Thursday, 26 January 2012
It's enough to give you a heart attack!
Mrs D. just had an angiogram to find out if she has coronary heart disease (thankfully she doesn't), but the experience is worth recounting...
We got the appointment well in advance, as it is these days with NHS lead times. That wasn't a problem. Just present yourself at 8am on Tuesday. Then on Sunday, we get a telephone call to say 'No, make that 10am. Oh, and could you go to the cardiology department at 9:45 and pick up a blood test form?' No problem.
Tuesday arrives and I take Mrs D. to the hospital. Problem 1 - you don't just need a form, you need to have blood taken. Problem 2, we don't do that here, you need to go to another department.
Off she trots. Problem 3 - 'We're busy! Why weren't you here at 9 o'clock?' Er, because we did what we were told?
Eventually we arrive at the Day Surgery Unit. 'Where have you been? You're late!' Er, well you told us to go to cardiology for a form, which turned out to be a blood test, which is done somewhere else. 'I told you needed to do that and you should have gone there at 9am!' Er, no you didn't - but we're here now so let's get on...
Mrs D, is now led to the ward. It's 10:35 and nothing much happens until after 2pm when she is told they are ready for her. The angiography unit is in a trailer in the car park and it's the coldest day of 2012 so far. Do they wheel her out there on a bed? No, of course not. They give her a double layer of hospital gown to wear and she walks across the car park - followed by a bloke pushing her bed with a nice thick warm quilt on it!
Of course, once you have had one of these things done, there's a bloody - literally - great hole in your femeral artery so you can't walk for a while. But that's no problem because, if you remember, they've brought your bed and you're now allowed to get into it so they can wheel you back to the ward.
Eventually - about 4:30 - they ring me and tell me to collect her. She has an appointment the next day at the cardiology clinic, but this is of course much too close to the test so they ask us to ring up and cancel it.
When I ring the next morning, they tell me that the day unit staff have already cancelled it, so it's a bit of a mystery why they asked us to do it as well.
All in all then, just another typical day in the National Health Service...