Moira Braithwaite, 52, of Dorking, was this morning celebrating her ninth successive Receptionist of the Month award after preventing over 35,000 patients getting an appointment within 48 hours during the month of September alone. Moira’s name will appear in the next Guinness Book of Records as the most effective doctor’s receptionist of all time, having not allowed a single appointment to be made with any doctor, despite the desperate pleas of the sick and injured.
Moira uses a number of techniques to prevent patients from seeing their local G.P. ‘Sometimes when people ring up she pretends to be a mini-cab company in Bromsgrove and claims that the taxi is on its way. Another time she diverted her number so that people calling the doctors went straight through to the Samaritans.’
Although patients are supposed to be able to get an appointment with 48 hours, Moira claims that this figure is intended to represent 48 working hours and anybody stopping work during that time goes to the back of the queue again. She also maintains the right to prevent anybody who may be unwell from visiting the doctor’s surgery ‘at the risk of them bringing germs into the surgery.’ The waiting list for expectant mothers is a year and a half.
The actual surgery has been fitted with a high security door leaving visitors to speak into a distorted and inaudible intercom outside, which allows Moira to pretend that she can’t hear them. ‘The speaker button also delivers a mild electric shock, which is always an extra deterrent for anyone with a heart condition,’ claimed one elderly stroke victim If patients do manage to get inside the next set of doors have no handles and cannot be opened from the outside. Or indeed, from the inside as they are only painted onto the wall. Moira has also managed to keep mothers away by claiming that ‘The normal children’s doctor is off sick today but I can make you an appointment with our temporary paediatrician, Dr Glitter.’
Moira was telephoned this morning to ask when she would like to collect her prestigious award, but she claimed that she couldn’t offer any slots this week, but we could try ringing back at one second past eight on Monday morning and ‘see if we had anything then’. Or we could queue outside the surgery on the off-chance over the weekend, even though it would in fact be closed. And relocated to a secret address in Canada.’