This time it’s our GP surgery that gets it in the neck. Apparently they didn’t jump and give her an instant appointment when she demanded jabs for her trip to Somalia. Let’s just bear in mind she isn’t their patient: she has a GP, a private one in London (in Chelsea, just so we’re assured it really is a nice smart expensive one). She also tells us (not quite sure why) that she has a private gynaecologist and two, yup, two therapists. Somewhere along the line I must have missed something because, last time I looked, she was moaning she was totally broke…but hey ho. This is Liz Jones LaLa land, right? Oh, and let’s also bear in mind that, given few Exmoor residents whizz off to Somalia at the drop of a hat, they very probably didn’t have the vaccine in stock.
But anyhow - other people have tried to explain the general workings of the NHS to her. I want to talk about this particular surgery. Like most NHS practices, it's busy, hugely busy. It covers a huge geographical swathe of Exmoor. The phones ring pretty much non-stop yet the receptionists are unfailingly polite and helpful, as are all the staff. These guys have looked after my family unstintingly since we moved to Exmoor 13 years ago. They have gently held my hand through bouts of depression (yup, I'm one of those ghastly people who are a total drain on society cos of my feeble-minded mental illness); they have helped my son (oh, sorry, my "snotty kid") grow up fit and strong. My husband is sickeningly healthy but, even so, they haul him in every so often and check him out to make sure he stays that way.I know these people and they are not just consummate professionals, they are good people. All of them. They work damn hard and they don’t deserve to be ridiculed, patronised and blamed by a spoiled brat of a journalist. The receptionists are not "jobsworths" – far from it. They have to make tough, informed judgment calls every moment of the day. They err on the side of caution too. When I was bitten by my dog, I phoned up to check if I needed a jab at some point: the receptionist demanded I went in immediately to have it checked out. When my son woke up with Bell’s palsy, they saw him straight away and then packed him off to hospital for tests (turned out he had Lyme Disease). Yet..hmm.. they didn’t jump when Liz stamped her foot and demanded her travel jab? I wonder why?
I’m sick of it. Pun intended. Really sick to the stomach with it. I know Liz Jones wants to get out of Brushford but her house is still on the market so she’s stuck with us and, more’s the pity, we’re stuck with her. I could tell you stories about her which would make your toes curl but – you know what? – I can keep my mouth shut. Unlike Liz Jones, I try to think about the effect my words have on other people.While she’s prattling on about her “rock star” I leave well alone. Though I would just say nobody round here has seen him – no, not even her next-door neighbours. But, anyway, Liz, you just keep talking about “him” and your trips to Italy, festivals, whatever. Keep wittering on about your dogs pissing all over the furniture. Keep prattling on about your face-lift and your designer clothes and your ‘issues’. Just leave your slanted, prejudiced view of my home-town out of your warped life-view and shut the feck up about the decent hard-working people in my health centre.
Btw, on a lighter note, there’s a hilarious satire of Liz Jones on Twitter, raising money for Somalia – follow @LizJonesSomalia
Also, while I'm here, please will someone, anyone, buy her house? Look, I’ll even provide a link. Actually it is stunningly lovely. And no, btw, I’m not a stalker! I knew it before she moved in ...
It's okay, Liz, I don't need thanking for the free ad! But, if anyone buys it through seeing it here, donate my 'finder's fee' to Somalia, eh?