Thursday, May 10, 2007

Where's the "service" in NHS?

I had the misfortune to waste this morning in Stepping Hill Hospital with Joe and his small fracture on his left arm. We had a good laugh last Saturday when he was looked at, x-rayed, put in a cast and sent away in quick order. Everyone was lovely. But this morning we returned for a check up and the morning was dreadful. We arrived really early for his 10.30 appointment, but they were running late. I asked how late and they said they didn't have to tell me until they were running half an hour late. So tell me anyway. No. Computer says no. By half past they could say it was now half an hour late.

By 11.00 they announced they were running an hour late. Which was too late for us, we both had things to do. The attitude of the staff was dreadful. Their body language suggested that they were the victims in all of this, not the people with broken bones. There was no apology, just a grimace and a weak attempt to blame the doctors. Joe didn't get seen, we'll have to try again next week and book out an entire day just in case.

Just not good enough.

1 comment:


One of the great modern taboos is criticism of NHS staff. The NHS itself is fair game because we can blame the government, but 'hard worked' doctors and nurses themselves are above reproach if you listen to most commentators.

I beg to differ. I have had the misfortune of regular visits to our local hospital where various members of the Hughes tribe have suffered treatment over the past few years.

Invariably we have to endure long delays. I see important looking people dawdling about the corridors staring at clipboards and I hear groups of NHS employees debating last night's Eastenders. I see very few people actually being treated, but I do see huge signs threatening castration if you dare complain about this situation.

Maybe the NHS is a shambles and maybe its employees are shackled by its inadequacies, but I also think there is an unnacceptable percentage of NHS staff who think these problems are ours to suffer and not theirs to resolve.