We had a few medical/dental visits over the last month so I thought I’d do another doctor post. Here’s my previous one.

Dentist: The dentist gets the highest points for efficiency. I got in, signed the normal forms for a first visit, and was seen right away. (Doctors visits usually go just as quickly.) They just did an exam–no cleaning or x-rays. My wife had a little plaque on one section of her teeth and they cleaned that area but not her whole mouth. I had a small chip in a molar, which the dentist fixed right off. I was out in less than 30 min. It’s £16 for the check-up for adults, free for kids. If you don’t have a problem, it can seem a little weird to pay £16 just for them to count your teeth, as a friend here noted.

The only snag with the efficiency thing is that we were signed up for an NHS (National Health Service) dentist late September, so just an 9 month waiting list. We hear that it can be over a year, if dentists even have an opening on their lists. You can pay private rates to see most dentists right off, so it is only for NHS dentists. We have friends here whose NHS dentist just moved, so they were told they would have to move to a different practice if they wanted to be NHS patients. Unfortunately, there are no NHS dentists in Durham city, and the closest open list is in Chester-le-Street (15 min or so north). Moral of the story, sign up as soon as you get to town.

Doctor: Heather’s grandfather had a minor issue that needed to be attended to while they were visiting. It was a Saturday, so the NHS helpline told him to go to the ‘out of hours’ service (just by the hospital) not A&E (aka: ER). It was a free visit and the prescription he needed was free because of his age. It was nice to know that free treatment for visitors was true.