Pull Up a Bed at the Sun, Sea and Sand Surgery

Article excerpt

Byline: GEORGINA LITTLEJOHN

THERE'S nothing more depressing than waiting to see the doctor while surrounded by a chorus of coughs and sneezes.

So a GP in south London has come up with a way to beat the waiting room blues. He has turned his surgery into a beach, complete with palm trees, sun loungers and white sand.

The room is equipped with light boxes to help patients suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder, a form of depression thought to be caused by lack of sunlight, and the sound of waves lapping at the shore is played on a stereo system.

The seaside theme is the idea of Dr Alex Bobak, who believes the health of many of his patients at The Medical Centre in Wandsworth worsens during the winter.

"It has often been said that a holiday in the sun is the best prescription for beating the sorts of complaints and illnesses brought on by this time of year. People normally say they feel healthier, happier and generally better afterwards," he said. " Transforming my waiting room into a beach seemed the perfect way to see if there was any medical truth in the theory.

"I was nervous in case it disrupted the workings of the practice but everyone has responded very well. …