Zara Aziz: We're not going to get along with all of our patients

Jack and I are old adversaries. The doctor patient relationship has never been the same after I had him sectioned, justifiably I might add - although that is a moot point, as he will tell anyone who will care to listen.

This is how it started. It was five years ago and I was a newbie partner still finding my feet around the council estates of Bristol. The call for a late visit came at 6:25pm. It was the police who had been called out to Jack’s flat by the neighbours who had noticed that he was running around the block screaming blue murder.

I hastily convened a GP meeting in the corridor, and after we had scratched our heads together, it was decided that I would pay Jack a visit. After all it was going to be perfectly safe with the police in situ.

There were only three police cars in the car park when I had been expecting some half a dozen. As I went up in the battered lift I looked at my own reflection in the mirrored wall - I looked terrified.

I squeezed my way past the neighbours to several police officers who lined the corridor. There was another huddled meeting, the long and short of which was that Jack was ‘off his head’ and needed to be sectioned now, but as he was in his own flat the police could not section him, and my services were required.

At this point I was shepherded into the flat with the police officers in tow. Jack was staring intently at the mute TV where Channel 4 news had just started. He refused to look at me.

I cleared my throat a few times, opened and closed my briefcase loudly and called him by name - to no avail. There was only one chair which housed Jack so I dumped my briefcase loudly on the floor and sat on it to think.

A police officer turned the TV off and Jack catapulted out of his chair to land inches from my face. I gulped in fear. He smiled.

‘I like your glasses,’ he said suddenly.

‘Thank you. I got them in a two for one from Specsavers, although the nose pad did fall off after two days,’ I blurted stupidly.

He laughed. A police officer smirked. I gestured for everyone to move out for another team huddle outside.

‘He doesn’t seem that bad. I need to speak to a psychiatrist.’

Jack did get sectioned that night by the psychiatrist who I called in. Thankfully he got better after a sojourn as an inpatient, and has forgotten and forgiven everyone associated with that eventful evening - except me.

As he walked down the corridor today after seeing a colleague, he gave me a wide berth.

  • Zara Aziz is a GP in Bristol

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Advance decisions to refuse treatment - what GPs need to know

Advance decisions to refuse treatment - what GPs need to know

A recent case has underlined the need for GPs to communicate a patient’s known wishes...

Law changed to allow physios and paramedics to administer vaccines during pandemic

Law changed to allow physios and paramedics to administer vaccines during pandemic

A wider range of healthcare workers will be allowed to administer flu and potential...

Medicines shortages drive up GP workload as prescribing costs surge £158m

Medicines shortages drive up GP workload as prescribing costs surge £158m

Medicines shortages in England are continuing to drive up GP workload during the...

Arrhythmias - red flag symptoms

Arrhythmias - red flag symptoms

Dr Pipin Singh provides an overview of red flag symptoms in patients with arrhythmias.

How have GP practices fared under CQC inspections?

How have GP practices fared under CQC inspections?

The latest annual report from the CQC sets out ratings for all of the sectors it...

CQC flags concern over GP access despite 2m face-to-face appointments last week

CQC flags concern over GP access despite 2m face-to-face appointments last week

The CQC plans to 'follow up' concerns about access to face-to-face GP services, warning...