6 months ago I considered myself to be an unfit yet healthy man. Now, thanks to the ministrations of the NHS, I find myself ‘suffering’ with a string of conditions, most of which appear to be having no effect on my actual lifestyle.
Today’s tale is of a telephone call received I was in France from the nurse in the preoperative units. She said she understood I had been put on a trial of something or other as a consequence of my visits to the sleep clinic. explained that yes I have been to the sleep clinic but that as yet I have received no feedback and that I had certainly not been advised that I was to partake in any sort of trial.
I repeated that I had received no feedback whatsoever about the results of the overnight blood oxygen monitor test. The nurse explained that the aneasthetist had seen the results and suggested that was evidence of mild sleep apnoea that he would like exploring.As I recall, there was also a suggestion that my GP had received a letter and was aware of this. I explained that, on more than one occasion, I had asked to receive copies of all correspondence from the hospital about me and had received nothing from the sleep clinic so I was starting to wonder what happened.
After a bit of pleasant to-ing and fro-ing the nurse agreed she would get the sleep clinic to send me a copy of the correspondence and also check with the GP about my blood pressure at the end of the month.
Once more, a disconnected administrative system and a lack of recognition that it is me who is the real customer and not my GP, leave me not knowing what is happening and what needs to happen next. Surely it would be easy to provide me, the customer as well as patient, with perhaps a flowchart illustrating the anticipated route through the system as well as expected wait times between stages and who to contact as any particular time about any particular issue?
I still consider myself to be an unsafe and healthy man, although I am starting to be worn down by all this seemingly unnecessary to-ing and fro-ing. My heart sank for a few moments when I realised that once more information about me was being transmitted without my knowledge and that it seemed that a decision had apparently been made without consulting me.
ADDENDUM – 2 hours later
Same nurse rings back to explain firstly that she had copied me her copy of the letter about my sleep clinic and secondly that my GP would have to refer me back to the sleep clinic “because he holds the budget”! FFS – it was OK for the pre-op screening to refer me in the first place, yet now they have found something to ‘explore’ I have to go back to my GP for a referral brought on by the hospital in the first place. Yet another delay while I get back from France, book an appointment with my GP, only to be referred back to the hospital! Grrrrrr…..
Good job this adenoma is not serious (is it?) or needing critical care.