NHS open for business? We are all assured the NHS is open for business. Recent personal experience suggests this is a dubious claim. Suffering from a sudden severe ear pain causing deafness in one ear, medical assistance was correctly sought.

"Ask My GP" via the computer.

But the previous day a text received admitted to ongoing technical issues. So a phone call to the surgery, with the response that the patient might be seen "in a few days" or, if preferred, a visit to the Urgent Treatment Centre at Westmorland Hospital.

Upon attending that venue later the same day, the most cursory examination and general advice was offered: visit my GP who "might" syringe the ear. The GP practice later responded they no longer offer such a facility.

The full circular route: so, no diagnosis of the ailment, minimal human contact, no medical treatment and no alleviation of the pain or deafness.

What is wrong with the ever more reclusive GP service?

A national survey recently disclosed only one in ten patients secures a face-to-face contact. This at a time when undiagnosed, untreated serious illnesses are reportedly leading to excess deaths in the thousands.

Many may have clapped for the NHS in the heat of the Covid crisis, but goodwill can be a finite resource. Name and address supplied