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I cannot believe it...!!! I wait many months for my new hearing aids and would you believe it the day I am down to be fitted with them in my local hospital, the doctors decide to take the day off. Bah Humbug etc.
The Telegraph's letters today carried a good selection of views Telegraph letters. I feel really sorry for those, like Condom and john bunyan, who have long standing appointments, for which they may have had to wait some time and now may have to have the appointment re-arranged with even more delay with possible consequences for quality of life. It is irresponsible of the doctors.
Yes, I have checked. In my NHS area, it is increasingly the case that "specialist nurses" do what consultants did a few years ago. About a year ago, I was referred to a consultant by my GP. When I got to the hospital clinic, a specialist nurse sent me for an ultrasound (fair enough)then proceeded to carry out an uncomfortable investigation - no sedative etc. She then diagnosed a relatively minor cause, and sent me off (no meeting a doctor). I then found I had acquired a hospital induced very persistent E Coli infection which took 6 months to clear up. Recently the original symptoms recurred. Once again I was referred to a named consultant. Again the nurse sent me for a ultrasound scan. This time a better radiologist found a rather large kidney stone. The earliest appointment to see a real doctor was 6 weeks (21st) and to sort it out may be another 10 - 18 weeks. It seems very bad that you are referred to a consultant, but do not see one. I did not wish to go into so much boring detail. I have paid a one - off fee to see a consultant privately. He was miraculously available the next day. He said our area had cut costs more than others by getting nurses to do doctors jobs.
Our local hospital seems to be taking the broad brush approach and is closing down the outpatients department. I too have been through the system with just the Audiologist and no doubt she would also be fitting it or them. I'm getting two but she thinks I only need one and tells me the other will be a good spare. I also wish to pick up a box of batteries as I'll be going away again soon and who knows if I can get the type needed overseas.
The silly thing about this 'industrial action' is that the majority of doctors - particularly GPs - would much rather not take any action at all. They think, or at least their representatives think that it's the only way for them to make their point.
In truth it's far from being the only way - the better way would be to talk to their employers. Talking about this kind of problem is always better, provided employer and employee understand that both need to bring something to the table. Negotiation is an elegant and powerful thing, but it must always involve compromise (and not capitulation).
Intransigence is the enemy of negotiation, in fact it spells death to it. In this case I believe it looms large, and not on the part of the doctors.
It is one of the few "industrial actions" where I can see both points of view as having merit.
Fortunately, my doctor's appointment is six days earlier. I must enquire as to his proposed actions on the day in question.
I have a sneaky suspicion that there may be a doctor in your family ?
Most ENT departments within the NHS are or seem to be working at top capacity, and I am talking from local experience and consultations over many years. In other words, I have been through the mill at various levels, including two operations of which the last one failed and cannot be attempted again. I also have Tinnitus. But you soon get accustomed to it all, where 'outsiders' might not, and do not allow for hearing impaired!.
Even consultants and nurses seem to whisper :O)
With regards to batteries, these are standard and should be available world-wide nowadays.
I would also suggest that when you a 'fitted' with the device or pair, then don't just rely on the technician being correct, if you don't feel right with the units after a trial period. Try to get an ear scientist (could be very difficult due to waiting times, and possibly only one ear scientist for the hospital) to 'set-up' the units correctly to your own preferences instead of the general 'accepted' procedure.
With regards to the pending 'strike' action, personally I wouldn't imagine this will effect the 'ordinary' person (yet!), because they may have already come accustomed to appointment times, delays, cancellations, DNS's etc. I know I have, and recently became involved with my local hospital trust with patient surveys and consultations at the highest levels with the hospital trust and PCT. Will things get better or worse, we will have to wait and see?.
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