GP refuses to sign-up continuous cruisers

Published: Wednesday, 03 January 2018

SHOULD people be considering taking up continuous cruising I believe they should be aware that they will have problems signing up to a GP, writes Howard Fuller.

I gave up my permanent marina berth that was costing nearly £3,000 a year and took out a continuous cruiser licence, now being on my own and able to offer my consultant service from anywhere via the internet, but I am getting long in the tooth and need drugs for my arthritis, and there was the crunch.

Wanted permanent address

As I cruise around the BCN I tried a surgery in Kings Heath and another at Acocks Green, as I know it is possible to get a fairly long supply and I could easily return after a few months and still be within the rules, but both wanted a permanent address, that I could not give and neither would they take that of my relative when I admitted I did not actually reside there.

After my first try I looked up the matter and discovered that surgeries cannot refuse to take on people without a permanent address, but was then told they had reached capacity and could not take on any further patients. This was an excuse as the receptionist had already taken a few particulars but when I told I did not stay in one place with the boat, she went and spoke to someone then came back and then told me they were not taking any new patients.

Obviously an excuse

It was obviously an excuse, but there was little I could do when they say they are full and taking on no more patients.  I can easily get Ibuprofen, but the other drugs I cannot get over the counter.  But I shall keep trying. 

It was obvious that if the boat had had a permanent mooring I would have been registered.