Don’t panic! The heading here does not mean that I’m going to propound my views on the forthcoming British referendum on leaving/remaining in the European Union. I refuse publicly to throw my weight behind the assorted political Weasels and high profile nut-jobs of either side so you can still make your own mind up!
No, I wish to tell you of a recent experience of my own which leads me to the conclusion that those remaining/leaving campaigners’ dire pronouncements on the National Health Service are all pointless – it’s already screwed beyond belief!
Let me explain.
For the past few years, and in keeping with his practice’s policy (practice’s practice if you like) my Doctor has prescribed Statins to control my Cholesterol. They do this for all men “of a certain age” whether or not Cholesterol levels are high.
Every 6 months or so I am given a batch of prescriptions which I take to my local Pharmacy and they then deliver the pills to me at regular intervals.
Last Monday I realised that my last batch of tablets was nearly at an end and therefore phoned the Surgery. You used to be able to make an appointment on-line with your own designated Doctor, go in and tell him what you wanted, whereupon he would print the prescriptions on the spot.
Since they appointed a Business Manager to “improve” the system, however, you can’t do that anymore!
Now you have to call the Surgery, leave your name and request a call back from the Doctor, hopefully later the same day.
That’s the call I made on Monday. I explained that I needed another BATCH of prescriptions and asked for the Doctor to call. I was told that for repeat prescriptions no call back was necessary and that I could pick them up in 48 hours.
So, this morning (Wednesday) at about 11am I drove the 3 miles or so to the Nene Valley Medical Practice surgery in Orton Goldhay, queued up at Reception and then requested my batch prescription.
Search! No Record! Consternation!
“Did you speak to the Doctor?” I was asked.
I repeated what I told you a couple of paragraphs ago.
Search again. Some limited success.
Turns out the telephone numpty had basically failed to listen to me and had prepared a SINGLE repeat prescription.
The lady at the desk was apologetic and I pointed out that I still needed the batch in order not to have to go through this again in four weeks’ time.
“OK” she said, “I’ll arrange for the Doctor to call you about it”.
I asked when this would be and was advised “Before mid-day today”!
“Hang on”, I responded, “Are you trying to tell me that I have now to rush home FROM THIS SURGERY in order not to miss a call from my Doctor that he will be making FROM THIS SURGERY?!!”
And I probably put more than two exclamation marks at the end of it.
“Yes” she said, looking surreptitiously at her watch as if to say “You’d better get moving then hadn’t you?”
So I dashed home and actually had 10 minutes to spare before the Doctor called – and it pains me to say that they hadn’t told him why he was calling me so I had to explain it all again!
I’m sure it’s all down to that bloody Business Manager – this sort of system happens when you promote people beyond their highest level of incompetence!