Hi, I hope you have had a good, interesting and productive day! I have had another time consuming day at the hospital, and yes, I am going to start this post with a bit of moaning today :-) I spend quite a lot of days per year at different hospitals around London, and quite often I think about how many hours I just waste waiting around doing nothing, when I could have been home wrapped up in bed or doing something useful. Take today for example, when I had an appointment for an endoscopy exam of my bladder – something I had been told was going to be very quick. This was my schedule:
7:15 Got up.
8:30 Left home, drove to the hospital.
9:15 Arrived outside the hospital 15 minutes later than normal because of heavy traffic. This trip normally takes 30 minutes at daytime and 1 hour and sometimes even much more in rush hour.
9:20 Found a parking space, really lucky, sometimes it takes driving around for up to an hour to find one!
9:25 Arrived at the hospital reception and asked for a porter to be phoned to take me to the department. This is a huge hospital and too far to walk for me to where I was going today. I arrived really early because I know it takes time to get a porter...
10:10 My appointment time, the porter had not arrived yet! I had to ask the receptionist to phone the department to tell I would be late.
10: 25 The porter finally arrived.
10:35 Arrived at the endoscopy unit, was asked to sit and wait.
11:00 Was taken into the ward and changed into a gown.
11:25 Was taken into the exam room, the doctor arrived straight away and the exam was quick, really quick – it took exactly 40 seconds! It took me longer to get onto the table and off it again...
11:30 Back in the waiting room, asked the staff to call for a porter to take me back to the main reception so I could get to my car. Becoming worried about getting a parking ticket, as where I parked one can only park for 3 hours and the clock was ticking...
12:05 The porter finally turned up.
12:15 Back at the main reception, walked to my car.
12:20 Back at my car, 5 minutes late, fortunately no ticket :-)
12:20 Starting to drive back home, heavy traffic despite middle of the day. Road works everywhere due to the Olympics next year.
13:35 Finally home, after 5 hours. For a 40 seconds scan.
And tomorrow I am doing the whole trip all over again, to the same hospital, but tomorrow I am seeing the neurosurgeon who has operated on my spine 3 times in the past. Fortunately his office is close to the main reception, so I won’t have to ask for a porter to take me there; I can walk there myself and save a bit of time. I still have to leave early to have plenty of time to find a parking space though, as I probably won’t be that lucky twice in the same week. The hospital doesn’t have any parking at all; patients and visitors have to find parking spaces in the streets around the hospital, and with my limited walking I can’t park too far from the hospital so I am left with the ones just around the block behind the hospital. These are of course popular parking spaces, as everyone wants to park as close as possible when they are going to the hospital.
And Friday I am off to a different hospital to see my physiotherapist. She works in a hospital in Central London, and I can’t drive that far – and parking is impossible anyway, so I get hospital transport to go there. That means I have to be ready to leave 2 hours before my appointment time, and a car will pick me up, and usually 2 or 3 other patients on the way so it is a bit of a sight-seeing tour each time...you get to see London this way, whether you want to or not! When I am finished at the physio, the transport office aim to find me a return transport within 2 hours...the word to emphasise is “aim”, as it doesn’t always happen, and it often does take 2 hours before I am out of the building. And since I usually have an afternoon appointment, the return journey is a slow crawl through the rush hour traffic, with the before mentioned sight-seeing included, as they usually fill up the car on the return too. All in all a trip to the physiotherapist usually takes around 6-7 hours. A whole day’s worth for me, and I am exhausted when I finally arrive at home in the evening.
So, this was a bit about what it’s like to be a hospital patient in my world. Some weeks I have 2 or 3 appointments, I rarely have a week without any. I wonder how many hours, weeks and months I have wasted hanging around doing nothing, just waited and waited and waited.
OK, that was today’s moan, thanks for listening! I did wonder about what picture I should put on today’s post, as I do try to have some pictures every time...so I have chosen a picture from one of my books, a book I called Bits and Pieces from East London. YOU CAN SEE THE BOOK HERE:
The picture is of the hospital I went to today, The Royal London Hospital, which has an interesting past and present, just see what I found on Wikipedia:
“The Royal London Hospital was founded in September 1740 and was originally named The London Infirmary. The name changed to The London Hospital in 1748 and then to The Royal London Hospital on its 250th anniversary in 1990. The Royal London is part of the Barts and the London NHS Trust, alongside St Bartholomew's Hospital ("Barts"), located approximately two miles away. The Royal London provides district general hospital services for the City and Tower Hamlets and specialist tertiary care services for patients from across London and elsewhere. It is also the base for the HEMS helicopter ambulance service, operating out of a specially rebuilt roof area. There are 675 beds at The Royal London Hospital.
The Royal London Hospital is part of a new city-wide initiative to transform London's emergency and trauma services. From 2010, Londoners will receive new world-class trauma care through the London Trauma System. The network is believed to be the largest of its kind in the world. The System will be made up from four existing London hospitals, The Royal London Hospital (Whitechapel), King's College Hospital (Denmark Hill), St. Georges Hospital (Tooting) and St. Mary's Hospital (Paddington). These centres will be supported by a number of trauma units located in various A&E departments, where patients with less serious injuries will receive treatment.
The UK lags behind many other parts of the world with regards to trauma care. Death rates for severely injured patients who are alive when they reach a hospital are 40% higher in the UK than in some parts of the US, where they have developed effective trauma systems. The London Trauma system aims to rectify this inconsistency by delivering patients who need the highest quality specialist care to the correct hospital facility in order to give them the best chances of survival and recovery.”
...but parking for patients has never been a priority...I wonder how much they would have had to spend to fix the problem with parking?
Oh, well, I promised not to moan any more today so I won’t! In fact, I am going to stop writing now and upload this. I am going to bake a cake before I am off to bed; I have planned to send a honey cake to my father who lives in Spain and since he likes them so much I decided today that I would send him two cakes! I made one yesterday evening and will make one tonight too. He got one for his birthday in February, and I know he has eaten the last piece, but he doesn’t know I am about to send him a new shipment so you will have to keep this to yourself for a week, or two or maybe three...all dependant on the British stroke Spanish mail – which can be equally a pain at times when it comes to parcel deliveries. OK, OK, I know I wasn’t supposed to moan anymore today, but that one was just too tempting! I’ll stop here, before I find any other good reason to moan :-) See you around, take care.