from the ridiculous to the sublime

from the ridiculous to the sublime…sublime

yes once i start off in the extreme adjectives don’t you know it’s a HEALTH PROVISION rant?

OBVIOUSLY I AM SPEAKING IN MY HUMBLE OPINION – not medically qualified – but life qualified – and HONEST.

when you have 4 children- as I do…and your health is complicated -as mine is…then you do see your share of practices.

we do pay a holy fortune for Private Healthcare – NOT as we approve of having to, but as a realistic there are some lengths of time i am not willing to wait for. Some of my WORST appointments have been Private ones. In my experience it passes waiting list times but is NOT by any means a quality appointment guaranteed! To be honest i think many of my worst have been Private appointments.

So as a not-so-secret-healthcare-shopper of healthcare i have spoken before of the variety of ways “ifeel” my appointments go.

A few weeks ago, I got one of those:

due to the NHS waiting lists being so long we are in a position to offer you a Private Appointment. Please call……..


so I did call.

this letter suggests they are facilitating you – but NOPE –

“you can have an evening, a Saturday or a Sunday!”

but i have children, I can’t drive so my OH and I live in the outer regions of the geographical provision ripple pool in NI….so during the school day please???

“no we can’t and we offer you 2 times and if you take neither if goes down as a refusal and you are sent back to the doctor who referred you!!!”

so we move mountains and we take one back to back night before an NHS appointment that i have also been waiting on and needed to travel to…towards civilisation and all specialisms!  BUT 2 days before this facilitating me appointment, I get a call from the provider group asking :

” would it be possible for you to change your appointment time as consultant has flight difficulties….”

as it is THEN moved to my initial request of during the school day, I agree.

So i arrive at what can only be described at a private clinic, one that is 2 hours from my home…so a 4 hour round trip and at least £30 of diesel away. I arrive early as i like to. I go in early…and aren’t they ready for me early.

Since i never deliberately NAME the person involved, i won’t give details of the procedure.


  • i had about HALF of what was on information sheet done.
  • i spoke about symptoms and unless the nurse recorded them I was ignored.
  • i went to prepare for remainder of test was told no need.
  • he did NOT ask me about medication i was on which i was well aware could hypothetically alter any results.
  • man referred to:
    •  “if i had your notes”
    • “i don’t have any of your scan details”
  • i choose my battles but less than 15 mins from me entering the clinic i was at my car.

and had I the energy for a FOI request, I would LOVE to theoretically know what that arrogant, disinterested man was PAID – including his FLIGHT to clear a waiting list…as opposed to putting money where it SHOULD be invested in frontline NHS provision of these tests. To be HONEST? at least MY appointment was I consider a waste of NHS funds which were wrongly spent!

oh obviously air-conditioning, carpet, coffee machine, and LOVELY clean smelling toilets! And shiny, smiley, well dressed after-shaved doctors and staff.private

but ‘twould seem that DOCTORING waiting times, by buying in dont-care-or-bother-my-backside-to-even-get-the-notes-i-would-have-if-this-was-an-NHS-hospital hours makes more SENSE.

It does NOT.

and i was FUMING.


My other appointment WAS an NHS one…

obviously another £30 diesel and over 3 hours round trip – but i like in the outbacks…i wonder has minister for health heard of the region?

old hospital…don’t get easier with my public toilet issue with age….

noisy queues…doctors looking frazzled

no air conditioning…

my appointment and my leaving the clinic were HOURS apart!….

BUT in that time:

  • i saw a nurse then 4 different specialists
  • i was squeezed in for an opinion to a parallel clinic for a slightly different opinion
  • i was given so many tests
  • at the end – at 5.40 – off the clock hours – clinic was closed but i was still speaking to 2 specialists – a very thorough young lady and the senior consultant, who could not have been more interested, more open minded, more kind, outside the box, had discussed with the other 2 specialists they had sent me to.
  • i will be re-seen in about 6 weeks under the umbrella care of this senior consultant – who will be liaising from her specialism and is bringing onboard two other allied clinics.

i LEFT the clinic exhausted, nauseas, and completely overwhelmed by the CHASM of difference in the thorough and comprehensive appointments in the NHS to the perfunctory, basic, and insulting unprepared doctor who needed to fly in.

from the RIDICULOUS to the SUBLIME.

by the way at both ends of the day I decided to visit the ward where i was for my 8 weeks inpatient care December-February.

As ALWAYS  welcome, warm, genuine people – run off their feet.

  • “are you coming in?”
  • “how have you been”
  • “you look great”…

Chatted 2 nurses, “Johnny Breakfast”, 2 surgeons all who see me as a PERSON…

the sublime end is NOT where you would think!

i prefer those medics with ETHICS..ethic

.to those with shiny smiles!









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