Fish, Chips and Disappointment

Well, I’m back home already. No overnight stay, no pain, no blood.

On the downside, there was no operation.

I rose at 6.00 and, like Paddington Bear, breakfasted on marmalade sandwiches. Five and a half hours later I was washed, packed and provisioned. I was also starving and slightly nervous, as medical staff kept drifting through, asking to see my appointment letter. In the end one of them, having drawn the short straw, sidled up and asked me to step through, obviously trying to separate me from the herd.

“I’m sorry, but you’re not on our list.” she said, and like a modern nightclub the NHS operates on the policy of “if you aren’t on the list, you aren’t coming in”.

So, despite having a letter telling me when to report, despite having rung to confirm and despite having had my pre-op done while I was on the ward last week, I was sent home.

That’s the summary anyway. In real life it took longer, with more muttered excuses and a lot of waiting.

I’m now waiting for a new date.

On the positive side, this gave us the time to enjoy the sunshine and go for haddock and chips at The Big Fishย ย and Julia allowed me to have syrup sponge and custard to get over my disappointment.

I’m now engaging in one of my favourite activities – mentally composing a letter of complaint about my cancelled appointment. I always seem so much more intelligent at this point – the draft always seems so much better than the final written version.

I’m currently debating whether I should offer to fit catheters to the staff concerned as this might concentrate their minds on the delay in removing mine.


23 thoughts on “Fish, Chips and Disappointment

  1. Laurie Graves

    What the heck! What a day! No wonder you consoled yourself with fish and chips.

  2. jfwknifton

    Your treatment is not acceptable really. I would love to see the figures for how many EC citizens we treat in the NHS. It’s probably significant that the figures don’t seem to be publicised anywhere that I’ve seen.

    1. quercuscommunity

      Yes, I’m always suspicious of missing stats.

      There were 21,249 cancelled operations in the last quarter of 2016, which would be a small army if you could mobilise it to march on Whitehall.

      Of course, “march” is possibly a bit optimistic – but “shuffle” doesn’t seem quite so intimidating.

  3. arlingwoman

    Ooh, this is terrible treatment, in all the possible senses of the word. I couldn’t make myself click like. Yipes. I hope this is resolved soon. Glad you had some good comfort food.

    1. quercuscommunity

      They rang this morning with a new date. Looking on the bright side the delay is only two weeks. Looking on the other side this is 14 more days of living with a tube rammed where nature didn’t intend.

      If you look on adversity as character forming, I should be grateful for all the extra character they are helping me form. ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. arlingwoman

        Yeah, but the longer that’s in, the higher the probability of infection. Not that I need to tell you that. There’s got to be a better way to do healthcare than UK or US. Aren’t there any healthcare geniuses out there?

    1. quercuscommunity

      It could definitely be better – particularly the bit where they expressed disbelief at my version of events and asked if I had written evidence with me. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Clare Pooley

    What a farce! Writing the letter of complaint will possibly do you more good than it will the NHS which is probably in a terminal decline. We had shop-bought fish and chips yesterday for the first time in a couple of years. Very nice!

    1. quercuscommunity

      Yes, fish and chips is something to cling to in an uncertain world. ๐Ÿ™‚

      The NHS nearly killed my mother under Labour in the 1960s – leaving her on a waiting list until a tumour in her neck grew so much it nearly suffocated her.

      I tend to view it as a bureaucratic monster that cultivates inefficiency regardless of funding or politics.

      With several family members working for it I know they all want to do a good job, but they are defeated by the huge task we give them.

      1. Clare Pooley

        I agree. My sister is a paramedic practitioner and she has a terrible time trying to do her job properly. She’s often hours late getting off shift and usually has no break at all in 10 hours.

  5. Lavinia Ross

    I am so sorry to hear about the NHS screwup. Poor Quercus! You even phoned them first to confirm? I sometimes helps to get names, and names of supervisors, along the way.

    Julia does have a heart of gold. I love good fish & chips. It’s hard to get that here. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. quercuscommunity

      It’s not easy getting good fish and chips here – I’ve had some real horrors.

      Yes, I’m going to start making notes as I was a bit fed up with the attitude this morning.

  6. myfoodhunt

    I like this “On the positive side, this gave us the time to go for haddock and chips at The Big Fishย ย and Julia allowed me to have syrup sponge and custard”

    I know that I should not be so flippant

  7. tootlepedal

    You do have bad luck. How such a situation can arise in what we are repeatedly told is the fifth or six wealthiest country in the world defies imagination. It is even more depressing to think that the cheery band of place servers and hypocrites who have allowed this to happen are likely to be re-elected in a few weeks.

    Apologies for the rant.

    I hope that you get sorted out soon….and glad that you got syrup sponge. That Julia has a heart of gold.

    1. quercuscommunity

      Yes, she knows more about the curative power of food than the entire NHS.

      No need to apologise for the rant – I’d go further and suggest I wouldn’t trust any of them with the future of the health service.

      I’m sure they will amaze me with the action they take to rectify the situation. But I am probably an optimistic idiot.


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