However, apart from the Christmas night out, we had had no social event and, as the new partner, I felt it would be a great time to introduce one.
We spend a great deal of our time with health promotion and, especially, advising our patients about the importance of exercise. So I felt that it would be a great idea to practice what we preach and to put our walking shoes on ourselves.
I arranged a route of about three miles around the surgery neighbourhood. I had great fun writing the clues, such as: ‘How much would you be fined with a messy dog?’ near warning signs on fouling the footpath, and ‘how many shoulders can fit between the two “keep off the grass” signs?’
We had some great help from our patients, not only in sponsoring us but one 77-year old lady went out in her motorised scooter and did a trial run and another was the judge for our limerick competition.
Twenty four staff and family members took part, including nurses, health visitors, GPs, receptionists and administrative staff.
We managed to raise just over £400 for Grove House, the local hospice. The winning treasure hunt and limerick teams won prizes donated by local shops.
Those staff that joined in thoroughly enjoyed it (one of the GP’s 12-year olds now wants a treasure hunt for his next birthday) and those that didn’t want to come next time. We have another treasure hunt planned for the summer, and may even arrange a local inter-surgery hunt.
I am quite sure that the practice, as a team, has benefited significantly from it and I can’t wait to plan the next one.
Andy Cohen is a GP in St Albans.
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Cost and effort
Number in group: 24.
Costs: none. The local pub, the Three Hammers, provided a light lunch.
Preparation time: 15 hours for setting clues, route and fundraising.
Benefits: improved practice team spirit, involved patients.