At the height of lockdown, going into Evelina London Children’s Hospital, next St Thomas’, as usual was not something we wanted to entertain. I also have a younger daughter with asthma, so we were shielding as a family. If I didn’t take both kids, my husband would have had to take a day off work, which would have cost us money.
One of my friends recommended GPDQ, so we gave them a try. They were phenomenal. Despite contacting them at the height of lockdown, they provided a completely tailored, personal service. They took into account that my (then) seven-year-old son wasn’t just another name on the list. The doctor who came was very, very sympathetic. He attended our home, making sure to follow the latest Covid-19 protocols.
I asked him about his qualifications; he was an NHS doctor who also worked in the private sector. It was reassuring to know he wasn’t a doctor who had been pulled out of retirement. Because of the pandemic, I asked if he didn’t mind not coming into the house. We were so paranoid, and both the doctor and GPDQ were understanding and accommodating.
I set up a makeshift treatment area in the front garden using a table. That’s how scared we were. I remember it being quite warm so we even had a parasol. The doctor took the blood sample. Within the hour, a courier collected it and took it to a local laboratory. They did everything as they should; they were thorough, diligent and extremely professional.
The whole service was designed from start to finish to work in tandem with the child’s regular NHS treatment and specialists, not to replace them.
I contacted our NHS consultant to get approval before we went ahead,” Suzie says. “We got the results of the tests the next day and they were sent on to our NHS consultant as usual. The people at GPDQ understood what we wanted. We are not unhappy with our existing NHS treatment, we just wanted to feel in control.
Suzie Kemp, Mother