Patients are up in arms over the proposals to put local practice doctors through a series of tests each year.
David Sicklesell-Akneemick, Chairman of the British Patients Association, in his key-note address at the association's annual conference held in operating theatre "2C" of Addenbrook's Hospital (adjacent to the on-site Burger King) said:
"It's not the competence of doctors that members of my association have any difficulty with. And neither does the network of practice-based nurses cause patients any problems.
"It's actually the bastard receptionists who, when you phone to book an appointment, think they are fully-qualified gynaecologists, obstetricians or cancer specialists, and not only expect you to book your sickness three weeks in advance, but want to know your shoe size, what you had for lunch and how many lottery tickets you buy each week before they'll even speak to you.
"And then, to compound the problem, they put you on hold, where you have to listen to Richard Clayderman murdering a Russ Conway classic on his Stylophone, while they go off and "check with the doctor", which is just another way of the receptionist saying she "was in the middle of making tea for her colleague Herman Goering, when you had the temerity to come on the phone and interrupt with your serious illness just because you want to see a doctor".