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Wednesday, 14 November 2018



Re the tale below. This surgery opens at 8 am. Today, I started ringing at two minutes to 8 and kept getting the message "the surgery is closed". I kept tapping in the number. One minute past 8, a human answered and I got an appointment THIS MORNING! 

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'
He chortled in his joy.

Thankfully, I don't have to bother my local health centre too much, but I was reminded of the inefficiency of booking NHS doctor appointments.

On Monday, I popped in to make such an appointment, nothing serious, just checking on medication.

Me: Is there a doctor available anytime this week?

Receptionist: Well, we are fully booked today and tomorrow.

Me: Okay. Can I book an appointment for Wednesday?

Rec: You have to ring up on the day from 8 in the morning and I'm sure we can slot you in.

Me: Can't you look online now to see if there is a free slot?

Rec: No, sorry. It's a phone-on-the-day system.

Me: (biting my tongue) Okay. Thanks.

This morning (Wednesday), I am on the phone at 8.01 and until 8.53, I am listening to terrible music and frequent apologies for having to wait. 8.53:

Rec: Hello, this is (name given). How can I help you?

Me: Is there a doctor available today, please?

Rec: I'm sorry, we're at capacity today. I recommend you phone in the morning from 8 and I'm sure we can fit you in. (Tongue in grave danger!)

Me: I tried that today from 8 and this is the first time anyone has answered.

Rec: Is it an emergency?

Me: No. (I should have lied!!)

Rec: Try again in the morning.

Me: Hmmm. Thanks.

Altogether now: "All my life's a circle..........."

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