Friday, October 06, 2006

Centre of Mediocrity

You would be forgiven for thinking that, Terry Wogan-like, I had sloped off again on holiday for a week. Nothing would be further from the truth.

In reality the cantankerousness of last week carried right on into this week as well. Two consecutive days as duty doc for the practice did little to improve my humour. Our staff in the benign dictatorship that is the Ambridge Practice have been a little fractious. It's peed down with rain quite a lot the past few days. A lot of it on yours truly. In short the whole week has been a bit of a B.

To cap it all a poor lady came in this morning to talk about her outpatient appointment. In September last year she was told she would be seen in clinic in six months. In February, a month before this planned appointment, she received a letter cancelling it, and rebooking it for September this year. Yes you spotted it, that's a bit more than the intended six months. 100% more to be precise. Oh well, she thought, they must be busy and my pain isn't so bad. So she put up with it and didn't tell us about it.

One week before her September appointment date she had another letter. Her September appointmnet was now cancelled and rebooked for November. Oh well, she thought. November's not that far off now. Perhaps it will keep till then. Still she did not feel it important to tell us.

Yesterday came letter number four. So sorry. No clinic date in November after all. Perhaps she could come next April!

Now, when you have not been seen in outpatients for more than 12 months the local health admin will often send you a frosty letter asking if you really need an appointment after all. She must be about due for one of those by now. At last today she thought she might need to let us know what's been going on, or rather, not been going on.

So the chief exec of our NHS Acute Trust will be hearing from me. Shortly. In every sense of the word.

And this is the week the masses took to the streets to "save" the Ambrigde and District General Hospital. Seems in the light of present experience there may not be that much left to save.

I'm off home now.

Will the last one out please turn out the lights.


Anonymous said...

It's all bollocks, Dr Jest, isn't it? Just shuffling the lifeboats. It makes me angry and sad, and leaves me feeling utterly helpless. I have a admin-type job in the NHS and am desperately trying to get out of it into something actually useful/worthwhile (but no jobs at the mo, of course), and have offered to voluntary work in our hospital, but it all seems like watching that whale in the Thames.

Doctor Jest said...

anon-- tragic to hear of another NHS manager looking for an exit strategy. unsurprising but tragic. for all the moaning that the NHS is management heavy we never seem to have enough good quality managers in Borsetshire. All the best ones last around 18 months, then see the light and desert to private enterprise.

Anonymous said...

It was me who was anon above - but I'm not a manager. I'm a lowly and disheartened drudge.