Picture the scene.
You are 60 years old, suddenly you have started to have real trouble breathing – it's like running a marathon and then being forced to breath through a drinking straw.
You have never had anything like this before, deep in your chest you can feel the wheezing as you breathe in and out.
You phone your GP and he comes out to see you. He gives you eight tiny pink pills, and tells you that you need to go to the hospital as an emergency case. He calls for an ambulance.
Then he leaves.
I honestly can't believe this – you have a patient who is not only 'properly' ill, but is also rightfully scared. So how can you leave them at home and not stay with them for the short time it takes for an ambulance to arrive?
I know what would happen if the patient died – the Ambulance service would be blamed for taking too long to get to the patient, rather than look at the motives of a GP who is quite happy to leave a seriously ill patient alone.
I don't know how some people can sleep at night.
However there are a few GPs who stay on scene with their patient until we arrive – I always make a comment of thanking them for doing this. In return they seem surprised that the majority of GPs are happy to leave patients alone