Tag Archives: NHS appointments

Down the NHS Rabbit Hole

You couldn’t make this stuff up. I had two letters yesterday. They came from Bristol. This is how the NHS now operates. I talk to a doctor, who I could see from my house if it wasn’t for the trees. She refers me to a Urologist, who works about 400 yards from her. I can see the hosp[ital from my back window. Then everything goes to Bristol where they type out the letters and send them. Bristol is 150 miles away. I detect the hand of a management consultant in this. If it’s more efficient I should try it. Next time I wan’t to ask Julia if she would like a cup of tea I will take a detour to Sheffield on my way to the living room. No, still doesn’t make sense . . .

One letter gave me a date for my urology consultation. It is in late January, which is slightly disappointing, but no big deal. Time passes so fast these days it will soon be here. A three month wait for a consultation is a First World Problem really. There are plenty of people in the world who would love to be me. Late January, down to the hospital I can see from my window, no problem.

The second gave me a date for my urology consultation. It is in late January, It’s the same day and time as my other appointment. There is just one difference. They tell me that it is a telephone appointment and that I should not go to hospital.

Hospital curtains – slightly more cheerful than the previous set

I’m tempted to go down, hand in the first letter and then see if they ring me while I am in the waiting room.

However, I rang the central appointment line for Nottingham University Hospitals. They told me to key in my seven figure patient number from the letter. Three digits in they told me they didn’t recognise the number and that I should wait for an advisor.

So I waited. And waited, and the tinny music assailed my ears and the insincere message of apology got on my nerves. Eventually, probably 20 minutes later, having lost the will to live, I got through. I’d only started in queue position number three so I suspect the team of advisors I was linked to consisted of one harassed women.

After I explained the problem she hummed and hahed and muttered and eventually, using a very unconvincing voice, told me it was a phone appointment.

My final room in the three month saga

I’m going to have to write and check, having been here (metaphorically) before. I was going to add links but blog posts don’t really tell the whole story. Basically, fro those of you who don’t know, I went to hospital for a procedure. IT was supposed to be followed by another one just two weeks later. It took 3 months and descended into farce. The NHS accused me of lying several times because I had nothing in writing to prove what I said, though I did have witnesses. They never did explain what happened. They never did apologise (though individual staff members did).

That’s why I am going to waste time writing, because if it happens again I want to be prepared.

Starvation – an ever present danger in hospital. Five chips! Five!

Insurance, Injections and Irises

Arkwright the Tortoise

Part Two of Today’s Posts. Part One is here.

I know car insurance has been going up because it’s been in the news a lot. I suspect it’s been in the news a lot because insurance companies have been drip-feeding us information to make us get used to the idea of a big price rise.

I’ve even had a note from my company to tell me the price rises are for reasons like the cost of complicated repairs, the cost of mechanic’s wages and various other factors that I translated to “blah blah, blah”. That’s even before you look at things like the greed and mendacity of insurance companies.

It’s gone up by about 40%.  Just at the moment, I can’t be bothered to get a new quote so, despite a good driving record and lack of claims I will just brace myself and take what the insurance company dishes out. It’s still, actually less than I was paying when I started to shop around five years ago. At that time my insurance company (Churchill) was treating me like a prize specimen that they had fattened up for the slaughter. I went with Swinton, who used to cover my business and household insurance and they cut the price considerably.  After the first year they  presented me with a massive price hike so I left and went to another company. As I say, they are still charging less than Churchill.

Yellow Flag

And that is another insight for the mythical student doing his/her future PhD on the lives of unfamous 21st Century poets.

I’ve had a text from the surgery asking for feedback on my visit today. I’ve also had several texts this week telling me to book in for this and that test. What with my normal blood tests, my quarterly blood tests,  three vaccinations, my regular rheumatology appointments, the X-Ray and the Urology referral, I really don’t have time to go to work. Unfortunately, despite regular stories in the press about high levels of benefit and the ease of benefit fraud, I don’t seem to be able to access all this cash and am actually better off working. This is, of course, supposed to be the case, as the benefit system is supposed to prevent starvation rather than provide an alternative to work. Next year, when I draw my pension, I will have plenty of time and will be able to devote myself to being a full time patient.

Meanwhile, I have a sore spot on the arm which had the flu vaccine and no reaction on the shingles arm. Sometimes I really am disappointed in the lack of drama that attends all this vaccination. I will be having a booster in two months, we will have to see what happens then.

Damsel Fly – Wilford

Photos are from May 2020 – our lockdown holiday, and include Arkwright the rambling tortoise. Julia saw him last summer but he is now presumably in a box, dreaming of next summer. It’s an interesting way of ensuring eternal sunlight – I may give it a try when I retire.