Intended for healthcare professionals

Practice What Your Patient is Thinking

Healthcare on the water

BMJ 2017; 356 doi: (Published 15 March 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;356:j245

Lady-Jacqueline Aster lives on a 72 foot canal boat and is part of the boating community in the west of England. In this article, based on an interview recorded on her boat, she describes how she has worked hard to get good palliative care while maintaining her way of life

A boat doesn’t count as a permanent address, so it can be hard for boaters to register with a doctor. Officially in the UK you can register with a surgery and use its address for any correspondence—as long as you can get past the receptionists, who often don’t know this. We get a lot of prejudice about our way of life, that we’re all dirty and don’t work. But it’s such a diverse community; we’ve got so many people doing different jobs. We do work, and our children go to school. The boating community is a very close and caring …

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