Well it's been a busy day than I'd expected and hence it is rather late in the day that I find myself writing today's post.
It started off pretty normal with a morning in work and the usual bits of admin, time sheets and emails. I had an online, video, meeting at midday which not only lasted longer than I had anticipated but was one that apparently I was to chair. This took me a little by surprise as I had not called the meeting, I was using an online system for the first time ever and wasn't totally sure what the meeting was about. It then transpired that the person who had arranged the meeting couldn't make it because they were off sick but had sent a colleague along to 'observe'. Everyone else present then just presumed that I would take over the role of chair...err....I don't think so!! But we got through it and I think I did pretty well all things considered!
So I headed home later than normal, making a stop at a local supermarket to pick up a few supplies; we are away at the weekend which means that Ethan will be home alone for a few days so I picked up some bits and pieces to keep him going. Yes I am a big softie as he is more than capable, and old enough, to sort himself out.
Once home I had a couple of online bits to sort before heading out the door again for a beauty appointment. I'd not long returned home when I got a call from my dad who was struggling to get a doctors appointment. As a result of the current situation most doctors are no longer doing face to face appointments but instead using telephone and video calls. My dad had phoned his doctors yesterday and was told someone would call him back...which they did...but...he didn't get to the phone in time when they called and his answer phone kicked in. The person calling did not leave a message because they are not allowed to because of confidentiality. My dad did the sensible thing of picking up the phone and used the callback option but this took him through to a different doctors surgery from his own. He spoke to them but they, of course, couldn't help because they couldn't find his record...I am presuming that whoever had been tasked with calling my dad was working remotely out of a different surgery and hence the different phone number. And I would presume this is another effect of 'covid restrictions' and working 'covid securely'. But suffice to say I had one pretty confused dad.
I phoned the surgery myself and discovered that if I made an appointment today I would not get a date until mid-June but if I wanted to see or speak to someone quickly I would need to call at 8am in the morning and hope that I manage to snag one of the few appointment slots that they have.
It can be difficult enough in 'normal times' to get an appointment with your doctor but this current set of circumstances just seem to be making it more awkward and difficult than it needs to be. My dad is an elderly gentleman who is suffering with a number of conditions and who needs to be seen in person, who needs a comprehensive review of his current medical care, who needs the care and attention that a GP is supposed to offer but who at the moment is not even getting a second rate service. It is appalling what we are having to put up with at the moment. My dad has paid his way all his working life, surely he should now be able to benefit from the care that he so rightly deserves and has earned, as should tens of thousands of others out there.
But this is the situation we find ourselves in. How many people are suffering at the moment because they can't get to see their GP? How many have been terrified into staying at home and are not seeking the medical help they need? How many missed appointments have there been because people have been afraid to leave their home? How many delayed treatments have there been resulting in outcomes far worse than would have otherwise been expected? How many missed diagnosis? The list could go on and I fear the true effect of lockdown will not be know for a while yet and when we do find out I fear it will be far worse than the impact of covid.
Take care out there.