Simon Wilson, Nottingham Poet

Another Senior Moment

Today I got up, pottered and made my way down to the surgery for my 8.30 appointment. It turns out I should have been there at 7.30. I apologised and then asked for the blood testing letter they were preparing for me. I had checked with them in person, then on the phone, and had agreed to pick it up this morning. It was the third time I have done this and both the previous arrangements have gone wrong.

Surely nothing could go wrong today.

Ha!

There was no letter and nothing about a letter on the computer. Sometimes I get the feeling that, to the NHS, I simply don’t exist.

After ten minutes of phone calls it appears that the test is not necessary as they used the blood they took last week to do the test, even though it hadn’t been requested at that time. Yes, at the time of the test I had not yet had the letter telling me it was due. When I got the letter I spoke to the nurse (who had taken the blood on my previous visit) and we agreed that I should request a letter from reception to allow me to have the test when I had a regular Warfarin check. She seems not to have known that the blood she took, and the tests she requested, included one I didn’t even know I needed at the time.

Are you following this?

It is almost as if the NHS does things that none of its employees or clients knows about, but as a lot of the budget goes on administration and management this surely cannot be . . .

Of course, in a month’s time,Β  when I can’t get my arthritis medication because I haven’t had the blood test I will find that I have just been told a load of old rubbish, as usual.

Next, armed with the details of my latest prescription request (the one I have tried to collect twice already) I went to the pharmacy and gave them the details the surgery had given me. It took several attempts but they did eventually manage to find the details on their system, but only after I complained when they told me, again, that they had no details of it. Makes me wonder if I should have complained more the first time, and if they would have found it then.

If Alice and the Mad Hatter ran the NHS I wonder if it could be any more dreamlike.

The opening picture is of a confused old man, wondering where it all went wrong.

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