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News and Comment January 2021

Index: 2019202020212022

25 January - Death by a thousand bad Hancock decisions

I am afraid I do not agree with those who tell me that the NHS must be beyond criticism especially as it is only the management has been reported here to be a let down. GPs have not always covered themselves in glory either. Over recent days this is how two friends have been treated - or not.

The 83 year old who has had a cough and been breathless since December 2019 is still no nearer to a diagnosis. He had some lung tests - which drew a blank - before the pandemic set in but a heart check was caught up in it. It was September before he was sent to a private facility because the NHS had become a Covid only service and October when he was told that the private outfit had done the test wrong and the results were useless. After initially being sent back there the test was conducted at a local hospital on 9th December.

A couple of weeks ago the elderly gent tried phoning his GP for the results and thus wasted two days of his life. He decided to write a letter and take it to the surgery. This entailed knocking on a window which was eventually opened and the letter passed through. Doors are only for people with an appointment. I wonder how you get one from someone not answering the phone.

A day or two later the surgery receptionist phoned. They didn’t have the test result and it was not their responsibility to make enquiries. My friend was told to phone the hospital which he did. After a succession of no replies and recorded messages asking him to go away he was able to tell his tale. He was told they were far too busy to attend to heart tests.

Meanwhile down in Ramsgate, Mick Barnbrook late of this parish has been unwell since last June. Eventually there was a blood test and his GP suspected a life threatening condition. After the hospital initially refused to see him the GP kicked up a fuss and Mick was told that if he waited four months a cardiologist would deign to speak to him on 31st January 2021.

And now for the good news, the cardiologist phoned him today. Mick is no further forward but an NHS box can be ticked off somewhere.

Michael revealed the foregoing via Twitter yesterday and by phone to me.

Meanwhile my cancer consultation is running 11 months late and still someone is going to email me to tell me that Hancock and his merry men are doing a good job and their priorities are saving lives. Delusional.


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