2017 – A Third World NHS?

So It is November and I have been in pain for three weeks and eventually  get a GP appointment. Admittedly a very quick diagnosis and instant referral but a three week wait for an out patient apoointment. A diagnosis and appointment for operation given. No advice on pain control.

December 2016

Over the Christmas week the pain and discomfort become worse. Difficulty sleeping and eating. A pharmacist gave pain relief advice and strong painkillers.

January 2017

A call to 111 produces a GP out of hours appointment almost 6 hours later. No different pain advice. Felt like a wasted four mile journey.

The first day after the New Year Bank Holiday I chase the operation appointment and confirmatory paperwork as none received. The hospital switchboard openly answers after three attempts but the Outpatient Department does not answer.

I find my original outpatient appointment letter and an appointments line number to ring. After a tirade of instructions to use the internet to cancel an appointment I get through. Yes I am on a waiting list but no confirmation of operation date. I am given two phone numbers for the consultants secretary. I try both. Both have answering machine messages about the working hours of the secretary. Neither work today. Try again tomorrow.

Still in pain and discomfort – it’s getting worse. A private operation can be done in two weeks costin around £3,000 as a day case.

I make an appointment to see my GP – first appointment is in 2 days. Have to wait over 30 minutes beyond allotted appointment time. Good history taking and examination. Referred to A and E but that hospital does not have colectoral surgeon. Go to one that does by car. It’s 12 noon. The waiting room signs say three hours to see a nurse and six to see a doctor. There is no obvious triage. I check the latter which is confirmed at six hours. No way could I sit for one hour let alone six with no guarantee of seeing the surgeon. Went home instead to rest.

In the meantime, I  phoned the consultants secretary again and leave a message for consultant about attending A&E with little hope of seeing anyone.

The A & E toilets were disgusting and patients were being sick in the cramped waiting area. Patients were being seen by nurses on the corridor.

Today I chase up my repeat prescription. It was due to be ready yesterday at 4pm. I call at the pharmacy only to be told it was not ready and I would have to wait until 4pm as stocks were not in. I asked for my prescription back. The response was we will do it in ten minutes. Very annoyed I left in a huff.

This is our wonderful NHS. Someone has to get it the neck.

To be continued!