The surgery was open all day, had four GPs, all equally good, and the care we have received there has certainly been better than anywhere else I have been. Where else would your GP ring you at home at 7.50am to tell you the result of a recent blood test or happily do a home visit of his own volition just to check up that Keith's recent excruciating back pain had begun to respond to the pain medication he had prescribed?
It is inevitable, however, that all good things will eventually come to an end. Unfortunately, although Keith and I are still registered at this wonderful practice, the doctors aren't.
Like several other practices in North Wales, the doctors, all partners, decided in March that they did not want to carry on and would hand the practice over to the health board at the end of September. Work load, surfeit of paperwork, ever-decreasing support from the local health board? Who knows? Betsi Cadwalladr University Health Board (BCUHB) - yes, there really is a health board with that name - has been in special measures for the past couple of years and, like turning a super tanker around on the open seas, it takes time to improve a large organisation.
Still, all was not entirely lost. I learned from a fellow patient that Dr B, our GP had assured him that he 'wouldn't go until he knew things were settled'.
The next letter we received was to tell us that there would be a meeting for anyone who wanted an update on developments. This was conducted by a rather unsatisfactory 'someone' from the health board (who is not local and lives in Warrington, but let's not hold that against him), who could not or would not raise his voice to an acceptable auditory level, in spite of numerous complaints that people couldn't hear him.
According to him, there will be lots of 'other' staff - nurse practitioner etc - and the receptionist will point us in the right direction when we wish to make an appointment (Think steering as many people as possible away from the doctor and towards other staff, whether that's what you want or not). And on the subject of replacement doctors, well he 'couldn't say' exactly but it looked as if there would be one GP who would also have experience in manning the outfit and there may be another one too. One of the original GPs may come back part time and doctors from other surgeries may be able to fill in the gaps. Oh, and there would probably be some locum doctors - just to begin with, you understand.
A lot of 'may be', which translates into a lot of uncertainty, which then seemed a lot more uncertain when we learned from someone working at the practice that the 'other GPs' have now backed out and Dr B has in fact already left, to be followed very soon by two of the others.
Given that we are all potentially only minutes away from needing medical assistance, it doesn't fill me with confidence to learn that I am now apparently without a GP.
Let's hope we don't get ill any time soon, and if anyone knows of any GPs looking for jobs, please direct them to North Wales!