Monday, March 08, 2010

Is anybody listening out there?

Far be it for me to suggest the NHS is not quite as good as it might be, but then, I am only a humble user of it.
I have a thingy growing above my lip ( no, its not a mustache) and I have had a couple of similar " lesions" removed before now ( chin, earlobe) because they get in the way and eventually start getting nicked when shaving and bleed everywhere.
So I popped along for my appointment at the brand spanking new Victoria Hospital in Glasgow this morning.
It's a fantastic building. The only problem was they forgot to connect the drains which set it back a few months...
At the appointed hour ( 08:50) at Clinic B there was no one to be seen. I nipped next door to Clinic C, and when I said there was nobody about, I was met with a shrug of the shoulders.
About 09:10 a wee wumin asked if I was waiting for anyone. I showed her my appointment letter. She looked at me. She went behind the desk got a file out, read it, then pointed at a cubicle.
" In there and take your top off - Doctor will be along shortly"
Now I did think it a bit strange that I had to take my top off, but hey, they are the professionals.
After another 10 minutes or so, a very dapper gent arrived with a file, opened it, read a line or two, shut it, then prodded me in the ribs.
" Hm can't see anything there. Where is it.?"
" Where's what?"
" The growth on your rib - is it internal?"
Now there were three possibilities that leapt to mind. Either there was someone else needing a lump cut out of their rib ( and I was damned sure I wasn't going to let them do that to me) or my own doctor had sent other details.
Or the person who had taken the details from my own doctor was deaf - they are forced to employ people with various disabilities nowadays to meet their PC quota.
" Er actually it's not me with the rib problem. Mine's on my LIP."
" Nothing like a rib. Wait here."
He came back with the wee wumin who turned out to be his nurse.
A general discussion ensued which established
a) I was the patient they were supposed to see.
b) It was definitely my rib that was the problem - as per their paperwork.
I kept pointing at my lip, but the doc went on about the exploratory operation I would need before he could be sure about the lump ( what lump?) and how to deal with it.
" Look," I eventually said," There's nothing wrong with my rib. Are you going to look at my lip or not?"
" NO," they said in unison. " That's not in our targets"
" Right, I will go away and start all over again."
" Well that means you will have refused treatment," said the wee wumin, severely, " and when you ask again to get your lumpy rib taken care of we will be within our rights to refuse treatment."
As I left, I heard the doc say " Well that's our target for lumpy ribs met anyway."
My only worry now is that if I ever DO have a problem with my rib, I may die of it before they will deal with it.

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