Helen A. Handcart

Posted by @ 1:10 pm on Friday 18th May, 2012.
Categories: Illness and injury

So, where were we? Ah yes, the three-month Mebeverine/Colofac trial (for which I was told to acquire drugs for only two months). As previously stated my flexible sigmoidoscopy took place on 23rd April and I am supposed to attend a follow-up clinic three months after that, so we're looking at sometime during the "backend" of July by my crude reckoning. Basic maths and all that. You'll recall my parting shot: "Now, dear readers, it's time to place your bets... the three-month follow-up appointment should be for sometime around Monday 23rd July... how close do you think they can get?"

Well, this morning I'd still not received a letter about the follow-up appointment so I phoned the hospital appointments people. The woman I spoke to was somewhat edgy and told me that there were no clinics arranged for the summer, she wouldn't tell me why although she said that she did know. I asked her if the place was closing down, she went quiet, then she got flustered, then she advised me to speak with one of the General Surgery Admin Managers.

I phoned an Admin Manager and she was a bit more forthcoming with information. She said that they have four consultants and in theory they work a six-week rotation. Of those four one is in long-term recovery after an op, one is awaiting an op and will be in recovery over the summer and one appears to be available for duty. And what about my consultant? They're letting him go on holiday again, regardless of them being short-staffed. And when he's not on holiday he will be dividing his time/loyalty between slaving for the NHS and making a fortune at the BUPA hospital. I think we can guess where his priorities will lie. They're trying to draft in more consultants but there are "funding issues" and "staffing issues".

She then advised me to contact my consultant's secretary so I made yet another call. Said secretary Helen told me a similar tale of woe - my consultant would hold no clinics before the end of August as he wouldn't have time for them.

Now I'm no expert but I'd have thought that if patients were treated effectively from the start, so as to reduce the chances of complications and the need for follow-ups, then the demands on consultants wouldn't be so high and funding/staffing issues would be less of a burden. Back when I was in Quality Assurance we called it getting it "Right First Time", and when it wasn't right first time we worked hard and fast to make it right ASAP. Mind you, industry was customer-driven - no customer-satisfaction meant no cash. The NHS isn't customer-driven, indeed it's difficult to tell if there's anybody driving at all. Maybe it's on Otto Pilot?



Anyway, the long and the short of it is that there are no clinics scheduled until September at the earliest, by which time I'll have been off my drugs for longer than I was taking them. What sort of three-month trial is that?

My consultant's secretary says that she''ll "get back to me" sometime next week.

Yeah, like that'll happen. I'll not be holding my breath.

The one good thing about this postponement is that we can now finalise our holiday plans. Skye in August. And when my arse falls off while I'm high in the Cuillin and they complain about having to treat me again because they reckon that I've overdone it, I'll take great delight in reminding them that my consultant has declared me to be OK for that sort of thing.

Oh, and the Mebeverine isn't making any positive difference anyway, but it does make the call of nature harder to answer and gives me so much wind that I could drive all of Wee Eck's windmills 24/7.

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3 Responses to “Helen A. Handcart”

  1. Geoff says:

    It would be worth finding out who is the top dog at your NHS Trust. We had a similar problem with my Mum when she was alive, so my brother wrote a letter of complaint to the head of her NHS trust laying out the details of their incompetence; by coincidence she was given an appointment within a fortnight. They then gave her the necessary treatment a week after that!

  2. AlanR says:

    Do you fancy a job as a consultant? You probably know more than them by now anyway. And as long as you can google the required information you should pass ok.
    I hear that's what they did with that poor 4 year old lad who had a small hemorrhoid.

    Maybe you just need a Cuillin down period.

  3. BG! says:

    Originally Posted By AlanR
    Maybe you just need a Cuillin down period.

    LMFAO! That's the best one I've heard or read for a long time, Alan.

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