Yesterday was a game of two halves. Let me give you a flavour of the second half. I went to Bridlington Hospital for my pre-assessment for a minor operation. This process saves time on the day of operation whilst ensuring that the patient is able to undertake the operation - a double saving. I was called in for my assessment by two very friendly NHS staff who introduced themselves. One asked and answered questions whilst the other took bloods, blood pressure etc. Both were very professional and knowledgeable whilst putting me at ease. The whole process took about 25 minutes and as I left clutching an information booklet they told me they would see me on the ward. I felt that they would both be my new best friends who would look after me on the day. So a satisfied customer of our wonderful NHS then - well not quite.
Let's have a look at the first half. I follow a series of signs that lead me into a rather sterile waiting room. A radio is playing, lots of leaflets (none of them relevant to my operation), out of date magazines and one other person. Time 10 am and another person arrives. Time 10.10 and the first person is call. Time 10.35 and the second person is call. I ask the nurse why I am still here when my appointment clearly says 10 am (I was on time) to be told that all the appointments were for 10 am and I was next in say 25 minutes. So rather than book one at 10 am, one at 10.25 and one at 10.50 I was expected to sit there for possibly 50 min and wait. I fumed as I read the out of date magazine "glad" that I had paid for 2 hour parking (£2.50) rather than the hour (£1 - not sure how that works but that is for another day). Time 10.50 and in I go for the second half - perfect from then on as described above.
How difficult is it to schedule 3 patients at staggered times? Why does the NHS think that their time is more important than mine? Would any business schedule 3 clients at the same time and expect the last one just to wait?
Why oh why does the NHS score so many home goals?