Monday, April 22, 2024
HomeNewsDon’t call the NHS and they won’t call you

Don’t call the NHS and they won’t call you


I HAVE had a severe case of haemorrhoids for several years. I had a colonoscopy last year at the local hospital and the need for an operation was confirmed in a letter to me and my GP. Eventually, in April this year, I received an invitation to make an appointment at the hospital, but on trying to do so I was told no appointments were available and that if I had not heard anything by June to get back in touch.

After I suffered a particularly heavy bout of bleeding in June, a GP examined me and wrote to the hospital asking for my case to be expedited as it was urgent. A week later I received a text saying I had a telephone appointment with a hospital doctor on September 19. A telephone appointment three months later, when I had been examined twice! How can you examine haemorrhoids over the telephone anyway? I wrote an email to the GP practice manager pointing out the sheer uselessness of this and received a dismissive reply saying they had done all they could.

I contacted my Tory MP and he replied immediately saying that he had contacted the head of the local health authority about my case. Since then, nothing.

I am now bleeding heavily more or less constantly, which is thoroughly unpleasant and messy, and my wife is terribly worried that this blood loss is a threat to my life. We both feel that the telephone appointment is the NHS’s way of covering its back by saying that my problem is being dealt with, in the hope that I will resort to going private.

To cap it all, on Wednesday evening I received a text saying my telephone appointment had been cancelled because of the Queen’s funeral, with ‘apologies for any inconvenience caused’. Many hospitals are doing the same. Saffron Cordery of NHS Providers said: ‘It is right that NHS staff, in common with people across Britain, are able to mark the death of the Queen should they wish to.’ No doubt golf courses will be fully booked. And needless to say the all-important Covid vaccinations will continue.

I would have put my name on the top of this article were it not for my fear that I would be punished for my lack of respect. I do not want to be like a friend whose hospital appointment for a suspected diagnosis of Parkinson’s has also been cancelled because of the Queen’s funeral and rescheduled for November 2023, more than a year hence.

Our wonderful NHS? A bunch of leadswingers.

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