We seem to have a new, all-consuming hobby these days – attending medical appointments. If it’s not me with some ailment then it’s She Who Knows. I won’t go into details, except to say we’ve had our share, thanks for nothing, of viruses plus unpleasant surprises.
For me the biggest shock was that, according to a nurse doing my annual check, I’d now lost two inches in height – or had I really been deluded for years before?
“Just part of ageing,” she counselled merrily.
Still, there are pluses to it all. “You’re almost living here these days,” observed a cheerful caterer in the health-centre café, “Still,” she added wryly, “you’ve paid in enough, over years.”
There’s a gallows humour which triumphs, with occasional treats to keep up spirits – like bacon butties or oozing rounds of cheese on toast with creamy coffees in staff canteens – we know all the right places now.
The health service is our biggest employer and its diverse working staff deserve all our thanks and respect. They’re wonderful, despite unrelenting pressure, outrageously long hours and no staff parking. A book I read by a veteran NHS medic, while waiting in A&E, had the right prescription: get rid of management and return control to matrons and doctors.
There’s even one lot of pen-pushers now ‘dumbing down’ NHS leaflet information, as though we’re all children. There won’t be references to urine, for example, but ‘wee’ instead. It’s rather like those tiresome BBC attempts to be everybody’s cosy buddy – with news bulletins always referring to ‘Mums and Dads’, rather than parents, and needless from-the-scene reporting.
I’m all in favour of a friendly approach and cheerfulness, as well as not standing upon ceremony, but we deserve respect too. So, treat us like adults – those hard-pushed staff always do!
For Roy’s books visit royedmonds-blackpool.com, Kindle or stores like Waterstones.