Monday, 24 February 2014

Computer says no - the NHS

I had to have a hand scan - see earlier post. Apparently its a "drop in centre" thing at my HOWGE HOWGE hospital. I chose to drop in on a Saturday morning rather than take a whole afternoon off from work.

This Times petition to get the hospitals working 24/7 looks to be paying off I thought as I bimbled in.I was all bright and bushy tailed, always happy to talk to anyone. First there was the receptionist no 1.  By definition someone who should be receiving visitors, preferably in a friendly manner. This one had their back turned to me, was flat in enthusiasm and swift in their direction giving. So much so I had to ask 3 times before I understood what he said. He made you feel like an inconvenience. He also followed me through to the x-ray department and shouted at the team there for not letting him know that they were open today. Nice.

On arrival in emergency x-ray department, even though it wasn't an emergency but it was all that was open that day. The instruction to x-ray my hand I watched my doctor send with  mine very own eyes had not arrived. Not only that despite giving my full name and birth date several times to have it shouted across a busy waiting area so they all knew exactly how old I am, found me not on the computer. It said NO!  I did not exist! The receptionist reminded me Roz from Monsters Inc until I managed to crack a few jokes and get a smile.

Had I just moved to the area?
Had I changed dr?
Had I recently changed my name?No no no no no.
Had I ever been to the hospital before ? Yes several times over the years including last year

However with a bit of detective work the staff eventually found me under my previous married name, changed several years ago. Whilst this supposed bit of Miss Marple was going on I watched 2 elderly men in a state of undress and confusion be dropped off in a wheel chair by a silent porter who shuttled them about like cattle. Left them without speaking to them and shunted a piece of paper in front of the receptionist without saying a word before departing. The old men look frightened and without a shred of dignity. They sat in main corridor bewildered and confused. The place felt dirty and we all felt a little unloved despite the best efforts of the few staff that were on. The fact I could go in on a Saturday had been a boost I thought things were going in the right direction. The way in which people speak to you costs nothing. Changing that could have made such a difference.
What a sorry state of affairs the NHS is in.


  1. Unbelievable! My oldest son works at Forth Valley Hospital where he's a porter and robot programmer. This hospital spent over a million on these robots with the biggest advantage supposedly cutting down infection. They're often mechanically breaking down on their venture back once it's delivered it's load.

    It's awful when there's needless expenditure spent in some NHS hospitals and not enough in others.

    1. Helena - Robots? I prefer people. I think the human element of care is often forgotten