Wednesday, 31 August 2011

The Limits to Being a Dad (Again)

See also Absent Fathers

The endless round of re-organisation that accompanies a house move is, well, endless. Post needs re-directing, milk people cancelled and new ones hired, utilities cancelled and new ones started, address changing, the acquisition of endless rounds of goods that fit the new house rendering boxes of curtains ill-fitting, painting, cleaning, settling the kids, finding the nearest chippie (I speak of restaurants not trades-people - though please don't disregard the latter either), and so on. The Tinternet is a great boon in these days as we can do much from the sofa in the new lounge. The world is, we have discovered, almost entirely remote controlled.

But not all of it.

As responsible parents to gawjuss kids it is requisite and necessary as well for the mind as for the soul to register the little darlings with a doctor's surgery. I am not worried for myself as I am never ever ill, ever - but needs must when sprogs go splat! To the doctors we all toddled. Of course we had to find proof that we have been actual humans for all of the months that we have breathed air, proved our address, proved our last address and the eight prior to that, offered DNA samples, retina scans, fingerprints and psychometric profiling. With all this information lovingly gathered, we went about our business. 

Me - I was registered in a trice. Excellent. Not Mrs Acular though - she has nothing with her name on it at the same time as our new address. We can sort of understand that. We might be international terrorists (and she looks pretty dodgy it has to be said), but we pleaded our case. Nope. She may not register (but a letter from the bank would help our cause). 

Well, let's do the kids. We have all we need for them, and we are here all together. 

This is where I learned much about our world in 2011, and especially those bits I do not understand or like. The (very nice, incredibly helpful, and a little awkward about what she was about to say) receptionist told us that they couldn't register the kids until the mother was registered ... "in case there are any problems". Let me repeat the scenario: I was there in person, with my wife, already known to be the 'vicar' (not that that makes any substantial difference save perhaps for the fact that I carry a CRB and am professionally nice), with my children and as a member of a family clearly and manifestly working as a unit to do a job together. Mrs Acular and I appeared to be on civil terms, the kids on my lap illustrated that I wasn't a fruit-loop (in their eyes).

But no - they may not receive the care of a doctor until mum was registered. Didn't I feel like the child-beating village pervert all of a sudden! I can only guess that because a small handful of male deviants abuse children that all men are relegated to the place of designated driver in the legal lives of their children. Aren't mothers also found guilty of mistreating their children? Perhaps I just dreamed that. 

Lesson #1: Being a loving Dad to two adoring children is not sufficient any more. 

Not happy. Not happy one little bit.


  1. David, it just goes to show how stupid the modern world is. Child protection taken to the extreme.

    I wonder how a widowed or divorced single father, with custody of the children copes? Not a good place to be me-thinks.

    I registered with my GP in 1989, gave them all of my medical records recovered from the Army, and promptly forgot to be ill for the next 20 years. Although my spouse seemed to have various ailments and visited them regularly, I didn't. When I retired, I finally visited them, to discover that they had mislaid my records, I did not exist on their computer system, and would have to register all over again. Not only that, they wanted my full medical history?

    I managed to get my Army records together for them, gave them all to them, and expected them to update their computer. No, several months later on a further appointment, I found they had mislaid the updated records given to them. I find it scandalous the incompetence of the NHS systems, which seem unable to cope. Although I can't find fault with the GP, practice nurse, whose care is first class.

    Fortunately, I'm bit of magpie. I had scanned the records I gave them the first time, and was able to regenerate them and give them a new set. I don't understand why electronic document management, which is a proven system, is not in wider use in the NHS. Transferring doctors should be simple, with just updating the national computer with new addresses and contact details.

  2. Oh my goodness... I'm not surprised you're not happy.

    What, dare I ask, do they do with single fathers with sole care of their children?

  3. I should think not :( - although of course you have no proof she is Mrs Acular - she might just be not Mrs Acular pretending to be (tho' as a vicar that seems a tad unlikely).
    I am not looking forwards to the next move either - 4 addresses in the last 4 years...

  4. That's a dreadful reflection on the state of the Health Service. (In England, I suppose I should reluctantly add. We had no trouble being accepted as a patient when we moved to our retirement home. Indeed, they were expecting the "retired minister".) It will all work out in time - trust your sense of humour will carry you through.

  5. I found this almost unbelievable. I would complain - big time!

  6. Oh mercy ... Yet another example of how the FIX is often worse than that which spawned it. I think of this every time I go through airport security and they wand my feet (we all know 64 year old grandmothers have bomb implants in their heals).

  7. I'm not surprised you're not happy, David. I would be incandescent with rage at the implied slur and sheer incompetence of the system, which actually penalises rather than protects your chuildren. Nancy's right - you should complain.

  8. Is this legal?
    We had no problems going through the same rigmarole when we last moved.

    Since that last move, I've always paid the TV license so there is at least 1 bill in my name - with us, it was the banks that wouldn't let me open a second account until I had a bill....

  9. I should send a link to this post to your MP and NHS trust. Sounds like belt , braces,and piece of string at the Surgery.

  10. I've come to this late, but I feel like Victor Meldrew - "I can not believe it"! I really, really hope that you've been able to use your witty yet frank post to show the management of the surgery, or whoever wrote the rules the error of their ways. Please let us know that Mrs A and the little one's are now safely under suitable medical care should they require it!



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