I was discussing the other day how the NHS had become a business run by administrators for the benefit of administrators and that any concept of patient care had evaporated when the Labour Government set waiting lists targets.
Anyone with a modicum of intelligence realises that the overall measure is quality of care and result. The concept of a waiting list is an English disease invented by beaurocrats for the simple reason that there are not enough quality clinical resources available in the NHS.
Little did I expect to become a victim again so soon?
My GP had asked me to go back under the care of a rheumatologist, I agreed though what I actually want is a scan of my shoulder to see if there is broken off calcified ligament as the only treatment for that is surgery.
I had dismissed rheumatology as useless after they withdrew my prescription for phenylbutazone in 2002 when another administrator in the NHS decided a chance of 1 in 100,000 was too high a risk of me dying from the medication even though I’d been on the drug for over 5 years with no side effects whatsoever.
They don’t have an effective alternative so I have to stick the constant pain.
As my GP said I’d be going to North Manchester General Hospital less than half an hour direct bus ride away I agreed (thinking though I bet I’ll have problems getting a scan).
Today I get a hospital appointment sent to me but no not for Manchester but for Rochdale Infirmary at 08:30 am on 31 December 2008. I had to look up where Rochdale is I’ve never been there!
To get there involves 3 buses and a 2-hour journey.
So to make an 8:30 appointment I need to leave at 6:30 latest and pray there are no delays or missed connections.
That would be all if I was not already suffering from Ankylosing Spondylitis which is at it’s worse in the mornings such that I need a minimum of 2 hours to get my body in a fit state to travel. So it’s get up at 4:30 am – no way!
I’ve sent a suitable get stuffed email to cancel the appointment and I’ve raised an immediate complaint to PALS.
This is my second complaint to PALS and I only registered as a patient in Manchester on 21 October!
No doubt I’ll get a load of administrative waffle about PCT catchments area and waiting times and capacity but whatever they say I’ll never go to Rochdale even if it costs me my treatment though they aren’t going to get off without a lot of stick from me.
Now on the subject of my first complaint to PALS regular readers may be aware that I complained about refusal of dental treatment by Manchester Dental Hospital.
Today I got an amazing phone call on my mobile from the Consultant to explain the reasons he turned me down. Essentially he says that the Hospital has no facilities for sedation / pain relief so if I want periodontal treatment there it is no different to having it at my dentist.
I find this utterly incredible as treatment for severe periodontal disease includes surgical augmentation treatments such as soft tissue and bone grafts.
Perhaps Manchester Dental Hospital doesn’t do any of this in which case what is the point of this NHS facility?
Or do they do it without anaesthetic? In which case they are a tough lot here in Manchester.
He rather over stressed the fact that I could not get implants on the NHS.
He said that I could have an appointment with him or a colleague for a consultation on treatment options but that he stood by his refusal to treat me.
I’ve taken the appointment option, as it will give me the chance to get an answer to what is the point of the facility and further argue my case for treatment.
Interestingly he totally dismissed a link with my Ankylosing Spondylitis but then he is an English doctor and burdened with a professional jealousy of American research that says there is direct link. I know whom I believe and it isn’t him.
I think it’s again a denial by our wonderful NHS to avoid treatment costs.
Amazingly after this conversation the post arrived with an appointment for me at the Manchester Dental Hospital with the Prosthodontics Department.
If that was the appointment he referred to this was a magic trick worthy of Paul Daniels.
Now Prosthodontics is aesthetic and reconstructive dentistry which includes implants!
But obviously not really in our wonderful NHS.
The appointment was for 9:15 this Saturday but I phoned in and got it changed to 14:15 because of my Ankylosing Spondylitis.
This could be interesting, as I’ve now no idea of what they propose for me?
I sometimes wonder whether there is something on my NHS file that is causing all these problems though maybe I’m seeing conspiracy in the place of good old-fashioned administrative incompetence – time will tell