Sunday, November 29, 2015

Late Night Visit to Urgent Care Centre

I mentioned on an earlier post on here about how I attempted to get Carol a doctor's appointment and failed because after around two hours of trying to get through on the telephone because that is now the only method available to get seen by a doctor at our surgery. So she still hasn't got an appointment and her health has got worse over the weekend ( I shall not describe on here what it is that is causing her problems as it it somewhat personal and she wouldn't thank me for giving such information, if you will excuse me from doing so. This doesn't matter because I really want to write about the N.H.S.'s inability to make available access to their services by people who are in need of serious attention and the fact that Carol, as a teacher, is what you would describe as a 'Key Worker' along with such people as ambulance drivers, paramedics, doctors etc, who keep the country going and cannot make appointments during work hours, hanging on telephone lines attempting to make doctor's appointments by using such ludicrous systems as set up by out-of-touch bureaucrats who sit in offices and don't use such services themselves (or so it would appear.)

At around 3 0'clock on Sunday morning Carol was in real pain. She has been taking paracetamol without much success, so we decided it would be best to visit what is called the Urgent Care Centre at Milton Keynes Hospital, formerly known as the Walk-In Centre. It's for those who need medical attention but not serious enough to need to go to Accident and Emergency. I have used that service when I had my original heart attack and subsequent angina attacks which then lead to over-night stays in hospital. She rang the 111 phone number and gave details of her problem and was then told to go to the Urgent Care Centre where an appointment was booked for  3.50 a.m. We had to get dressed and I was half asleep, as you can imagine at such an early hour. The dogs must have wondered what on earth we were doing getting up in the middle of the night so they had to be put in the kitchen, much to their surprise as they usually spend the night with us in the bedroom. Spoilt doggies.

It was an easy drive to the hospital. We live directly behind Milton Keynes Hospital and we could have easily walked through to the Urgent Care Centre but we decided as it was so late and dark (and who knows who would be wandering around the streets at that time of night. Probably no safe unfortunately.) We got to the carpark and decided against payment. Sorry, we didn't have any cash and it seems unfair to expect you to pay when you visit any hospital department. Fortunately the reception had details of Carol's ailment on their computer but this didn't mean we were seen any faster. There was only one other person waiting so we couldn't see why we had to wait so long. Another hour or so before a nurse saw her and then another hour before a doctor saw her. Only two other people came in and sat in the waiting area. The two vending machines in the place were not working. Not very good considering you were likely to wait several hours to be seen and the place was really dirty with empty coffee cups, coke cans and crisp wrappers on the floor. Some people seem incapable of putting their rubbish in the bin provided. No magazines to read either or even a television on as you might expect. The plastic chairs you have to sit on are so designed to make the whole experience as uncomfortable and unpleasant as possible. Possibly an attempt to put off that element of the community who treat the N.H.S. and it's services with some sort of contempt and think they can get every single minor cut, broken finger nail, sniffle, sore ear, throat or big toe treated in such places and waste money and time doing so. I know I'm ranting a bit but such people don't need to clog up the system when they can deal with those minor ailments by going to a chemist and speaking to a pharmacist who will tell them to take aspirin or paracetamol or just go home and go to bed for a couple of days until they feel better or to just be more sensible and take evasive action so as not to cut their finger or stub their toe and thus allow more serious ailments of other people to be dealt with in a calm and sensible manner.

Anyway, we left after barely two hours and Carol was given a prescription for some medication as well as being told by the doctor who eventually saw her that he'd sent a letter or no doubt an email to our surgery to the effect that she needed an urgent appointment. So we drove home where I then made mugs of tea which we drank in bed and went back to sleep. So I imagine I'll be rung on Monday or probably Tuesday by the surgery in Beanhill to give Carol an appointment.

After our early-morning visit to Urgent Care, we didn't get up until quite late. It must have been at least 9.30. The sun was shining so it seemed in order to get out so we drove up the A5 past Weedon to visit the Heart of Shires shopping village, somewhere we've visited on quite a number of occasions. There are quite a few of these sort of places dotted along the A5 which we love to visit because the A5, Watling Street is a rather pleasant drive as an alternative to the M1 which is such a soulless drive and the service areas over-priced and very bland. This particular place has a wide range of really great shops, selling a range of products such as food and drink as well as antiques. We had a pleasant meal in Darlington's Tea Rooms where we both had ploughman's lunches which were better than the average you would get elsewhere with plenty on our plates and we also had coffee. Very efficient service and reasonably priced in very pleasant surroundings. It was a shame that the weather changed as we were in there and by the time we went back out to the car to return home it was getting very windy, the sky began to cloud over and it looked as if it was going to rain.

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