Thursday, March 10, 2011

Counting for something

I am tremendously excited. Okay I know I don't get out much these days but the 2011 census has dropped on our doorstep and I will be counted. I won't be a past thing but I will be down as the head of the household, as I always insist on that as a rather pathetic blow for feminism. Mind you with my luck a thunderbolt will hit the house on 27 March and none of us will be counted. Failing that historians in the future looking for trends in education or in disability will count me.I will be an important statistic. But sometimes I don't feel as if I count at all.

I had a terrible day on Monday. I had to go to the Diabetes clinic, which at the moment is sited in one of our local hospitals, an old workhouse that is going to be razed to the ground soon. At present you have to park in the Visitor's car park, which of course we had to pay for, and then find the diabetes clinic. Luckily we saw a couple of chaps in hi-viz jackets who showed us the way. But the route was so long and bumpy, I was in severe pain around where my feeling starts and Stewart worn out by pushing me up hill and down dale. We got there and apart from the fact I had to sit outside to avoid passing out with the heat all went well. I am no longer diabetic.

But I have a problem with my hearing on top of everything else and had been told by my GP that I could just walk in (ha ha) to the walk-in hearing assessment clinic to be assessed. He said it was in the Rehab centre close by to said old workhouse. We went in there, now remember that everytime I get in and get out of our new green frog car, it's an effort for us both and currently I only have a crappy wheelchair on loan from Bourneville Ward. I am by now slipping out of said wheelchair and very uncomfortable. We go to the reception in the Rehab centre, they say that the hearing assessment centre is at out-patients back at the hospital. We duly go over there, get ourselves out of the car only to find that it is elsewhere on the hospital site. By this time I am absolutely exhausted. We go round to the centre, which is tucked away down a snicket. We can hardly manoeuvre the car round it and there is no disabled parking at all. We park right outside where it says "keep clear". We struggle to get me out again and I wheel myself up to reception to ask if I can avail myself of the walk-in clinic, I even find the energy to joke and call it the roll-in centre for me. I am told that the walk-in clinic only operates from 9am to 12.30pm and that as long as there is an audiologist available I will be seen if I return the next morning. I ask if I can make an appointment then and she says that they don't make appointments for hearing assessments. I burst into tears much to the embarrassment of all those sitting and waiting.

I have reported this chain of events, in no uncertain terms, to the Chief Executive of the hospital. Because I am known to her and to every other bugger at the top of the NHS, a special appointment has been made for me next Monday. So I count, but what about the other poor sods who don't or at least only will on 27 March.


  1. Unbelievable and happening every day to people who lack the skill set to fight for their rights.

  2. Oh Jean, horrendous. Have they all forgotten the 'care' in healthcare. Shame on anyone who didn't help you both to their absolute best ability.

  3. Oh Jean, reading this I really wonder why we complain about our health system here in Germany... It is just incredible. And one would assume you are speaking about a third world country not about a place in Europe.

  4. It does sound 'third world', doesn't it? Well done for complaining, Jean. If we don't complain nowt gets done. (Btw, if anyone from NHS is reading, it is stories like this which get the current NHS a bad name and give credence to the Tony Blairs and David Camerons who say that our public services need to be made more consumer sensitive. Much as I hate to admit it, stories like this show that they have a point. Trouble is Andrew Lansley's current scheme looks as if it is going to throw the baby out with bathwater.)

  5. Incidentally, Jean, another beautifully constructed piece - bringing it back to the census at the end was a masterstroke (mistress-stroke?!).