Friday, January 14, 2005

New Health Minister new policy?

Every day brings more complaints about the Health service in Wales. With the permission of the writer I have reproduced one of them having removed anything that might identify the person concerned.

A complaint about the health service. I'm sure you are neck-deep in them already but thought you may like to be aware it can take around 3h 40m to see a doctor..... even if you are in pain.
The story...

After suffering pain over Xmas - attempted to hang on to see a doctor tomorrow.
1.50pm. The pain got worse

.........Last time I had such pain it was a ride in the ambulance to hospital with gas and air (kidney stone).
Phoned local surgery ( I'd tried to ring NHS Direct but gave up after 22 mins as no answer)

Local Raglan surgery not open. Advised to ring Usk.

Rang Usk. Doctor not available until 3pm and not contactable.

Surgery sister advised me (through receptionist) to go to Neville Hall Hospital as gave her my previous history.
Husband and daughter (aged 8) drove me to Neville Hall.

Went in Accident and Emergency by mistake. Cross receptionist certainly ticked me off for making such and error (I'd never been a patient there before).

Seen and processed by 3pm ish - sample a nurse. Told was cause for concern but as my doctor had not admitted me I would have to go to Usk for doc to refer me. I could not be seen by doctor. Doped up with pain killers.

They had on a number of occasions sent patients back to their doctors to be boomeranged back to NH shortly afterwards.

Husband drove me to Usk.

Waited 1hr 25m to be seen.

5.25pm Saw Doctor Jarrett who diagnosed kidney stone. He thought it odd – as I did- that as they have all the equipment at Neville Hall, that I wasn't seen.

Left with heavy-duty pain killers and a letter to Ambulance Service if they have to be called out in night.

The question is Why? Why would anyone in pain be sent back to a doctor, who I hadn't seen before and had no notes. Is it 'The System?'

If the pain returns tonight, and it is worse it will be another ambulance trip.

Incidentally.. a good tip if you want to be seen quickly... Drink a few pints, fall down, call ambulance. Dr ..(name removed by dd) told me glue-sniffing is an equally successful manoevre. You will be welcome in Accident and Emergency with no tiresome waiting in doctor's surgeries, and very likely not in pain.

I hope our new Health Minister Brian Gibbons will be more prepared to act on complaints like this than his predecessor.


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