Back in the middle of September, I received a text message from my GP’s surgery. It was an invite to book a Covid 19 booster jab. Because of my age, I had become eligible for the “Autumn Booster” jab. The date they had offered was not a particularly good date for us for a number of reasons. However, as I had an appointment a day or two after receiving the text, I was able to make a different appointment.
At the beginning of October, another text message appeared. This time, it was from the NHS, inviting me to book an appointment for the booster jab. I checked with the GP’s surgery and they told me that I was booked with them and it was on my medical record. So I left it at that making the assumption that there had been some kind of crossover delay or something.
This morning, the Royal Mail delivered a letter. It was from the NHS reminding me to book my booster jab, and explaining all the problems that ‘could’ occur should I fail to take advantage of the booster.
It seems to be such a waste of valuable Health Service resources to issue an invite and a reminder for something that is already booked. It’s not the first time this has happened. Last year I received an invite and reminder from the NHS about the annual flu jab, that I was entitled to. This was two weeks after I received the flu jab. I’m having the flu one today so will be looking out for messages and letters in the coming weeks.
The youngest is with us this weekend. He came home on Friday morning for his fortnightly visit. This is always a little stressful for us. The reason being, that before he can come home, we have to have a negative covid-19 test. His residential care home have provided us with a quantity of testing kits and we do our test first thing, then contact the care home and let them know it is negative. We have to go through the same procedure again on the Monday morning, before he is allowed to return.
It was very worrying when we first started the test. We were concerned that we were not doing the test correctly and even more worrying that the test would show positive. After a couple of tests we became quite familiar with the procedure, but there was always that nagging feeling that one or both of would show positive either before he comes home or before he returns. It is now even more worrying as things start to open up more and people seem to more relaxed about social distancing, that the chance of a positive reading is possibly greater now than it was a couple of months ago.
We went for our, now usual lunch on Thursday at Bar3, a local Coffee, Bar & Kitchen (as it is called) bar in Wetherby. Neither of us can face a whole meal, so we tend to share a wrap or a panini and have it split over two plates . They don’t seem to mind this as a few couples do the same. The café where I work tend to frown on ‘sharers’. The boss sees it as lost income, but surely it is better to have two people share a meal, than have them go elsewhere? Some people do push it a little too far though. Three people came in on Tuesday that had been in before. They decided they wanted to share a Greek Salad. In my opinion the salad is too much for one, about right for two but not enough for three people. The boss was not happy about three sharing and told them that she would have to make a charge for using the cutlery and extra plates! She was even a less happy person when they said they wouldn’t bother and left.
Coming back to the testing thing. On Saturday morning, the post arrived and the was a letter with the NHS (National Health Service) logo on the front. I’ve been waiting for a while to be contacted as I have a problem with arthritis in both knees. Back in late 2018, I had an X-ray on them and I was told that the Dr’s would be in touch. At the end of January 2020, I received a letter explaining that appointments have been delayed and I would be informed about my condition as soon as they were able to confirm a date.
The about three months ago I received a letter, from the Government department, DoHSC (Department of Health & Social Care) inviting me to take in an “Important Survey” to would supposedly ‘help the Government avoid outbreaks of COVID-19″. My name had been picked out at random from many thousands to take part. I read the letter and decided that I didn’t want to take part. I have enough to deal with these days without having to take part in ‘voluntary’ studies. I shredded the letter and thought that would be the end of it. at the beginning of May, I got a reminder letter, again asking me to take part in the study. another letter for the shredder. The letter on Saturday was my ‘final’ reminder.
I couldn’t help thinking, where do they get the resources to send out three letters to someone who obviously is not interested (I would have actioned the first letter if I had been). And, why use the postal system, when they have my personal email address that the Dr’s surgery contacts me by. But then at the end of the day, it’s not the NHS that is doing this. It’s the DoHSC in conjunction with a London college and a company that specialises in surveys and polls.
Tonight I’ve been part of what I believe is called a “Twitter Storm”. The @NHAParty have been trying to draw peoples attention to the privatisation of the NHS. As part of this campaign the created a hashtag ‘#PublicDuty‘ and invited people to use this in Tweets in order to get the hashtag trending. Being a survivor of major heart surgery, I joined in, and at the last count, it was trending at No 3 in the UK.
I even posted my own tweet as part of the campaign. I do like to ‘retweet’ and quite often post my own comments, but this was a bit more serious than usual. What is happening here, is that the Conservatives, supported by the turncoat Liberal Democrats are trying to finish what Margaret Thatcher started. That is the total elimination of the NHS and in fact the elimination of all public services. It is their belief that these functions would be better served if they were run by the private sector for profit. It is my belief, along with many others that this it wrong and dangerous. It would also be prohibitively expensive. The average cost in the USA would be in the region of $49,000.00. As I understand it (but it is anecdotal) the full amount is not always covered by health insurance.
