Medicinal Madness!

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Medicinal Madness

On the 21st of January this year l had an appointment with my consultant with regards my shoulder, neck and arm, and l was told that l was to have a small procedure performed as an alternative first to see if that could repair the damage, and should that fail then l was to receive key hole surgery.

So here we are on the 5th February or 16 days later – sadly l have come to realise that if you want to get things done you have to chase them up yourself. The good ol’ NHS here in the UK is nothing like it was as an organisation as little as three years ago. Things take longer now.

If my crushed and collpased shoulder was anything but as painful as it is daily l wouldn’t be hard pressing to get my appointment, but it’s not, it’s chronically painful each and every day, and l am tiring of both the pain and the sheer volume of tablets l am having to consume daily just to get 85% relief! I take on average 12 – 16 tablets are day, l was on 20, but l have forced myself to cut back as l believe they are doing more long term damage than benefit at present. It just means l have more pain, but 11,200mg of chemical medication daily l think is detrimental to my health, so now l only take 7,200mg which is still bad but less evil!

On that appointment l also had a swab for any MRSA that may be present and was told l would hear back in three days, which obviously l have heard squat. Since yesterday l have been trying to get through to the hospital using their covoluted switchboard system, something that l wasn’t looking forwards to especially after the process and the length it took me prior to my 21st Jan appointment as in four days just to get through.

But l have to keep chasing them up, as l am simply tiring of being in pain and discomfort each and every day.

Yesterday l tried 8 times to get through to the hospital with no luck, and yet today l had the madness of getting someone to answer the calls, but not before being disconnected twice, and then disconnected a third time, until l actually starting speaking to robo humans.

This was today’s conversation which took me to 12 department and 2 hospitals in Margate [my hospital] and Ashford [not my hospital]

Automated Switchboard [AS] – “You have got through , you now have the choice of 9 options please press or say the one relevent to your call.”

Me – Bollocks!  ……. “Six”

AS – “Thank you, you have got through, you now have the choice of 7 options, please press or say the one relevent to your call.”

Me – Gee whiz  …… “Four”

AS: “Thank you, you have got through, you now have the choice of 4 options, please press or say the one relevent to your call.”

Me – Seriously?  …… “Three”

AS: “Thank you, you have got through, please hold, you are in a queue, you are …….. next”

Music, the most god awful selection known to human kind, interjected every 60 second with .. “Please hold, you are in a queue, you are …….. next”

I was on hold there for 6.33 seconds, and then disconnected! So l had to start the proceedure again, and l did, and then l was disconnected again, however on the third attempt, l got through.

“Good afternoon, how can l help you?”

“Yes good afternoon, my name is Rory Matier, here is my birth details, l was at an appointment on the 21st January with my consultant, and l had a swab taken for MRSA just ringing to find out the results and maybe my next appointment please.”

“This is Ashford, you want Margate – Transferring you …”

“X-ray, hello?”

“X -ray l don’t want x-ray, l want …”

“Transferring you to switchboard.”

“Good afternoon, how can l help you?”

“I have just literally spoken to you, l am …”

“Transferring you Mr Moxley”

“Mr Moxley?, wait l ..”

“Hello, MRI?”

“Er, little bit of confusion here, l am looking for the results of an MRSA swab l had?”

“Transferring you to switchboard.”

“No, no, wait…”

“Good afternoon, how can l help you?”

“Yes hello, Mr Matier here, just this minute spoken to you, l am …”

“Oh yes Mr Maften, transferring you.”

“What, Mr Maften, no, wait.”

“Outpatients, good afternoon.”

“Right before we go on, l don’t want outpatients, l had a swab done for MRSA and l would like to know …”

“Transferring you to switchboard.”

“Appointments, how can l help you?”

“Sorry l am a bit lost now, l don’t want appointments, BUT perhaps you can help?”

“I’ll try.”

So l explain my situation .. and switchboard then says “MM, so Mr Matter, you probably want Microbiology then l would say, okay, transferring you…”

“Microbiology, how can l help?”

