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Hoses of the Holy in the Parallel Universe

April 15, 2005


I spent the entire day yesterday sitting in NHS waiting rooms. Aside from having to confirm our names, address, dates of birth, and have my daughter repeatedly describe what was wrong with her a grand total of eight times to apologising Health Trust staff, I managed to read two whole magazines from cover to cover and half a paperback book.

I went nearly insane with the agony of waiting with no hope of it ending.

And there was no food or drink. In fact my daughter was made to stay "nil by mouth" all day because "the consultant will be here soon and you can have something to eat after that". Except it never happened. The consultant remained in the status of "will be here soon" until 11pm.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm certainly not one to kick off about all the people who work in the hospital. I couldn't and wouldn't want to do any of their jobs. And I know that the lowest hospital auxiliary worker is performing a much more valuable role than the most precious sleb or ringtone composer could dream of.

All this shite about MRSA and washing hands is nowt but manipulation of us stoopid ones in pursuance of someone else's political gain.

There are much worse things in the world than hospitals. Much worse. Try chicken meat. Get your BSE, Avian flu, and MRSA 'ere! Not to mention the pork based proteins injected into chicken meat that cause muscle tissue to retain up to 50% water, eh Fat Boi?

Turns out that the pediatric consultant for this hospital also covers the other large hospital in the area. Classic case of understaffing again, then.

And there's this thing with multitasking. It starts off great - you use idle time to do something else. It seems like you can miraculously do two things at once. And the small amount of time you use in task switching is time well spent.

But when you start to do more and more tasks, the management element required to switch tasks starts to dominate. And I think that is probably starting to happen in hospitals. Everyone has too many things to do, and they've reached that point of "critical mass" where administration takes up more time than actually doing health care.

And if you tell hospitals that you will kick their ass if they have bad waiting time statistics, you can bet that your life that their statistics will be good.

And if you tell medical staff that they will get their asses sued to fuckdom if they so much as do anything, you can bet your life that they won't do anything, at least not without having a cliff face of cover behind their backs.

In the meantime my daughter and I sat, taking up a hospital bed, for 13 hours waiting for something to happen. In the end there wasn't enough time for the consultant to do the tests needed so my daughter was admitted overnight so they could continue this morning.

But I bet the stats said we were seen within 30 minutes.


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