Sodding cold

Still coughing, still getting annoyed by it.  Have another headache today from the coughing.  Feel as though the cold is coming back which would be an officially bad thing[tm].

Grete had her dentist checkup today – and has passed with flying colours.  It’s the first time she’s had a checkup in five years and she was pretty worried.  On top of being worried about visiting the dentist anyway obviously.  So she was pretty relieved to find out she doesn’t need any work.  My wallet was equally pleased she didn’t need any work.  So just the £180 for me next week, and then probably another £100 or so when I can find the time and energy to go back.

We’ve got guests this weekend so we’re tidying (extra-tidying honest) the house – which means basically Grete is tidying the house and I’m blogging about it, but it’s like a shared experience.  Friday we have Tracey and her mum who are here until Sunday.  On Saturday they’re going with Grete to a craft fair in Birmingham and meeting Grete’s mum and aunt there, who’ll be coming back on Saturday late afternoon.  Lynda’s going with them, so she’ll be here Saturday morning.

The BBC news site has a story which strikes a chord with me and my NHS experiences.  The comments are well worth reading (even though they didn’t publish mine yet). Here’s a (long) quote from the article,

Last year a friend of mine had an appointment with her doctor. Her local bus route was disrupted by road works. So, she left half an hour before she really needed to so as to make sure she got to the surgery on time.

As it turned out, there were no delays so she went to the reception desk prior to intending to sit down with a magazine to await her turn to see the doctor.

When the receptionist spoke to her, this was her loud greeting: “You’re early. You don’t expect to be seen early do you?”

In front of a waiting room full of strangers, my friend told me that she felt embarrassed and belittled.

In a health service that treats thousands of serious illnesses every day and has been a foundation stone of our society for 60 years, this was no life or death matter.

Yet, it is highly unlikely that a member of staff in a store such as John Lewis would address someone in this way. The people served there are customers. The people served by the NHS are patients.

It’s worth reading the whole thing and the comments.  I can’t say enough how I agree with the general points made, and in the comments section many people agree with me that it’s not usually the medical staff that are the issue, it’s the administrative staff in the way.

Of course, sometimes it can be the medical staff, like the GP who told me to eat less cake and stop taking sugar in my tea (neither of which I did at the time) because I was now diabetic.  You shouldn’t have to fight both your illness and the establishment to get good treatment.

I could rant for hours about the terrible treatment Grete has had over the years with her depression and associated issues in the hands of the NHS.  I think the idea of a national health service is fantastic, and I wouldn’t want it to go away, but the processes and people around it need to understand more clearly that their role is to get people help, and that those people are already vulnerable, scared and in need of assistance.

One thought on “Sodding cold”

  1. I don’t think I’ve ever come across a really nice doctor’s receptionist! I suspect, but don’t know, that it’s probably a dull, poorly-paid job (with most of the surgeries money going towards the Doctors’ increasing wages for doing less and less work). Put in a training scheme, pay them well and get in highly regarded people and this issue will sort itself out.

    Having said all that, when I visited my doctor last year with depression (which I’d suffered with elsewhere and was treated very well by my previous Dr) I was told as much to “pull myself together” and asked what I wanted. Did I want time off? Did I want counselling? It was apparently up to me to chose. I came away feeling worse for the experience.

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