Friday, 23 July 2010

Typical NHS

Tuesday 13th July 2010

On Thursday morning I’d received an appointment in the post from the hospital for my MRI scan. It was 13th July at 5.45pm. Given that the usual waiting time for MRI scans is eight weeks I was well impressed….

As the appointment time was 5.45pm, there was a possibility that John might be able to finish work slightly earlier than normal, which would save him having to take a half day.

Later that morning I received a telephone call from the MRI department.

“We’ve got a slight problem”, said the woman, “we’ve just noticed on your records that you are due to have some x-rays taken on your back after you’ve had your scan. The x-ray department closes at 5pm. After that it’s emergency on-call cover only. Do you think you would be able to get here for 3.45pm”.
“I’m not sure”, I replied, “I’ll need to speak to my husband as he’ll now have to arrange a half day off work, instead of finishing early”.

I thought it was too good to be true !!!!

Having contacted John who said he was happy to take the half day, I rang them back and said the new time would be fine.

That afternoon (Tuesday) after John had dropped me off at the hospital (not a car park space to be had for love nor money !!!) I wheeled myself to the x-ray department.

Rather than handing over my appointment letter (which would only confuse things…), I explained about the change of appointment time because they close at 5pm..
“I wish !!”, said the receptionist, “we’re open 24 hours”.
After typing on her computer the receptionist looked at the waiting area, “I’ll send you for the scan first”, she said, “as there’s quite a few people waiting for x-rays”.

About five minutes after I’d arrived at the deserted MRI scan waiting area, a radiographer came out and asked if I could complete the necessary form (did I have any metal objects in me etc). Having replied no to the verbal questions (did I have a bra on; anything metal in my pockets; was I wearing any jewellery or a watch; did my jeans have any metal studs in) my bag was put into a locker and I was given the metal locker key (!!!) .

Another radiographer then arrived with a hospital wheelchair. No metal (or should that be no NHS metal….) was allowed in the scanning room so I had to swap chairs.
“I’ll lock your chair in the changing room”, she said, “just in case someone makes off with it”. Charming !!!!!!

I’d had three MRI scans before so knew what to expect. Their music choice on the headphones was ok, but the volume could have done with being turned up as the scanner was very noisy.

Fifteen minutes later and it was all done. One of the radiographers helped me off the scanner and I’m glad he did, as lying flat on my back, with my knees bent did nothing for my back pain !!!!

I wheeled myself back to x-ray, which by this time had emptied, and waited to be called.
“Marie Harper”, shouted the radiographer.
Having caught her eye, she then pushed me down to the next waiting room.
“We called you twenty minutes ago”, she snapped.
“I was told to report for my MRI scanner first”, I protested.
“It doesn’t matter”, she huffed.

She pushed me down the long length of the corridor, passing two x-ray rooms, “we’ve only got one x-ray machine working today”, she said, “the others are all waiting to be repaired….”.

About five minutes later another radiographer came into the waiting area.
“Mrs Harper”, she asked.
“What’re doing down here”, she snapped, “you’re meant to be at the waiting room”.
“I was told to come here by the radiographer”, I replied.
She pushed me up to the waiting area where the two x-ray rooms were supposed to have been out of action.
“I’ll be back in a mo”, she said, “as I need to get you to sign the consent form”.
“Mrs Harper. What are you doing up here”, snapped the first radiographer, “you’re supposed to be down at the bottom end”.
“I was told by another radiographer that I was meant to be here”.
She wasn’t amused so grabbed a hold of Wizzie’s handles, ready to push me down to the bottom waiting room.
“Where do you doing”, asked the second radiographer to the first one, “she’s mine”.
“No she’s not. I’ve got her paperwork”, replied number two, shaking the form.
“What does this look like”, said number one, shaking her form.
“Ladies please”, I intervened, “you don’t have to fight over me”.
“Is she next on your list to do”, asked number one.
“No”, replied number two.
“She is on mine, is I’m having her”.
Number one left in a bit of a huff….

Number two radiographer sat down next to me and asked me to complete the consent form.
“I noticed on your form you were meant to have your MRI scan at quarter to six, then x-rays after that. Why are you here early”, she asked.
I explained about the telephone call I had received from the MRI department.
“X-ray is open 24 hours a day, three hundred and sixty five days of the year”, she replied, “so you could have come at your correct time”.
I was not amused that John had wasted a half day for nothing.

While I was waiting for John to pick me up, a male A&E nurse walked past me, went to his car and remove something from the boot. I gave him a real hard stare when he walked passed me. He was parked in a disabled car park space (and no he didn’t have a blue badge).

No wonder we can’t get parked !!!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.