Thursday, 29 November 2012

Dear paediatric outpatients.

You're overcrowded and understaffed. And your acoustics are evil for the baby clinic. I have a suggestion. When we arrive, how about being honest about the huge delay? That way I, and others, might decide to go for a coffee. This would a) ease congestion in the waiting room, b) boost business for your coffee shops, and c) serve to mightily reduce my own frustrations.

Better yet, may I suggest actually sorting the clinics out so they don't have ridiculous delays?
Considering that you are an Orthopaedic Hospital, you may find you have a large number of patients who are wheelchair users. Moreover, when holding multiple spinal clinics at the same time, it would be a reasonable safe assumption that a high proportion of those wheelchair users will have bulky, customised wheelchairs. You know, the ones made by your wheelchair services engineers.

You have an unused and beautiful children's ward attached to outpatients. It has big bathrooms, hoists, spacious rooms. Would it not be sensible to consider opening even just one room of it for use by some of your larger less mobile children? Having to reverse into those time slips of consulting rooms, then getting wedged under the sink so the door can close, is simply undignified. If that is not possible, then surely you could consider having just one room with a bed available for changing older children where necessary? And believe me, if we have to wait several hours, it is necessary.


Dear Surgeon,
Thank you. I think discharging us with leave to see you again if we change our minds is a good plan. Thank you for being honest about surgery and supporting our decision. See you next month with the other one - would be nice if we could actually start talking about a date some time soon; it's been over two years since you first said this was urgent.


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