People's experiences

Briony is part of the travelling people’s community and has lived in Scotland all her life.

Briony and her family have lived on the caravan site for 8 of the last 10 years. They were there for three years, moved into a flat for two years, and then have been back at the site for the last five years. When they moved into the flat it was mostly due to her health problems, but they also felt like maybe they would want a change and settle in for a little while. But after a couple of years, they wanted to move back to the caravan site because that is who they are and it was where they wanted to be.

She tells about how it was for her and her family to register with the local surgery when they first moved to the caravan site. There was not just one doctor’s surgery for everyone on the site, so all of the people living there were allocated to different surgeries. Briony herself went around to all of the local surgeries to see if she could register with one, but none would take them on. “They kept telling me ‘you aren’t from this area, so we can’t take you. She had to wait to get a letter from NHS telling her which surgery they had been allocated to and where to go before she could register.

When they moved into the flat, they didn’t have any problem registering with a surgery, and everyone was really nice to her. When asked why she thought there were no problems with getting registered and why they were nice, she says, “oh, I couldn’t speak for them. But it could because I was in a flat at the time and not from the caravan site. This surgery was one of the ones I went around to when we were first at the caravan site and they said they wouldn’t take us on. But when we were in the flat, they would.

“I‘m still with that surgery now, even though we’ve moved back to the site. And they are still nice”.

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