This week’s blog is by Dr Nadeem Ghafoor not Dr David Kelly.
Monday morning and it’s my date with destiny – I am first on the waiting list for surgical repair of a torn cruciate ligament in my knee. Eight weeks on the waiting list – no professional privileges sought and none offered. Today, I am just like anyone else on a NHS waiting list.
My brother and I arrive at Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport (exercising my right of choice!) at 6.30am, pay for a parking ticket (cheaper than parking at Manchester Airport – but only just) and make our way to the surgical ward.
We are greeted at reception and asked to take a seat. A few minutes pass by before my name is called out by one of the nurses and I am taken on to the ward. My brother follows but is turned back by the nurse. “No visitors are allowed to accompany the patient,” she says as she leads me down the corridor. I turn back to my brother and give him a reassuring nod as if to say ‘don’t worry, I’m good’ but I am only acting! All sorts of things are going through my mind but I try my best not to show it.
I am shown to my bed, given a gown and asked to wait for the anaesthetist. After several minutes struggling to work out which way the gown goes, I eventually figure it out – or at least I think I do. My attention quickly turns to the tv which is hanging from a bracket over my bed. I switch it on with the thought of passing some time, only to be faced with a screen message asking for a credit card payment before I can view any of the channels on offer. None of these appeal much, so I decline and instead settle for the flick football app on my i-phone to pass some time.
I do not have long to wait however, the anaesthetist is in and out before I know it and five minutes later I am in theatre and before I can say “please make sure you operate on the right leg”, I am out cold.
Not sure which general anaesthetic I was given, nor how long I was out for, but when I eventually come round its all over, my leg is in a bandage and pain free to boot. Now that’s what I call service!
Next morning, and I am bombarded by health care workers – the physio, pharmacist, discharge nurse – in that order, one after another. Brekkie on the go, I am handed a pair of crutches, asked to walk up and down the corridor and then to close the ward door on my way out ! That simple. Who says the NHS is in meltdown? Certainly not me!