BEFORE YOU START: Please note that although I currently volunteer for both the Stroke Association and Age UK, the views expressed in this blog are strictly my own. I am not a spokesperson for either (or, indeed, for any) organisation. I am based in the UK and the blog therefore has a UK bias - I've tried to use the Glossary to explain any terms which might be ambiguous, but if you think there is anything I've missed, please message me.

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Hospital Outpatient Appointment

My wife went for a hospital appointment yesterday, it was something respiratory so, before the appointment, she needed to get a chest x-ray. As you can imagine, that's not uncommon for respiratory appointments.

So we got to the appointment and were immediately told to go to another department to get the x-ray. This might have been our fault, we might have turned up at the wrong place to start with. Except that when we got there, the x-ray people had never heard of my wife. Not even late, but non-existent! So there's then 20 minutes in the waiting area while somebody is trying to find out what is happening.

And we see at least three people rock up to x-ray, all with the same story, all patients at this respiritory clinic, none of whom are expected. Presumably this happens every Tuesday, and somebody's day consists of just chasing around after widow/orphan patients. You'd think that, when a respiratory appointment gets created, the system would have the option to create an x-ray appointment too, but that appears not to be the case. And nobody's doing it manually, either at the same time as they create the respiratory appointment, or even when the patient arrives on-site and checks-in!

I've got a lot of sympathy for the Labour criticism that our hospitals are starved of cash, but I don't think cash is the only answer, there's a basic lack of common sense. How many people must go into the NHS with similar ideas to mine, and just get ground down by the system such that nothing changes? That's the serious part, and it's very sad.

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