Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Who was it said the NHS was wonderful?


My son - who is off to New Zealand in a few days - wanted to register temporarily with the local GP so he could obtain a repeat prescription. Pretty straightforward I would have thought?

However, on ringing the local GP some jobsworth informs him that to register he has to turn up in person to sign on. Bit of a pain but nevertheless my son dutifully wanders to the surgery and completes all the unnecessary, intrusive and largely pointless form filling needed to register.

With this procedure complete he asks for an appointment to see a GP. Sorry- can't do that!

Tomorrow, my son has to ring up the surgery at 8.00am (the line will be engaged - it always is at that time) which is the only time when appointments are dished out.

Utterly, maddeningly, stupidly, uselessly crap and incompetent.

And they call it a national health SERVICE! Who do they think they're kidding?



Snowdon said...

It's incredible isn't it? My doctor's has/had the same system (I haven't been in for years). Is the rationale that they don't want to book people in too far in advance because they might feel better and not show up?

Dr Who said...

Thats hardly a massive issue is it? Within 24 hours he'll have an appointment for a non-emergency issue that if he'd taken the time to sort out in advance of running of out of his medication he'd have been fine. Sorry but this is just pathetic me, me, me attitude.

Leg-iron said...

I am informed that it's best to appear in person at the surgery to book an appointment, on the day you want it.

Otherwise, unless you can claim 'heart attack in progress', no chance.

Anonymous said...

...on the other hand.

I woke up yesterday night with chest pains. They repeated themselves early in the day so I walked over to my nearby health centre for advice. My Dr. saw me within a few minutes and although he was fairly clear that he was dealing with a minor problem, he booked me into the local hospital's Acute Medical Unit for some elimination tests. They saw me within the hour, and in rapid succession I was given an EEG, a blood test, and a chest X-Ray, and finally the all clear.

While I was there I saw the staff deal politely and efficiently with a elderly lady who had collapsed at home, another patient in severe pain, and several individuals with varying nasty and unpleasant ailments.

If I lived in the US, I would at the moment have been without health insurance as my new job doesn't start until March. I'd therefore be facing a bill running into the thousands of dollars. In all likelihood, I would probably have chosen to ignore my symptoms and hope for the best.

The point that was driven home rather forcibly to me yesterday is that despite its obvious flaws, I was very glad the NHS was there for me. I've no doubt that the system can be improved, but I can't fault the staff I met yesterday.

Phil said...

Has the added affect of pandering to the GPs stats on how quickly they see a patient.

I don't mind waiting, I do mind practices such as the one you describe. And I still remember that interview where PM-at-the-time Tony Blair was surprised to find that most people can't in fact see their doctor within 24 hours!