I suppose I’ve been lucky over the years. I’ve managed to reach the age of fifty-three without ever having to need a med cert or more recently a fit note. But I’ve had proper Covid over the last couple of weeks, and so when it got to last Tuesday, I needed a fit note.
And that’s where the fun and games started.
On Monday afternoon I tried to get a Tuesday appointment. I was told I had to ring on the day to get an appointment for that day. When I dragged myself out of bed Tuesday morning it was after 10am and there were no appointments. Furthermore, they said they didn’t do fit notes for Covid. Which was strange seeing as Helen had gotten an appointment with her doctors on Monday, and gotten a fit note.
So, I set the alarm and got up earlier on Wednesday morning, rang as the lines opened at half past eight to be twenty-seventh in the queue. Thirty-five minutes later I got through to find there were no appointments. And they tried to fob me off against telling me to check the NHS website as they didn’t do fit notes for Covid. Yet again I got them to agree that they actually did, but I’d need to try again in the morning for an appointment.
Thursday came. I dragged myself up and queued up at the surgery half an hour before they opened. Second one there, and they still didn’t want to help. They told me I couldn’t have a face-to-face appointment as I hadn’t had a negative Covid test, and that I would have to ring 111 to get it sorted. It was only when I broke down in tears of frustration at being fobbed off again that the receptionist said they did have telephone appointments available. Which is what I’d asked for in the first place.
I was told it would be a morning call, but they couldn’t give an exact time. I’m glad to know that ten past midday counts as morning. About ninety seconds later a fit note was pinging as a text message to my phone as the doctor wished me well and hung up.
That ninety seconds was so easy, but it was the fourth day and fifth contact with them to get there. And as someone who was unwell and wiped out to begin with it was very tiring and stressful.
It does show I think, just how stretched the NHS is and how it makes it difficult for all. But despite still not being 100% this week, I’ve gone back to work as I can’t face the stress of trying to get another fit note.