But it is all academic! The great British public will be fooled again into another 5 years of Tory misrule. Who will support them this time though? Methinks that the ‘turncoats’ Liberal Democrats will not enjoy another term in ‘power’, so it will be up to one of the other minor parties to take up the mantle. The question is which one? With arguments about the televised debates, I think the PM has been trying to cosy up to the Green Party. That would be interesting!
You know how I said that “assessment went as well as I could have expected”, well I may have been a bit premature with that statement. On Tuesday, K*** took a call from the hospital to say that there was a problem with some of the tests. I needed to get some ‘body-wash’ and some nasal stuff, and had to go back to the hospital, in a weeks time for a repeat of the test. Another £16.10 in prescription charges (more on this subject later) and I find out that I have MSSA. Now this is not the same as MRSA, but still not a nice thing to find out. From what I understand, it is basically a bacterium that is found in/on 40% of people, and is only a problem for open wounds. Hence the bit of a flap with the hospital. So now, I have to shower every day for 5 days with an anti-bacterial body wash, and also use a nasal cream, 4 times a day for 10 days. Today was the first day of this ‘treatment’ and I have to say, the nasal cream is not wonderful. The body wash is okay, I can live with that, but without going into any gory details, the nasal cream is, shall we say uncomfortable.
For years, I have moaned about the high cost of prescription charges. Well today that moan is a lot less than it was. I joined a Facebook support group for heart valve repair/replacement just out of interest. Of course, as I expected there are a lot of Americans posting on this site. What has amazed me is the both the cost of their hospital fees and the research they are forced to go into to find the best care. Here in the UK, I was told the hospital I was to be treated in, and when it was to happen. None of this £XXXXX for the operation, £XXXX for the per op care, £XXXX for the post op care etc etc. Thank whoever we have the NHS, and long may it be there. There was a young man who was paying $3400.00 just for the operation. That did not include the care before and after, that came to over $5600.00 and it seems that his workplace was not keeping his job open whilst he recovered. I’m starting to get a little political now, and this is not thread to have this type of rant in, but it does make you think!!
I shall leave it there, as I need to do the last cream application of the day.
So it has only been six days since post ‘500‘ and quite a bit has happened. One of my colleagues worked out the extra cost, for changing offices to £720.00 per year. In his email to the manager, he stated that this was the extra cost ‘….for each of us…‘ which is not quite accurate. For me, even if I worked at the City office every day my driving would be shortened by 70 miles a week. Working from home one day, would reduce it by another 30 miles per week. Taking it all into consideration, including a £15.00 per week parking cost, by extra cost would be £132.00 pa or £3.30 pw. I think I can manage that.
What annoys me a lot, is the assumption that we all ‘have a problem’ with this new working practice. There are at least two of us that just seem to want to get on with it. It’s not as if we have any choice! We just have to make the best of it. Change affects people differently. At the end of the day, we will still have a job. We may be put out a little, but in the current economic climate in Britain, having a paid job is something to be thankful for. Of course, the Trades Union is involved at a high level, but we also have a local convenor in our office and his views (right or wrong) seem to be getting some attention. I tend not to take any notice of this person, as I think that his attitude sometimes shows that he is still living in the 1970’s.
Another problem cropped up with R*** on Friday. We live on the outskirts of Leeds. Our doctors, however is in Tadcaster. This means we receive our health care from North Yorkshire, and although it calls itself the National Health Service, effectively it is a localised service. So the problem is that R*** needs specialist dental care, because of his condition. Many dentists are very wary of treating people with special needs and Autism can be very scary if you are not fully aware of the issues autistic people face. He had to visit the Community Dental Practice on Friday. They examined him, and found his teeth to be doing okay, but then they dropped the bombshell. They told us, that because of recent changes by Government, they were no longer ‘allowed’ to treat him in Leeds as it was out of the catchment area. We would have to find another specialised dentist in North Yorkshire. It seems that there is one in Selby or York. This will have a serious effect with transport on his days at college and will mean whenever he has a dental appointment he would have to miss a day. We are not happy to say the least.
On a lighter note, the mini keyboard for tablet came. It is a lot smaller than I anticipated, and I’m yet to get it to actually work. The accompanying manual seems to have been converted/translated from the original Japanese and some of the words and phrases do not make much sense. Still I suppose you get what you pay for, as I found out with the cheap 32gb SD memory card, I bought. That does not work at all with the tablet. So ‘cheap and cheerful’ does not always pay off in the long run.