By Nicola Davies
I’ve just sat down to write this, after a patient chewed my ear off because his appointment at the Out Patient Clinic has only just been booked and “…I’ve got to wait for 7 £*&%@#$ months…” I was thinking about sharing the dire state of secondary care services in our locality, the recruitment/retention crisis, the fact that some wunderkind at NHS England thinks we can afford a hike in employer’s pension payments to staff and the usual ‘woe is me’ tale… but what’s the point? It’s totally irrelevant that his referral is for a non-urgent issue – “there IS a contract you know… I should be seen sooner…” I decided not to argue, just to apologise and offer to refer to his GP who will ascertain whether the given date was clinically appropriate – not my place to say after all; I mean, if you want a second opinion, I’ll gladly book you in to see a GP!
Mr Hancock is still declining to return my tweets and our local MP, contacted by a patient who complained about well, pretty much everything that’s wrong with the NHS, has written back (copied me in) to say that she is taking the issue up with the Parliamentary Under Secretary, which translated means the square root of absolutely nothing will happen. And why is anyone an ‘Under Secretary’…?! Does that mean ‘assistant’ or just one stripe short of a full MP?
My Senior Receptionist dealt very well with a patient who was complaining that his medication wasn’t delivered on Christmas Day – Tuesday being our normal delivery day – and although it was delivered the day before (with notice given to each patient by the driver to that effect a fortnight before) it still wasn’t Tuesday – and that’s his normal day! To top it all, he wondered if he should expect the same “shoddy service” next week – as guess what, his weekly delivery is rescheduled for Monday as we’re closed on Tuesday… apparently “this is exactly why the NHS has gone to the dogs”….. Oh, I didn’t realise that I was single-handedly responsible for the failures within the health service simply because I allowed staff to have a bank holiday off. How silly am I? I really ought to try harder.
To top it all off, one of our wholesaler delivery drivers had a rant at one of the dispensers.
His requisition form hadn’t been filled in and it was, of course, tantamount to the apocalypse. My dispenser told him that she couldn’t fill in the requisition until she had seen what he had delivered as everything we ordered on Christmas Eve still hadn’t arrived so she wasn’t actually sure what he had been given to deliver to us, hence the wait until he arrived.
It will come as no surprise to find that Mr Jobsworth wasn’t happy to be kept waiting “I only have four minutes, you know,… four minutes to unload, come in, get you to sign this, take me wheels back to the van and off I have to go…” He further continued his rant…” you lot have no idea of the pressure I’m under.” Well obviously… and with no disrespect whatsoever to delivery drivers everywhere (my hubby is one of them), I’m aware that traffic can be nasty, I have no doubt that someone, somewhere will irritate the hell out of you as they drive at 24 mph in a 40 zone. I am sure ‘as eggs is eggs’, that you strive to finish your working day on time and hope that traffic and roadworks and ‘old’ people don’t get in your way but don’t you DARE talk to me about PRESSURE!
So what on earth happened to ‘T’is the season of goodwill’?! And isn’t it a crying shame that I have only retold the tales of the grumpy Grinches (of whom we all have many) and I haven’t mentioned any of the lovely cards we received, thanking us for our help over the past year. I haven’t shared the gifts reception got – the biscuit barrel is full of proper chocolate biscuits – not the usual digestives and rich tea dullness. And before anyone shouts, digestives and rich tea have a place – just not anywhere near my desk – not if you fear for your life, in which case you will bring me something smothered in chocolate (and I’ll leave that to your imagination…)
By Nicola Davies