NHS Direct, the alternative.

IMG_0764Anyone who has worked in the NHS  as a nurse, physiotherapist, doctor, Occupational therapist and a few other ists for good measure will be used to friends using them as a knowledge base when they their children or friends of theirs have a medical/psychiatric problem etc. This is just as true in Cambridge where you are probably never more than one hundred metres from a phd as anywhere else!

When one has gone on to train in a complementary therapy as well, this seems only to increase one’s popularity as a source of information.

Fortunately I have not yet been asked about some of the newer drugs which were not around when I last worked in general medicine. I have followed some changes in prescribing guidelines etc. but there are certainly areas where I would have to google or just admit I didn’t know.

What I do have is the skills and knowledge to look at a few sites on a subject and assess whether they are reliable. Of course the NHS guidelines is one of the first places I look along with looking to see if there is any controversy about a product.

However, often what someone is after is not detailed medical advice but reassurance that their approach to the problem is not off the wall. An albeit informed opinion from someone who has the time to listen and is prepared to give that time.