Sunday, 28 July 2013

Guest Blog - Rotten to the core - By John Sullivan

By John Sullivan,
Just for a change I am writing this guest blog on a different subject to the ongoing race to the bottom in quality of care and of life for Your Choice Barnet service users and families, and the need to bring the services back in-house, and raising the issue of the incompetent administration at Barnet General Hospital.
I am an ardent supporter of the NHS and oppose the current privatisation of the NHS that is being scurrilously introduced by Dishonest Dave and his motley crew of millionaires and of course Pinocchio Clegg, that have no need for the NHS as they are all wealthy and can afford private health care.
Constantly we attend clinics at Barnet General Hospital ( BGH) with our disabled daughter Susan, and repeatedly we are told , your appointment is not today it was last week, or it is next week or it is next month, admin staff have obviously changed the date and time of the appointment but not advised the patient, because on every occasion and there have been many many occasions we have had the letter to prove we had arrived at the right time and on the right date.
Recently my wife Ida had to revisit a clinic for a scan on a very serious subject, she had the scan on  time and then was told she needed to wait to see the doctor, five hours Yes 5 Bloody hours later she was still waiting to see the doctor. The fact she was prepared to sit and wait for five long hours will give you some indication of the serious nature of the reason for her visit, and all because of an admin cock up.
I like my wife I am a recovering cancer sufferer and have had reason to attend my GP as a matter of urgency recently, the end result being I have to attend BGH to have an Ultrasound scan and an internal examination. On Monday of this week I received a phone call advising me there had been a cancellation for today Sunday 28th July and would I like to take the appointment , as mine was a problem of a potentially urgent nature and I naturally agreed. You can I am sure imagine that my stress levels have built up by the day in anticipation of what they might find and what they might tell me, so I was glad this morning to be on my way to find out whether I had a problem of a minor or sinister nature, my time in limbo was nearly at an end.
Don't you believe it this is BGH the admin disaster centre of the universe, an administration system that is simply not fit for purpose, and the overpaid chief executive and all his or her overpaid lackeys should be sacked for overseeing this ongoing and constant incompetence.. The appointment letter says I have to be at the day care unit at the appointed time of 11-15am, but the accompanying letter of what and what not to do advises, that I have to have an ultrasound before I attend the day care unit, or let us say it is written in a very ambiguous format that leads to confusion. Because there were two other patients at the ultrasound that was closed doing exactly what I was doing, arriving early so I could sit and wait for the ultrasound , and get it done in time to be at stage two as instructed the day care unit by the appointed time of 11-15am, or at least that was our interpretation of the instructions. I had called the urology department earlier in the week to try to qualify the procedure as there e was constantly no answer at the number I was given to contact if I had any queries, but they appeared not to know.

When we arrived the ultrasound department was locked and bolted so we walked to the day care unit that I had already telephoned earlier in the week, due to the ambiguity contained in the instructions, to find out what the procedure actually was. Only to be told I was not on the list for today, however I was on the list for today but the Muppet that called me to take the cancellation had failed to change the patient name on the appointment  , and I thought what a cock up , I said to Ida the admin in this hospital beggars belief it is crass incompetence.
But as the famous Irish comedian used to say " and there is more ". We had now realised we did not have to get to the hospital until 11-15am and they would then escort me to the ultrasound department, and bring me back to the day care unit for my internal examination. Realising we were now very early and we had our daughter Susan with us as we always do, I asked my wife Ida to ask the receptionist if we could go to the canteen get some food and coffee for Susan and come back a bit nearer our appointed time, and she suggested we wait until the nurse comes out to speak to us which we did.
Then came the punch line the absolute exposure of the chaotic dysfunctional administration that runs BGH, a level of incompetence that absolutely beggars belief. Myself and another patient were told we could not be seen this morning and would have to come back this afternoon, the poor nurse with enough to worry about . Was having to cover for the incompetent useless admin staff who were probably  having a Sunday morning lay in, whilst this poor nurse was attempting to pacify irate patients over errors  she had no input in or control over.
Is BGH a good hospital I think Yes, but the administration is a disaster area,  it is pathetically incompetent and until somebody like me seeks to expose the incompetence of the administration staff the problem will never go away. It is absolutely outrageous that skilled nursing & medical staff with a myriad of things to deal with should be constantly dealing with admin cock ups, and taking the stick for those having a Sunday lay in. I am sure I am not on my own so let's here from others that are up to their necks with this incompetent BGH administration, and make the first steps to forcing them to get their act together or go . Because I am sure there are many more competent admin staff sitting idle of the unemployment register, that would do a bloody sight better job than the Muppets engaged to do it at this present moment in time.
The punch line being I have just had a phone call to ask me to be there at 12 noon, you could not make it up could you. So please make known your admin cock ups so we can start a campaign to improve the efficiency of BGH admin, and hopefully bring it up to the level of medical  treatment we get from our local hospital . By doing so you will make the lives of Nurses, Drs and consultants much easier and less stressful, it is time the patients took a stand and dealt with this incompetence once and for all.

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