So l explain the situation, and after awarding my name and DOB, she answers with “Yes, can see you on the system, you had this done the 21st of this month? No that’s not right, last month, okay, so what do you want to know?”

“The result would be great.”

“Oh l can’t give you that, you are too deep into this chain Mr Mansier.”

“No, actually it’s Matier.”

“Right, okay, you should know, transferring you back to appointments.”

“Waiiit can you not just tell me?”

“No, afraid not, against proceedure, sorry. Transferring.”

“Outpatients, how can l help you?”

“Err, no l think l needed Appointments…”

“Transferring you now.”

“Appointments, how can l help you?”

So once more l explain the situation, and reiterate my name and DOB and that l have been on the phone now for roughly 35 minutes with people from all sorts of departments getting my name wrong and constantly transferring me around Kent.

“Yes, sorry about that, the system can be a bit tricky .. so you want the results of your MRSA swab?”

“Yes please, that would be great, and to find out my next appointment as well please?”

“Transferring you to Microbilogy.”

“I have been there, they said no, l jus…..”

“Outpatients, oh goodness is that you still on the line, l have just spoken to Imaging and they have said you are clear, no need to worry.”

“How about my next appointment?”

“We will let you know.”

“Not by phone is it??”

“Sorry, no by letter, thank you.”

Dead line!!

So now, l have to go through all of this fuckwittery again tomorrow just to find out when my next appointment is!

15 thoughts on “Medicinal Madness!

  1. Oh my goodness do I feel your pain! It seems proper, good and immediate medical care is changing everywhere. It has lost the personal connection and individual care of days gone by. We are all numbers and dollar signs now I fear. Good luck and I hope they take care of your shoulder quickly.

    1. Hey Noellie. This is supposed to be their new fangled all seeing singing and dancing system, to improve communications – however unless l am being utterly stupid, l always get lost in the switchboard, l am beginning to think l am jinxed.

      My letters only have the supposedly again exact telephone number to ring to get through to my department and yet it’s not the direct number and they don’t award you the number. The hospital l am at is right next door to the main hospital, and in the two hospitals there are five switchboards!? Not one main switchboard and 4 subs, but five main switchboards?? How does that even equate to logical?

      Then because there is two hospitals, most times you are in Ashford and transferred to Margate if lucky … l think lucky l am not.

      it’s very frustrating and whilst l reread this post and l can see the comedy when you are on the phone being called all forms of surname other than your own, you start to see red mist.

      Oh well, as they say Rome wasn’t built in a day.

      1. Rome also was its own demise when it became to great and spread themselves to thin. I wish you well and hope the five main switchboards find you and connect to the proper channel. whew that is so frustrating.

    1. Hi Karen, then l am guessing that you too are all too familiar with the hospital system in the NHS yourself these days. A lot of hospitals had these new switchboard systems, and then didn’t train their staffing efficiently, something an awful amount of employers are guilty of these days in many industries.

      1. Tbh I’ve never had a problem with hospital switchboards, most departments put their admin number on the letters and they’re pretty good. But I can imagine how often situations like yours would happen.

        1. I have all that also, and l use the numbers they provide me with on their letters and yet, just to get to the specific building l want l am chasing around like a headless chicken, there’s something broken in this system sadly.

  2. Oh it’s no better across the pond. I’ve spent 7 nightmarish weeks waiting and trying again and again and again to schedule a simple procedure, 3 appointments, 6 hours on the phone, 3 “preliminary” tests and $1,000 US later, I STILL don’t have the #$%*& procedure even scheduled! Bureaucratic nonsense seems to be universal. Best of luck dude.

  3. I’m going through a similar phone game trying to get my new driver license. I renewed and paid for it last Nov and haven’t received it yet. I can’t even get a live person on the phone. I’m probably going to have to go to the office just to speak to someone and they are ALWAYS very busy with long lines. Even with appointments.

    It does get so frustrating all you can do is laugh. Or cry. Or both…

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