Tuesday, 14 May 2013

God bless the NHS

Well, after another blunderous episode of uncoordinated bureacracy, you can't really say anything other than: God bless the NHS.

So up at the break of sparrows today, I drove mum to her local hospital - about half an hour's drive from here, more in a rush-hour.  But we were early.  Remember that blasted corridor that serves as a waiting room.  We arrived back there. Nice and warm - probably warm all the way up to the atrium roof - a good thirty feet I reckon.  Terrible waste of hot air.

All shutters down on Reception; even the computerised system was not switched on.  7.30 and we were due at 8 am.  We sat down to wait.  Eventually the computerised system sprang into action. Mum on my instruction coped with it fabulously, only to be rewarded with: sorry, we don't recognise this appointment, talk to reception. Problem: shutters still down on reception desk.  Odd people scurry around. 

Eventually 10 minutes after mum was due, I said: Let's have a look at that letter with the appointment.  Ah, solution - we were supposed to be upstairs at the eye theatre unit.  Stairs - I look around.  None. Lifts - none.  Sign showing "theatres" - not "eye theatres".   Should we follow that?  I ask someone. She points in that direction.  I say to mum - you sit here and I'll go and find out.

Through three sets of doors, two flights of stairs, at last a reception desk with someone behind it.  Are you waiting for my mum?  Yes, says the receptionist.  Well we were waiting for reception to open. So are we, says eye theatre receptionist.  We start at 7.30 am here!  Are there any more down there waiting, she asks me? She assures me that she'll look after mum and so I leave her in the care of the eye theatre staff.

What are we doing heating an enormous reception void - goodness knows the capacity of that space - with no-one in it?  Not even a receptionist.  What's the use of a computerised check-in system if it doesn't list all the patients?  Ah and there was the tap on in the ladies, running at full tilt and had probably been doing so all night!!  Yes, it's my money, it's your money and it's probably the equivalent of several hip replacements over a year or so. Good bless the dear old NHS.

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