Monday, 24 January 2011

The Speed of X Rays
Eighteen years ago I had my hips replaced and each year I get them X-rayed so that the surgeon can review their progress. Since the surgeon was in the RAF and the hospital at Halton was closed down he left the RAF and the NHS which means that I have to obtain a copy of my X-ray for him to view. In the early days this request was often refused for all kinds of spurious reasons and even when they were forced to comply it was accompanied by comments about private patients using NHS services. Now everything is digital it only takes a few minutes to make a CD copy but here in Bucks they have created other methods to complicate the process.
After the X-ray is taken there is a form to complete which involves the ubiquitous demand for a utility bill to confirm residence. Then this form has to be taken away for someone to witness your signature and confirm how long they have known you and in what capacity. The form is then returned to the hospital. When the copy is ready it may be collected on production of photographic ID. Sometime later a bill will arrive through the post.
On Jan 7 I had my X-ray done and the form completed and witnessed on the spot.
On Jan 24 I rang the hospital to find out what was happening to be told that "there is a big pile to do. Is it urgent?"
What planet do these people live on? What do they think NHS stands for? Last time I had the X-ray done in Bath it was copied to CD whilst I waited for 10 minutes.
Surely it would be quicker and cheaper to take my money at the time of the X-ray and post it on if it could not be copied to CD immediately. It really can't take 17 days to copy a CD, can it?
From my very meagre experience it seems to me that there is defiantly room for cost savings and improvements in efficiency in the NHS.

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