Identity Crisis

Posted by @ 2:10 am on Tuesday 19th December, 2017.
Categories: A bit of a rant

Why is it that, in this age of lightning-fast networked computers, apps for every conceivable eventuality, and allegedly-ever-improving standards of education, the health services of this country still can't match names to phone numbers and/or documents?

Fail 1

A few weeks back I had a toenail avulsion, courtesy of the NHS. It's a standard procedure with a standard recovery regime - nail off, chemicals applied, dressing on, first self-redressing 2 days later, first clinic-redressing the day after that, then self-redressing every 2 days for a month, then a second clinic-redressing, assessment and discharge. The appointment for that second clinic-redressing should have been arranged during the first clinic-redressing session, and I was handed a set of sheets with instructions which included a space for the podiatrist to write in the details of second clinic-redressing appointment.

When the month was about up I consulted the paperwork to plan for the appointment but found that they hadn't written down the details, so I had to phone the booking office to get that information and that's where it started to turn weird... the system was telling them that I'd been discharged 3 days after the procedure, which isn't standard practise. They asked me to check the paperwork... it definitely didn't have any appointment details on it. Worse still, it didn't even have my name on it, according to the paperwork I was "Lyni Sargent". After I'd had a pop at them, they wasted no time in making an appointment for me.

Just to compound the confusion, they had no record of ever having treated a "Lyni Sargent", so why she had a post-op instruction sheet printed for her is a complete mystery. Maybe the system's wrong, and Lyni is still waiting for a call or letter that will never come, while her neglected toe's gangrene goes untreated.

Fail 2

Last week the home-care bods who visit my M-i-L rang our land-line yet again. Now there's a back-story here, and I'll keep it brief... my M-i-L has 4 offspring, and each of them has a spouse, and all eight have submitted their contact details so that there's always someone available to handle carer-calls when it all goes to pot. In practice, however, most of the calls were aimed at my Chris via our land-line and we'd assumed that was because the carers knew that she lives closest to her Mum. The problem was that my Chris works a fair distance away and at later-than-usual hours, and calls became cascades as the panic propagated from here through siblings and spouses, so we insisted that the carers created and used a Priority Contact List. It has five entries, starting with the nearest son, then his wife, then my Chris (her mobile number for when she's at work), then the next-nearest son, and finally my Chris again (our land-line number). The other son lives so far away that he's not on the Priority Contact List because he can't be expected to attend within the hour.

Anyway, as I was saying, the bods rang our land-line and I picked up. They had dialled the fifth entry first, and for some bizarre reason they were expecting me to answer to the name "Geoff", supposedly the spouse of my Chris. Yes, you guessed it, Geoff is the one who lives far, far away and who is not on the list and who isn't married to or living with my wife.

When I said that I wasn't Geoff, they thought that I might be "Sue", who is the spouse of Geoff's brother, and who doesn't live either here or with Geoff. Eventually they decided that I must be "Chris", the person that they were actually trying to contact, and I had to nail into their numb-skulls yet again that Chris was at work and could have been reached on her mobile, but only after the previous priority numbers had been tried.

The following day I went to their office to bang a few heads together. Again.

After getting home with a printout of the Priority Contact List we found that when they created it they had transposed a couple of digits of Chris' mobile number, so they would never have got through to her that way. And they weren't using the bloody list anyway, they were using a database which has the same transposition error and has the contacts in alphabetical, not priority, order.

Oh, I nearly forgot to mention what dire emergency had prompted the carers to pick up the Bat-Phone to initiate this communication crisis... one of them had been into the pantry and had found some tinned fruit which was just past its "Best Before:" date. Whoopie-fucking-doo!

Fail 3

Today my mobile rang and I answered it to find that it was a call from the NHS Bowel Cancer Screening peeps, they wanted to discuss the twice-postponed impending internal photo-shoot which is their birthday present for all 55-year-olds (with all of the delays, it's taken so long that I'll be nearer to 56 than to 55 when they get a round tuit). For some dumb-fuck reason they had it in their heads that I was "Melvyn Hines". They've sent me an enema-pack, and they've told me where I can stick it. BOHICA, Melvyn!


So, in the space of a few weeks I've been Lyni, Geoff, Sue, Chris and Melvyn. On Friday I'll be having an MRI scan to see if I need a replacement knee, and God only knows what gratuitous identity will be assigned to me for that. If it turns out to be "Neil", they can fuck off.

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4 Responses to “Identity Crisis”

  1. Glen Rayner says:

    Strange name changes are not unusual in Burbage:
    An??????? ???????Act??????? ???????to??????? ???????enable??????? ???????Timothy??????? ???????Watts???????,??????? ???????of??????? ???????Burbage??????? ???????in??????? ???????the?????? ??????County?????? ??????of?????? ??????Leicester??????, Esquire, and his Heirs, to change or alter their Names to Saint Nicholas, according to the Will of Bazil Saint Nicholas, of Knowle, in the County of Warwick, Esquire, deceased.

  2. Glen Rayner says:

    @Glen Rayner - Don't know why your comment box is covering my comments with questions marks, probably also related to the Burbage Twilight Zone.

  3. BG! says:

    Originally Posted By Glen Rayner
    @Glen Rayner - Don't know why your comment box is covering my comments with questions marks...

    GIGO! It's the text that was copied/pasted that's dodgy - try a copy/paste into a Word doc, or a .rtf and it displays all sorts of crap. WordPress is good but it can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

  4. BG! says:

    Anyway, I didn't need to wait for the knee-scan to gain another spurious moniker - this morning I answered the door to a community phlebotomist who looked at me and addressed me with my M-i-L's name. At the GP surgery we have our address listed as the contact address for my M-i-L, but the feckwit in charge of the system had over-written the patient's actual address with it. I wasted yet another phase of my life at the GP surgery this morning trying to get matters sorted out.

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