The (Superb?) State of The NHS?
So I fanally got back to see my doctor about the nagging injury I picked up in my right foot this year. Basically, I think it’s an over-use strain of the plantar fascia (the tissue connecting heel to the the ball of the foot area), that I picked up when my running training took a sudden step up this year when I realised that I only had 12 weeks to go before the Cleveland Steelman. Oh, and I mixed in a whole bunch of hill repeats. D’Oh!
The trouble is, I have a bit of a history of growing extra bits of bone in my feet (now there’s something you don’t see every day), so the worry is that I’ve carried on running on this strain, which has encouraged the growth of a heel spur. Ouch.
The NHS of popular myth is a nightmare. Squalid conditions, patients lying un-treated in corridoors, managers working to hit the numbers rather than doing things that actually improve patients experience / outcomes. Stuff like that.
Like everyone, I can’t help these popular press images from sinking in. So I got two big surprises today:
- My doctor wrote out the form to get my foot X-rayed, and handed it to me, for ME to make the booking. That was quite unusual, as we’re all so accustomed to the Nanny State’s big sister, the NHS taking care of these little details. Hmmm . . . a bit like going to see a doctor in France . . . would this be bad (trapped in a phone queueing system that Franz Kafka qould be proud of?), or good (like my experience of the French health service)?
- When I phoned the number, it got surreally efficient. Given just my date of birth and name, they knew all about me - very unexpected. And then the offer . . . would I like to come in for my X-Ray this evening, tomorrow morning, tomorrow afternoon, or in fact any time next week. Uh, tomorrow morning would be fine. Thank you.
O. M. G. So far, I’m just so blown away with the efficiency and patient (I wonder if they’ve stated calling us ‘customers’?) focus that I don’t know how to react. Other than to be, so far, impressed to the point of disbelief.