Wednesday, 12 October 2011


The NHS is in the news.

Mainly due to the impending privatisation 'by the back door' and the tentacles of private firms making money as a result.

I appreciate the availability of publicly funded health care and, from my personal limited experience of it, long may it remain.

However, and in this piece I am not attacking individual's who work in the service, or the standards of care given in general, I do think a serious review of how the system speaks to its users is needed.

My elderly father has a serious heart compliant and has recently been diagnosed with bowel cancer. Fortunately it appears the doctors are happy that he is capable of dealing with a general anaesthetic so he awaits a letter giving him a date for the operation.

However, in the middle of the current situation, on two recent occasions, lack of communication between staff and patient, and one department and another, has causes undue stress.

My father found himself on a operating table after a 5 hour wait, only to be told that a minor procedure could not be carried out as he was awaiting the cancer operation. Both Medical Teams had been made aware of the patients condition so, it appears, he should never have been called for the minor op.

Recently he was re-admitted for a couple of day due to chest pains.

On release he was given a card with an appointment time to ensure his heart medication was re-set. Or that's the impression both he and I were given.

It transpired this was not the case.

So, this morning, with my sister's support, he has had a number of calls to and from his local GP surgery attempting to clarify who he needs to see and as quickly as possible. As you can imagine, not fun for a sick, stressed elderly man.

So, to conclude - communication is the key folks.

Its not drugs or guns that kill people, its People that kill People.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011


Just a quick entry.

Spring seems to be a continuation of autumn and winter for me, psychologically.

I usually get miserable when the clocks go back and start to feel happier (well for me) once the sun starts shining again.

I started 'blip'-ing a few months ago and lately, having looked at the pictures I have posted in the last couple of days and weeks a couple of themes seems to be presenting themselves.

Slowing down time and alcohol.

Can't imagine why.

Monday, 21 February 2011

The Delights of The State of things.

It goes on.

In the past few days, literally, I have had stories of the failure of the NHS,  the Police, Social Services and Education.

There appears to be systemic problems with all of these institutions with regard to any notion of the idea of 'care' for those who come into contact with them, or, if not the institutions, then the people employed in them.

Now this is either due to lack of funds, lack of staff (or the staff's lack of interest for why they are employed), the failure of managers or.. god knows what.

The examples:

1. Elderly patients left to fend for themselves in hospital. Meals left in front of patients unable to feed themselves.
2. No reply to follow up calls to the police in the case of a missing delinquent.
3. No imposition of rules in a school allegedly designed to help kids with special needs.
4. Lack of response from social services.

My advice:

If involved with any public body make as much noise as possible or give up and walk away.

Monday, 27 December 2010

The Hinterland

Well, that's that then.

Here we are in that gap between familial fixed grins and New Year tears.

Actually, this year has been much like most of late. Lunch round my Dad's, sober; leave early evening: get plastered.

I actually received a fair number of presents. Mostly down to my overly generous sister who knows how much I drink at the moment and kindly fed my habit.

So, the gap. Luckily I go back to work on Wednesday so I can fill those few hours with frustration and boredom pending an early night on Friday.

I shall not make any resolutions as THAT's something I really don't understand. Even though I do need to take action with regard to my future - both in terms of health and employment and general contentment.

If anyone has any ideas about the last bit...

All the very best!

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

quiet time

It seems my blogging is based on frustration, annoyance and anger.

That can't be a good thing, now can it? So I thought I'd write one while calm and reasonably relaxed.

So, gardening eh? What's all that about? And don't get me started on decorating, cars or D.I.Y.

Ok. I need to get angry.


Tuesday, 6 July 2010


A bit of history.

A couple of weeks ago I e-mailed a team leader with a couple of queries regarding the working practices of colleagues under his control.

It was, I thought, polite, specific and gave examples of the concerns I thought pertinent to draw to his attention for the better performance of the department and so creating a better experience for our customers.

I believed that, in my role, advising the team leader directly was the best course of action to take. I would then leave it to him to take any action he considered appropriate.

A few days later, my e-mail was returned to me as part of a thread.

The team leader had forwarded my e-mail to all the officers of his team, un-adapted or modified.  The boomeranging trail was simply ended with a note from the team leader inviting me to 'see the reply below': one officer had, not surprisingly, responded in a short, direct manner.

Now, I have a few issues with the events as they occurred, but the main one being that a senior officer simply forwarded a genuine work-based issue to their team without either, checking with me directly first if they needed to understand my request, or even to let me know if I had raised my concerns in an in-approriate manner. They then had not even softened the issue by raising it with the team verbally and in his own words, or by adapting my e-mail so that it came 'from him'.

Angered by this I then contacted my team leader expressing my disappointment at the above, i.e. the affect it could have on my working relationship with my colleagues for example.

Bored yet? It gets better.

Today I was told by my team leader, that my original e-mail had apparently been perceived to be so inappropriate that I was very close to being 'spoken to' by my Senior Officer. (Its a whole hierarchy thing. You may have noticed.)

The insanity of the process even got from the team leader, to his senior officer who took it to their colleague, my 'senior officer', and thence to the departmental manager.

Fortunately for me, my team leader has an abundance of common sense and actually defended my actions and even argued that my original e-mail points were valid. Sadly, that issue seems to have been lost in what I shall now forever refer to as 'e-mailgate'.

So today, myself and my team leader had a little chat about it all and, even though at the time I was extremely annoyed at 'e-mailgate' the insanity of the fallout brightened my day no-end.

I shall only say one thing on the matter: it appears to me that, from my personal and no-doubt limited and ill-informed perspective, the lunatics have indeed taken over my asylum.

Saturday, 3 July 2010


Big word.

Big meaning. Big affect.

I have been disappointed and have disappointed as a result.

Its the one thing we can all be assured of, that on many an occasion we will disappoint someone we care about, or be disappointed by some thing.

In my case I got so angry as a consequence not only of my managers' (yes, that's plural) apparent inability to recognise their responsibility for the current state of affairs, my disappointment boiled over resulting in my speechless departure from a meeting before I said things that probably would have got me sacked or, at the very least, a written warning.

Following from that little 'fit of pique' my week did not go well so by Friday my head was not in its best place.

So, I passed my disappointment forward by not attending a social gathering for a friend's son's 17th birthday. As I have known the lad since he was but a bump this did not go down well.

I have disappointed his mother, not unreasonably, by my 'selfish' actions of preferring to stay at home and solve my depression using the power of wine rather than attending the party.

As I have since texted back - it was not my intent to 'disappoint', but then are any of our actions to do that?

That's the problem with disappointment. Its reflexive. We feel it as a consequence of someone else doing or saying something we didn't want them to.

I say: learn to accept that most people don't do what you want them to. Over the years I have been disappointed by many people but I would never make them feel bad about it by actively bringing it to their attention. Maybe that's another of my disappointing traits: maybe I should insist friends and family do things I want them to do more, and tell them I am disappointed in them if they choose not to.

What is Life if not a series of disappointments.

You'd think we'd be used to it by now?

There is always Hope.