Subjective Objectivity – The Blog of The Reasonable Man

March 10, 2011

A letter to the NHS

Filed under: Uncategorized — mikeshotgun @ 12:50 am

Dear NHS,

I received your letter today. I realise that it’s not your letter per se, but from University College Hospital, but given that we live in a country that will invariably conflate the two, herein lies my premise.

I should add here that I like you, even though you’ve not managed to correctly spell my name for the better part of two decades. That’s ok. I know you’ve got other concerns, and I’ve been satisfied generally with your service to date. Having met your cousin from the US, let me re-iterate my undying advocacy on your behalf. It’s in this spirt that I write this letter. 

I have an issue. If you are going to adjust my appointment date with a consultant for whom I had to wait an inordinate amount of time already, that’s ok. I’ve heard of appointments slipping by a day or two in busy periods. Deadlines get shifted and so forth. This is understandable. I’ve been there. 

I also understand that in certain circumstances, a two month shift might be necessary. That’s fine. We all have things. Your apology for the “problems [it] may cause” was noted. It will cause problems, but I’m a grown up, and this isn’t an emergency, so I can deal. I admit I was little bit irked by the fact that you went on to select me a second date sixty days after the original, and then proceeded with the following sentence “If you are happy with this option please attend at this new date and time”. 

Well, I’m not fucking happy with this option, to be perfectly frank, so am I unable to attend the fucking appointment? I suppose I am, and your poorly chosen phrasing was to give me the option to phone up and select a date sometime in 2012. You probably should have just said “the next available time is X, for which your appointment is now scheduled, if this is not convenient, please call Y to re-arrange.” 

But to be plain, my problem is this. When you chose to re-arrange my scheduled appointment at the point in time at which my consultant specifically said they would want to see me again for Reasons, you failed to give a cause for the delay. Maybe it was awkward, but you know, I probably would have accepted some sort of Orwellian lie. Transport For London have been dining out on “adverse weather conditions” since snow came back into fashion. Hell, I’d accept “staffing difficulties”. Just give me a fucking reason beyond “unfortunately” which is only really a recourse for abstract philosophers. I can shrug my shoulders and say “shit happens” without wondering if it’s because a member of staff in the clinic decided to take a holiday.

Naturally I shall endeavour to keep the appointment and will of course remain

Your devoted servant,


PS – If this is payback for me not saying that the upcoming reforms to the NHS will destroy the very fabric of our society, then I apologise and fully concede that they will undoubtedly destroy it for whatever reasons you are able to muster. I only hope that I get to attend this appointment before I am forced to purchase private medical insurance or die on the streets.

Cross-posted at Something Quotable


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