At the risk of repeating myself & yes I am aware that I am doing just that, I have to refer back to a very early experience which I spoke about in a few #s way back when.
If you have followed the # from the outset you will know what I am going to say & may prefer to give this one a miss & go & put the washing on & call the cat back in before the fireworks get going for the 6th night after November the 5th (Note to self: don’t get started on this one Holly)
It’s about communication again.
First Grrr; let’s talk about emails – just a quick reprise here. Staff in the NHS have been conditioned/ warned / made wary by urban myth or sheer illogical dense thinking by people on a higher pay grade that they are not allowed to send out emails to patients. It’s ridiculous & extremely irritating!
If you are just dipping into my Rollercoaster Ride then you can see my rationale for the above bold statement here.
The latest example was when I received a phone call from Healing Hands (the Complementary Therapist I met this week) to ask if I could make a cancellation slot. Of course I could, thank you. She went on to say that the appointment letter would not get to me before the date & as I seem to have the attention span of a doormat at the moment in some ways I asked her to email the details to me. Guess what?!?
“I’m sorry but I don’t think I am allowed to do that” It’s not her fault & I didn’t press the point but even so… She very sweetly went out of her way to drop the letter of at the Radiotherapy clinic for me to collect (around a 20-30 minutes addition to her day if she did on foot).
If only the NHS could get it’s act together on this one, it would save a significant amount of money which could be used for something else. Grrr.
I completely forgot to ask her to look in my notes as I had already put a disclaimer in there about accepting the “risks” of emails…
The second Grrr happened yesterday.
Some kind person had realised that I had an 11.45 hr appointment with the Complementary Therapist & moved my treatment time to 13.30hr. The only problem was, that I only discovered this when I pitched up at 15.30hr the time on my appointment card! It was all ok, I didn’t have to wait too long & funnily enough the Radiotherapy team knew nothing about it either when I apologised…
The final Grrr occurred today.
Please don’t get me wrong. I realise that sometimes the machines breakdown: it’s probably symptomatically reflective of what is happening to NHS staff these days – everyone is expected to work longer, harder & smarter & somewhat like their human counterparts the machines which have the same demands made of them, get fed up from time to time & just temporarily grind to a halt.
“My” radiotherapy machine, let’s call it HAL (because it does remind me of Arthur C Clarke’s 2001 A Space Odyssey), was not sounding particularly clever when I went in for Zap number 7 yesterday. I am becoming more familiar with the noises which HAL emits now & can only describe the new noise I heard as the four part HAL rotated & then reverse rotated around me as a grinding creak!
I mentioned it to the Radiographers, commenting that if I was in a fairground & heard one of the rides making this noise I wouldn’t go near it…
Today when I arrived at 15.30 there was a notice up to say that HAL was not working & the patients due to be treated on it had a 60 minute wait. Not in itself a problem, these things happen & I need the treatment so I am content to wait however.
- The route from home to Springfield CC takes me past several schools (7 in total) & kicking out time starts at around 14.45 onwards (infants first) – all things being equal, if I allow 40 minutes for what in theory should be a 15 minute trip it’s fine.
2. I have to endure CFBS (comfortably full bladder syndrome) so that the radiotherapy is accurately delivered. In the normal scheme of things drinking 250mls of water & not peeing for an hour is not a problem however, it becomes the total focus of my attention every time I walk in to the waiting room. How long is the delay?At what point will I need to empty my bladder & then refill (bearing in mind that you have to go back down the snake & wait for 30 minutes to go up the ladder again!).
If I resist the urge & take a gamble, will I be able to get on & off the bench without wetting myself & drowning the Radiographers? You get the picture.
fortunately, I was able to use the time wisely & well. I knew I was due to have bloods taken for Review Clinic tomorrow & asked at the desk. One of the receptionist contacted the HAL controllers & came out with my form so I could go along & get that sorted which is great. It meant I didn’t have to faff around after I was seen.
I had a nice chat with a couple of people who come for treatment around the same time as me & bumped into a couple of ambulance crew who I know from my workplace (I’ll come back to the ambulance service in a later #). All of which helped me stave off total bladder detonation.
HAL’S controllers were very apologetic & I really do understand that these things happen & that nobody does it deliberately or to piss people off.
But today (or any other day), I would really appreciate it if someone sent me a text message to tell me that treatment was running late. I could have waited a little longer before leaving home & drinking my therapeutic dose of water. It’s the same for all of us & I feel it more for those who are clearly feeling pretty ropy, who may also have had to travel a long distance to get there.
The thing is, that the Radiotherapy team (including the receptionists) are fab bunch of people & they deliver a good, kind, quality service. These little communication tweaks would just serve to make it even better.