged school children high SPF sunscreen (stock image)

dr Max says celebrities including actress Kara Tointon have supported a program to give underprivileged school children high SPF sunscreen (stock image)

dr Max says celebrities including actress Kara Tointon have supported a program to give underprivileged school children high SPF sunscreen (stock image)

Celebrities like actress Kara Tointon have supported a program to give underprivileged elementary school children high SPF sunscreen. Last year, 20,000 bottles were distributed to children by Tafel for free school meals. They are aiming for 30,000 this year. Escentual will donate one bottle for every bottle purchased through the End Sun Poverty page below escentual.com.

https://www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com/health-news/dr-max-pemberton-patients-need-to-see-gps-not-their-postmen/ DR. MAX PEMBERTON: Patients need to see GPs, not their mail carriers

Brian Ashcraft

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