Left for the hospital early so we could have time to pick my wife who was returning to LHR from a trip to the US. Made it through the rush in about an hour which was pretty decent but then came the lucky break...actually got one of the vanishingly few disabled parking spots! First time in over two years of trips.
Got to the PIU (Programmed Investigations Ward) a little after 9am and was on the drip in record time. Had explained that we were trying to catch a plane and I think that my diligence in wanting to pick up my wife can not have hurt the fast turn around when the drip was finished. That or my friend and driver Jimmy aka Zamir standing in the hallway!
Got on the road and then got the message that Sara had landed. Thought we had a few more minutes than we actually did because we did not expect her to clear the airport in what turned out to be record time! She only had a few minutes to wait before Zamir's "friend" that she thought was collecting her showed up...she was a bit surprised to see us. We were home by 11. Great day at the hospital.
The previous day, however, was absolute hell! Got there at 11:15 was not out until 4pm and all for a 60 minute infusion. The lab was backed up presumably because they had a total systems failure on the Tuesday. Anecdotally I understood this was not a rare occaision. Unforgivable that systems that important be allowed to fail if they do so more than very, very, very occasionally.
The staff did what they could but the lab problem was amplified by there only being one doctor on the ward. A young guy that had not had his lunch by the time he saw me just before 4pm. Finally got connected, got infused, and got on the road missing the worst of the rush.
I know that the NHS is a stressed organization and I do think they need better funding. I also think that a fair amount of that funding should go to systems and process improvements leading to reductions in operating costs that ultimately, and in some cases very quickly, will pay back the investment. My observations of their operations over the past years would lead me to believe that there are billions to be saved. Billions will need to be invested with a lot going to gain those savings but help is needed in their systems and the processes around them. I could go on for a while from what I have observed.
But I wont in favor of a rant. Before I was severely disabled I may have thought this...but now I feel that I can say it. Obesity should not be enough to justify a disabled parking pass. The woman in the space next to me was simply fat. Ok, I do not know her full story. She could also have been an MS sufferer or fighting cancer or worse. I strong probability is that she was just too heavy for her body. Maybe in for a knee replacement that would not have been needed if she had been walking from a regular parking space for the past years (along with eating less and exercising more). Ok, I know that I am probably being unfair in this particular case but my point about obesity not being a condition of eligibility for disabled statement stands. Eat less and exercise, get surgery if you have gone for a year of honest dieting and exercise and it has not worked (as recent studies say that it takes a year to reset your body). I would give anything to be able to walk. I would gladly take and fight obesity to be able to do so but I can not. Just saying.