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Flu season 2020 – by PM Polly

by in Flu, Funny, GP Practice Management

Sometimes I feel like I must be Bobby Ewing from the 80s’ American soap opera ‘Dallas’. If you’re too young to remember, after a particularly bad few months, when during the storyline he’d actually died, the viewer was taken back to a scene in the shower where, thankfully, the last few months had all been a terrible dream.

This is what’s happening now, right?

I was thinking back to heady times last year when my flu plan consisted of simply ordering in vaccines, diarising a flu-planning meeting and ensuring that everyone’s immunisation training was up to date.

My actual flu season, though, has gone something like this:

  • No time for said flu-planning meeting.
  • Hope nurses are trained up; no time to check.
  • Receive guidance that we’ll be vaccinating other age groups.
  • Read in the media that over-50s will be eligible.
  • Receive amended guidance that we may be vaccinating additional cohort but not just yet.
  • Field hundreds of calls from enthusiastic people in their 50s who read in the tabloids that they’re now eligible.
  • Try to recover from hundreds of patients in their 50s who are angry as there’s no vaccine for them.
  • Source tens of different articles about whether nurses should or shouldn’t change PPE between each vaccine.
  • Try to fight my way out of my office due to thousands of visors that keep being sent to make sure we have enough masks.
  • Decorate the waiting room with so many one-way and socially distanced floor stickers that it looks like a Nintendo dance mat.
  • Receive strong emails that advise practices to recall everyone who’s eligible.
  • Attempt to order additional vaccines for the increased numbers; the computer says no.
  • Field more calls from angry patients who’ve refused the vaccination for the last 30 years but now want it – today!
  • Read in the media that there’s more chance of dying if you catch both COVID-19 and the flu.
  • Field another thousand calls from patients wanting the vaccination, despite no additional vaccines being available, who then tell you it’ll be your fault if they die from COVID.
  • Try again to order additional vaccines. Computer still says no!
  • Organise a socially distanced flu clinic. It won’t matter if we hold it in a community hall, in the surgery, in the car or frankly on the moon; someone will complain it’s not safe.

This is why I want to be Bobby Ewing from ‘Dallas’. Surely, it’s all been a terrible dream…

Happy flu season!

PM Polly

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PM Polly

PM Polly

Experienced Practice Manager doing my best to stay sane.

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One Response to “Flu season 2020 – by PM Polly”
  1. Avatar
    Mary Says:

    So true – and back in July when the Government announced that all 50-64 year-olds would be eligible for the vaccine, was there a PM who didn’t ask “where’s all the extra vaccine coming from?”. A question which, sadly, didn’t seem to have occurred to either the Government or the tabloids and their faithful readers.


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