Sometimes the NHS does work as advertised

So sometime on my recent trip I must have wrenched a shoulder muscle; I didn’t notice it happen but the effects came on while sleeping, immensely painful and generally waking me up about 4am each morning until the muscle spasms subsided. It started on friday, peaked on sunday and is now tailing off but is still a nuisance.

So I decided to see my GP; in a nutshell what happened:

  1. called at 0930 thinking it would be far too late to get an appointment
  2. got an appointment with my regular GP for 1145
  3. was seen at 1205
  4. diagnosed as probably muscle strain, possible chance of pneumothorax (air pocket in chest), need an x-ray to check that
  5. got a request slip for the x-ray to be done at basingstoke
  6. had lunch, drove to basingstoke hospital, parked
  7. walked to the x-ray department, handed over the slip
  8. sat down, barely had time to open my nexus before being called for the x-ray
  9. chat with the two radiologists, describe issues, describe previous history
  10. zap
  11. look at images on screen: no sign of pneumothorax, heart, lungs all look good, nice and clear
  12. get walked around my ribcage’s contents by the radiologist
  13. drive home

Time elapsed at GP surgery, perhaps 35 minutes; time at hospital somewhat less. Travel: perhaps another 30m on top.

Excess payment: £1.00 for hospital parking.

So, sometimes it does work.

4 Replies to “Sometimes the NHS does work as advertised”

  1. It always worked very well for me when I was there — both healthcare and dental.

    If you want to talk about bloated, capricious, arbitrary, and uncaring bureaucracies, look no farther than the U.S. health insurance companies. They’re primary responsibility is to their shareholders. Actually paying for health care isn’t really a priority.

  2. Good news! That said, you considered being seen 20 minutes late for an appointment an example of the system working well. Sounds like there’s a different baseline than “on time”. 🙂

    1. Matt: fair point, though slippage of a few minutes is not uncommon. They did explain they’d had a couple of problems that morning, up on a digital display, so I cut them some slack.

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