Saturday, January 06, 2007

Walk-In, Crawl-Out

This morning, Trixy woke up with a hideous and unbelievably itchy rash all over her body, which looked like it was probably an allergic reaction. Thanks to the fantastic negotiating that the government did on our behalf a while back, there were, of course, no GPs available so we went along to the Charing Cross & Middlesex Hospital Walk-In Centre. We arrived at about 11.30am.

After endless frigging about, having been marked as "urgent", Trixy was first seen after about half an hour. Triage was then done by:
  1. a nurse practitioner, who was obviously utterly out of her depth,

  2. after about another twenty minutes, a first doctor,

  3. then after another half an hour, a second doctor, who asked precisely the same questions as the other two then went way for about twenty minutes before returning to take some blood,

  4. a third doctor, who asked precisely the same questions again, then said she'd take a urine sample. She went away, and forty minutes later, a nurse came to collect the sample.

  5. the third doctor returned after another half hour or so, to tell us that main bloods and urine were fine but that we needed to await the result of electrolytes.

It was just after 4 by the time that a nurse came to escort us to the A & E Waiting Area; all we needed to do was to wait for the steroids that the doctor had prescribed. So, we sat down to wait...

... And wait...

... And wait...

By the time that six o'clock came around, we had been told, at various points, that
  • the steroids were ready and that someone had just gone to get them (three times),

  • and that there was only one on-call pharmacist for the entire fucking hospital

At about twenty past six, one of the nurses finally said that the steroids were ready and he went to get them; he came back about five minutes later and—fucking finally!—we could leave...

Four sets of triage? Lied to by the nurses three times about the delivery of the medication? This was all shit enough, but it was this that really got my fucking goat: we passed the pharmacy on the way out and saw that it was open 9am–1pm on Saturdays and 10am–2pm on Sundays.

What. The. Fuck?

I love this joined-up government, don't you? Having bollocksed up the negotiations with GPs and allowing them (quite understandably) to opt out of weekend surgeries and weekly on-call duties, one might have thought that maybe, just maybe, the government might have ensured that the only places open at a weekend—the hospital Walk-Ins and A & Es—might be adequately staffed to cover the inevitable influx of people at the weekends.

But no, that would be asking too much, wouldn't it?

My father came in with the paper yesterday afternoon—the headline was about the cuts to the Navy's strength—asking, in an exasperated manner, whether there was anything that this government has not fucked up? The answer is, of course, "no": there is nothing that this bunch of corrupt, incompetent, fucktard cunts.

The damage that they have done will take decades to put right. Fucking hell, I loathe them so much; so, so much.


Anonymous said...

hmm what did you do to her?
(long time reader - love your rants!)

Trixy said...

I am allergic to him

Pogo said...

You should get married then... Most of the married couples that I know appear to be allergic to one another.. :-)

Anonymous said...

Mmm, new place in London? Could have been beg bugs.

AntiCitizenOne said...

* this advert was funded by not paying the TV-Tax.

Winchester whisperer said...

I hope Trixy is feeling better and that she hasn't developed an allergy to skating or champagne or, indeed, her latest pair of Manolos

Damon said...

I hope Trixy is well now, but count yourself lucky. In the Welsh NHS, you'll be lucky to be seen as quickly as you did. It took me 9 months to have a serious condition treated in my local hospital in Cardiff, and then I only got it sorted because I collapsed elsewhere and was taken to a different hospital where they actually knew what they were doing. I was even starting to plan having surgery done in the Far East before finally I collapsed and something was done. I'm fine now, and I hope Trixy is too.

Karswell said...

Interesting that you had to wait four and a half hours before being taken to the A&E waiting area. The key performance indicators measure the time taken to treat patients from their arrival at the waiting area. Time spent in "reception" does not count for the purposes of this.

Because of fiddles like this, the gov can claim that service is improving while it is actually deteriorating.

vicola said...

Ah the A&E. What joy. Last summer I sat in an A&E waiting room for 6 hours with a lot of pissed up people while waiting for someone to deal with my rapidly swelling broken kneecap. Which apparently was less of a priority for the poor overstressed, overworked junior doctors on duty than getting the pissed people out of the department. Apparently by getting a nurse to look at the knee and move me to a different cubicle every few hours it meets govt targets because I was not sat waiting in the same area for the whole 6 hours. Fucking semantics.

Anonymous said...

If the pharmacist will sell antihistamines without a prescription, then that would be the easiest solution to something like this.

Dr. Strabismus said...

It struck me as I sat down to write this comment that everything I might say about the state of the NHS has already been said, but those retards in Westminster still refuse to accept it because of the 'success' of the NHS in meeting targets.

The NHS was in a bad enough state 10 years ago, but this government's application of ill-considered targets has distorted it beyond belief. Last year I went to my GP with a serious chest problem - I could hardly breathe - to be told by her to come back in two weeks if I was still ill. Notice that she wasn't denying I was in a bad way, just that she wouldn't or couldn't treat me. So I went to a private GP who quickly diagnosed my problem and gave me the medicine I needed.

I presume my NHS GP has me down as successfully treated because I didn't come back. Rather like 'administrative detections' are for the Police, this is creating the illusion of success by shuffling paper. I wonder if it's done at other surgeries?

It's surely not difficult to understand that it's easier to fiddle a system than it is to cure people. If you impose a system than can be abused by NHS managers, it will be. And of course it's those at the bottom of the food chain - the patients - who suffer.

Anonymous said...

dr strabismus,

"Notice that she wasn't denying I was in a bad way, just that she wouldn't or couldn't treat me. So I went to a private GP who quickly diagnosed my problem and gave me the medicine I needed."

Yes. Because you're paying directly. That changes the whole attitude to the relationship. People excuse the craptastic NHS because they have no fucking idea how much of their money is sunk into it, and are constantly bombarded with propaganda about how great it is, how everyone working there is a tireless fucking Stakhanov, and how it's fucking "free".

When you hand over your own money, you expect something for it. You expect the doctor to do some work. Last year I was doing all the fucking legwork with a condition with my fucking GP. I was suggesting solutions I'd heard from friends, to be told that that yes, that might help. So if you fucking knew about it, why wasn't it suggested by you, Mr £100K fucking "professional"?

I hate the NHS. Tesco gives me better service.

verity said...

I hate this government. There is nothing that they haven't interfered with and nothing they haven't wrecked. I loathe them beyond words.

Why the voters couldn't see Blair for the self-regarding, Messianic fantasist that he is has always puzzled me. The peculiarity of his psyche is right there in your face.

Oh yeah? So what has happened for the last ten years, exactly?

Over at the ASI, they are posting some of the winning entries of the Young Writers on Liberty. One does not want to put such keen minds off,...