Monday 22 October 2012

Z is a little bit proud

I'm feeling a bit jagged.  The internet is being a bit of a bugger and so is the Sage's computer.  He is starting to use Skype to call a friend in New Zealand - the problem is that, whilst we can hear the friend (whom I shall call Graham because that is his name), Graham cannot hear us.  So I installed Skype too (which I never have before because I'm not a telephone fan and can't be arsed to use it) and called the Sage's computer - and he could hear me and I couldn't hear him.  I don't understand pcs, I haven't a clue what to do.  And the internet goes up and down like a ... thing that goes up and down, insert your own metaphor.

On the other hand, the National Health Service is proving itself something to be proud of.  Elle needed an appointment at the doctor's - a nurse would have done, but we went to explain things to the receptionist, she gave us a temporary registration form and suggested a doctor's appointment an hour from then.  The doctor was kind and helpful, and suggested that a blood test would be a good idea though he thinks it will probably prove negative - still, you can't take chances, innit?  While we were waiting to go in, I told Elle that a local woman had given £250,000 towards the building of the health centre because she would rather the money was well used during her lifetime (a couple of decades previously, she had given a similar amount to ensure a new library could be built), and after the doctor's consultation, we spoke to the receptionist again to book the blood test next Monday.

"Do we pay now?" Elle asked me.  I assured her there was nothing to pay.  "But how is it paid for?"  ... 'Does everyone pay health insurance?"

I explained.  I'm so damn proud of the NHS.  And I told her a little story from getting on for 45 years ago.

I can't remember the original contact with Martina's family, but it was probably something similar to Lena's: a friend of a friend.  Martina visited us a couple of times, she lived in Stutttgart.  One day she went to the beach with friends and, once she was back, came to my mother in tears.  She'd left her purse behind, it contained her passport, her money, everything.  "Don't worry," said my mother, "I shall phone the police station.  It will have been handed in."  Martina was doubtful, but my mother assured her it would be Fine.  And so it was.  Not a penny was missing, the kind finder had gone a mile to hand it in, everything intact. Martina was dead impressed and my mother was equally relieved.

I'm happy to report that England is as damn good now as it was 45 years ago.  I like England, I'm glad I'm ... well, I'm British as well as English.  My great-grandmother was Scottish.  They can have independence if they want to and welcome, but I'm very attached to Scotland too.


allotmentqueen said...

Get the Sage to try talking to Graham from your computer (a process of elimination). If that works then I suggest there is something amiss with the microphone settings on the Sage's computer.

Anonymous said...

Yes. An absence of microphone or incorrect microphone settings is the problem. Definitely.



Bill. Lo'stuff.

Z said...

Thank you both - yes, I've sent a Skype invitation to Graham. I've looked on settings but I can't see what the problem might be. Ro will come over in a few days with a microphone and sort us out. I only understand Macs so if it's not straightforward I haven't a clue.

Rog said...

PC's aren't as predictable but you can still hand lost purses in to them

Blue Witch said...

Have you put in Elle's name today?

Didn't your doctor want to see Elle's EHIC? Without one she shouldn't have received free healthcare.

This is why the NHS is so abused by foreigners... the system just lets them be treated without making them jump through the hoops we have to to get reciproal healthcare rights in their countries.

And don't get me started on illegals abusing the system by pretending to be someone who does have an NI number. A friend's daughter is a practice manager of a surgery in Hackney. She says the doctors are fully aware that they treat different patients under the same name - one patients has three different blood types! - but choose to do nothing about it. That would be a great way of alerting the Border Agency and reducing the population (and over-demand on services) a bit, but they feel it's not their job.

Z said...

Good point well made, Rog.

A child needed to see a doctor, she saw a doctor. She received impressive care and kindness. The receptionist didn't want to see her EHIC (although she had it with her) because it was obvious I was telling the truth and she isn't a jobsworth. The good impression given of British people and the NHS was worth more than the cost of the consultation, I reckon.

Blue Witch said...

I think it's a very different situation in rural Suffolk where you are a well-known pillar of the local community, from a well-known and respected local family, to the situation in most parts of the UK these days.

Health tourism and illegal immigration are HUGE unidentified problems sucking millions, if not billions, from our economy. They need to be addressed.

In no other country in the world can you access free healthcare as a visitor, without completing paperwork. There are procedures that should be followed, and your local surgery should follow them (to collect the information for the statistics about recipocal usage as much as anything) just as those in Hackney should. That's not beng a jobsworth, it's about doing your job properly, as NHS regulations state you should.

The NHS might work well in your recent experience, but in less rural areas, with higher populations, it is failing very miserably. Every week I hear tales from my Nice and Crafty ladies about delays, bungles, lost paperwork, mixed up results and people dying or being left in pain needlessly, because employees or IT systems are not fit for purpose.

Z said...

We filled in the paperwork, it was only that she took my word for it that Elle is a German citizen and didn't ask for the card - although she could see that Elle had it ready in her wallet. That was what I referred to as not being a jobsworth.

Tim said...

BW is right, I hear many wildly differing tales re quality of NHS service from around the country - it's a patchwork quilt. I'd document them, but this is your blog not mine. I know that focussed, persistent complaint can work when it's bad. Maybe focussed, persistent praise for good service would help too!

Lisa said...

I love the NHS too, Z, we've got so much in common. I just own less chickens.

Z said...

"BW is right" goes without saying really, I didn't suggest anything else. But the relaxed, kind yet perfectly efficient help we had yesterday demonstrated how the NHS can work. As does the visit I had to the N&N recently. I do praise whenever possible. Life can be enough of a bugger without dwelling on its difficulties.

And more cats, Lisa! Do come and stay whenever you're free, I've got a travel cot and a spare single and double bed, very relaxed about waking babies in the night. This is a brilliant house for children, Amelie will love it.