I was up at the Royal Victoria Hospital yesterday for my regular checkup. The visit is now pretty routine, with a regular way of working:
- check in with the lovely receptionist,
- sit in waiting room (for ages)
- see consultant
- have blood taken for testing
- head down to pharmacy for prescription
Now, my appointment was at 2.30pm but I was finally seen by my consultant at 3.45pm. Then had a long wait for the bloods to be taken. When I was finally called for the bloods by the nursing staff, I pointed out that I would not be able to make it to pharmacy to get my meds, which would mean that I was going to have to come up once more.
It seems that the clinic was shortstaffed yesterday, and this was given as the reason for the problems. However, this is not something new. What would be better would be if all patients had their bloods taken when they arrived instead of having to wait to be seen by a doctor first. If any extra tests need to be done, then surely no one would mind having another set of bloods taken!
Secondly, I was informed by one of the nurses that the doctors have a meeting before the clinic to discuss the patients coming up, which is at about 1.30 – and they are rarely out of the meeting in time for the beginning of the clinic. This means that usually the clinic is running behind time. With the change in pharmacy closing time from 5pm to 4.30 pm this makes the attendance at the clinic really quite difficult.
I hope the Minister of Health takes some notice of any letters that land on his desk about this.