As I set off for the French trip that I have been postponing for week, I still await developments.
My blood pressure is slowly coming down and when I get back to Blighty I will need to try to arrange the appointment that the GP requested. It’s currently running at around 155/100 but as I wasn’t given a target by the surgeon I don’t know where I stand.
I took the overnight oxygen monitor back last week as requested but have no idea when i might get any feedback. Once again a gap in the system – surely it would have been easy enough to download the data there and then and let me know whether there is any concern, but that would be patient/customer friendly wouldn’t it? This gap has helped me realise another less than satisfactory aspect of the whole administration of my case, namely that I have never been told how to contact the various specialists dealing with me. Most of the letters come from some anonymous Appointments Service and on the odd occasion I have actually managed to get in touch with anyone I have taken the initiative and found out the relevant PA/Secretary’s number myself. It helps that I know a few very senior people in the Trust and can manage to bypass the gatekeepers if necessary, although I do my best not to (ab)use this inside knowledge unless absolutely necessary. Having said that…
The positive news is that I have been speaking to the hospital’s Head of Patient Experience (who IS one of those insiders) about all this and we have agreed to try to find way for me to tell my story in a constructive way. I don’t want to complain formally but I do want my experience (which is by no means extreme) to inform improvements to the system. I’m going to spend some time coming up with my own ideas about what I would expect and how the current system falls short.