Women in general practice | The family unit: Rosemary Ford

May 19, 05:16 PM

Rosemary Ford describes her experience as a GP’s wife

The family unit 

Image credit: detail from Professor Sir Denis John Pereira Gray, Carlos Luis Sancha, 2000, RCGP collection Tamás Kolóti Photography 

I was in charge of the ‘phone here.  So when he was on duty, the ‘phone was here, and he was on-call, even lunchtime, had to be here.  Fortunately, the boys went to a local school and they came home for lunch, and he came home for lunch, so that was easy.  He had a half-day, on a Wednesday, so that was the only time that he was off – if he was off for the weekend, it was lunchtime on Saturday until Sunday evening, and that was a weekend off – so it wasn’t very much. [And was the ‘phone constantly ringing?] Quite a lot, yes, quite a lot.  I mean, people, patients mostly rang the surgery but if they couldn’t get through there, they came here – I mean, John’s patients – ’cause those were the days when he had his own list.  

Fortunately we did have an ex-directory number which we could switch, when he was off-duty. But it was night-time, and day-time, and it was before the days of mobile ‘phones, So, when he was out on-call, he had to know the positioning of all the telephone boxes, and have cash in his pocket to be able to ring here to see whether there were any more calls, while he was out.  If a call came in when he was on his way home, I used to shut the garage door, so that he knew he couldn’t back straight into the garage. 
Please note that the views expressed in these recordings are those of the interviewees, within their historical context, and may not represent RCGP views or policy.