The seedy side of the NHS

As you may be aware, I was quite ill the other week and ended up spending a night in hospital. Anyway, I’m fine now, but had a follow-up doctor’s appointment today.

One of the things I wanted from the doctor was a sick note for the two days I had off work last week due to my illness. Legally I know I don’t need a doctor’s note because you can self-certify for up to seven days. However, I’d already had some time off for man-flu type things and really wanted to make clear that I wasn’t taking the piss and had been seriously ill.

I explained all this to the doctor and he said, “well I didn’t see you at the time so it would have to be backdated. I can’t give you a backdated sick note on the NHS, but I’m happy to give you a private one. That will cost £10 though.” At this point I’d like to point out that I went to the doctor’s office directly from being discharged from hospital last week partly in order to get this sick note, but the receptionist wouldn’t let me see the doctor then as “sick notes are not emergencies,” instead booking me this appointment 8 days later.

So I go to pay the doctor and only have a £20 note. He rummages in his own wallet to hand me two well worn £5 notes. I don’t get a receipt. Then, “what would you like the note to say?” This experience is making me feel like scum to be honest, but it had to be done, so I went through my whole story again. He actually interrupts my story and says, “..okay that is enough, I will just put vomiting blood, severe pain, hospital attendance, not fit for work, okay?”

Nice doing business with you, doctor. :(

I’m sure there are people all over the country doing this sort of thing to be signed off work for weeks while they do cash in hand work.