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WHEN THE JEWEL IN THE CROWN GETS BLOCKED

August 8, 2014

FIRST, apologies for the enforced absence from the blog, but this was due to circumstances beyond my control which left me in a painkiller haze and with not enough mobility to warrant a Zimmer frame.
However, some form of reasoning is returning between the ears which is allowing concentration of a sort.
Unfortunately and with great sadness, I had to pull out of the Queen’s Theatre’s Community Play, Paper Planes, but understand it was the anticipated success of the Dave Ross and Gerry Sweeney script with a cast of 60, (sorry 59), setting the stage alight under the direction of Patrick O’Sullivan, the theatre’s Education Manager.
And regarding my infirmity, which I will certainly not share the gory details, below is an article I wrote for my regular magazine column.

Ugly duckling web‘Journalists are fair game for medical professionals who never tire of asking why they get a negative press without a mention of the many successes.
My stock answer has always been a parallel of the Titanic’s first class passengers getting silver service at dinner, while a skeleton crew below deck desperately bale out the flood water.
Simplistic I know, and made up of many icebergs; patient confidentiality; politicians interfering to gain cheap points; cut budgets haemorrhaging staff and bad news travelling at the speed of light while good is posted without a stamp.
At the cutting edge I have never found a problem, but have been driven to despair in the recovery stages.
For example, 10 months ago and in great pain, I called an ambulance at 3am to get me to Hospital.
Three days later I was allowed to go home clutching a piece of paper saying I had something nasty that required an operation.
Not life threatening by any means but it took a nine month wait to get to the successful conveyer belt system of morning keyhole surgery and home for teatime.
Unfortunately the condition had degenerated to the point of being kept in three days after the operation which left me with three micro holes in my abdomen and a scar that looked like an attack by Darth Vador’s light sabre.
Bad enough but another problem had emerged, and this required some bolt on plumbing, and a swift referral to specialist unit at another Hospital.
It then appears my notes required by the specialists had sprouted legs and gone for a walk. It happens in big organisations, we all know that, but the frustration of victim and caring staff was palpable as the system failed.
It was only solved by some old fashioned door slamming by the baling out crew, that moved things forward, but I still have to wait for the new consultation. A grand total of seven weeks painful immobility since the operation, plus how ever long that will take to get to some action after being seen.
Like the much maligned Curate’s egg, the National Health Service shines with praise for the good parts, but is damned for the rest.
This is why the NHS gets negatives as the fine work done by the staff and medics is swiftly forgotten in an aggravated mist of patient patience being stretched to the limit.
Big is not always best but perhaps the time has come to revisit the core reason why we have the NHS.
To those of us still breathing after major traumas in our lives, it will always be the Jewel in the Crown, but for those stuck in the ever growing queues for less serious illnesses, the idea of caring for the sick loses its lustre.
So here is my message for the accountants and jobsworths involved in supporting the service; For goodness sake stand back and give the professionals a chance to do their jobs.’

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