MAYBE THE RELATIVES IN AUSTRALIA CAN DO IT…

Understand, that I am truly grateful for the health service’ existence. I have never begrudged the National Health Contribution,( additional taxation) I believed I paid towards the service during my years of working life. It turns out though, it was a massive ponsy scheme that was allowed by successive governments and over decades. The National Insurance my generation paid was used for previous spends and not as future National Insurance.  Payment was deducted direct from earnings, before we received our wages, which payment, we were told, was for our generation.

I have been disturbed for a some years by the standards that vital services, including the health and safety of the nation, are being manipulated to descend to.  How do you succinctly describe what I have just been told, first hand. Sadly, similar stories are happening throughout the UK, this country that has some great professionals fighting a rear guard action working in an impossibly contracting National Health Service.

A lively 86 year old widow, living alone, was shipped by ambulance as an emergency to the main hospital, 120 miles along difficult roads. It’s a journey of about three hours minimum, if there are no travel problems en route. The widow had been unable to move and was in extreme pain. Paramedics called the doctor after one and a half hours of working with the lady at her home. Her domestic circumstances were passed on to hospital staff by the paramedical escort and the referring doctor.

A week later the widow was asking Occupational Therapy staff, (OTS) about going home. They had been waiting on news about the installation of support equipment outside and inside her home, they said, including an extra handrail up a steep staircase   The job had been completed two days before. No communication there then.

Next day she was told by OTS: You’re going at 11am…. Going where? She asked. ……Going home. …..How? All I’ve got is my nightie,slippers and dressing gown that I came in.  Can anyone bring clothes in for you? ……Ring Australia and see if the relatives, (her next of kin) there can help, she replied. It raised a laugh. Can you sit on a chair asked OTS? …I think so. …Right, that’s what we’ll do, we’ll get you a chair and, we’ll make sure there is someone to settle you in at home.  Luckily, another patient was being taken home by ambulance, so, the two shared the transport part of the way and the poor driver had  an unexpected very long return journey.

There was no-one to settle the widow into a very cold house. (No-one had been contacted ). Her hospital bag of requirements was dropped off in the middle of her sitting room and she was left to her own devices.

 

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MIGHTY TOLERANCE

I came across a fascinating snippet of history in the letters page of a U3A magazine, (University Of The Third Age) which, led me to delving a bit deeper.

1685 is a significant date in English Parliamentary history. It was the beginning of manoeuvres to obtain monarchical change. Three years later, in 1688, change was consolidated with the Roman Catholic Stuart King, James II of England and Ireland, (James VII Scotland) being deposed by what is known as The Glorious Revolution. James was the last Roman Catholic monarch in England, Scotland and Ireland.

King James II of England and Ireland. James VII Scotland

James’ Protestant son-in law William Of Orange from the Netherlands and his wife Mary were invited by Parliament to replace him. History as taught, says that James was troublesome. History also states James’ replacement was welcomed, [by Parliament and other powerful interests]; but it was mainly welcomed because it ensured a protestant succession.

William Of Orange

In an area called Beaconsfield, in the county of Buckinghamshire, which is, today,  within easy reach of London UK, there is the original Quaker Meeting House, built in 1688, the year James II was deposed. Quakers had met in the locality since 1659 and risked having their meetings disrupted.

The year before he was deposed, 1687, James II managed to issue a Declaration Of Indulgence. He had been battling  over this with Parliament for much of his relatively short reign. The Declaration gave The Quakers the right to worship freely. Roman Catholics, Jews and Moslems were given the same rights. The Declaration extended tolerance to all to practice their faiths, not just to James’ particular religious preferences, and says the writer of the snippet, “It was the act of a tolerant king”.

It would be justified to say that a prime reason for the English Parliament’s removal of James Stuart, was because of their fears about Roman Catholic Monarchs linking once more to the determinations of the Papacy and its representatives. Therefore, deposing James ensured that the English Parliament, from then on, was established as the ruling power in England.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CARRY ON SURGEON!

It arrived! The waited for the surgical consultation appointment. The patient arrived at the allocated time and was seen on time.

She entered the room and following brief introductions, the patient sat down. The consultant leaned in towards her face, asking rhetorically;

Him-“You have something wrong with your eyebrow?”

The patient involuntarily moved her head back…puzzled.

The consultant repeated, this time authoritatively, “You have a problem with your eyebrow“.

Her- “No“, the patient said, equally as authoritatively,I do not“.

Him -“Yes you do“.

Her- “No, I do not have a problem with my eyebrow“.

The two people looked warily at each other for a moment. The patient then rolled up the sleeve of her right arm.  “I have a problem with my elbow“.

The consultant slumped back in his seat, momentarily, confused. He then studied the exposed arm and asked some relevant questions about what he saw.

Him -“Would you please show me your other arm“, he requested. He then compared the two elbows agreeing there was a difference. He sifted through the file of papers in front of him. “Why were you referred to me?”

Her -“Excuse me, but what is your specialty?”

Him- “I am a skin and bowel surgeon

Her- “Not Orthopaedic!

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEYOND BELIEF

Just post war: my mother told me that she had lost the address of a special friend. One afternoon she set off for a walk; my mother walked a lot.  She described her walk through a different area to where she lived. Then, my mother stopped walking, not knowing where she was and outside a house she did not know. However, compelled to move, my mother told me she knocked on the door and her friend answered.

 

We were waiting for the celebrant to arrive for a funeral in which, I was the main participant. It was a snowy January. Hubby and me were sitting on a bench in the hall contemplating the silence. The casque was in front of us.  I did feel chilled and I tried not to shiver.   Just then heard the the voice of the deceased’s sister saying to me in her own inimitable way, “Oh my, M, you look lovely”.

……….The lady had died nearly thirty years before.

NO REPLY

The medical practice has uploaded an all-singing and all-dancing website to replace the relatively intuitive simpler one that previously existed for ordering acute and repeat prescriptions and updating the patients with relevant news.

Problem 1. Unless you register with lots of identification, physically handing in all that is necessary to the receptionist at the practice, you don’t receive the emailed registration codes for the practice’s new website.

Problem 2. Any previous registrations are defunct. However, the magic ‘No Reply’ email sent to patients has an optical name (!) that bears no resemblance to its purpose, it looks dubious, and it does not identify its source nor its purpose.  Quite a lot of patients are not receiving the email. Some people may be deleting it as spam.

Problem 3.  A lot of patients are experiencing problems. For example, If you have the emailed codes and are able to access the website personal profile set-up, there’s no guarantee you’ll succeed and move on to ‘go’.

 

P1030192 2010 July 30 Octo visit

 

HOT AIR!

What a curious thing!

WASHINGTON — Ramping up wind power in America would also increase the nation’s temperatures, a new study from Harvard found. 

 Contrary to what you may be thinking, this is not about excess hot air escaping from the seat of power, The White House.

The dramatic all-out expansion of the number of wind turbines in the U.S. could warm the coal and also the other fossil fuels which are in the burning mix, because of the manner in which the spinning blades disturb the layers of cold and warm air. Normally, the air is more still at night, with cold air staying near the surface and warmer air resting a little higher. But turbines bring the warm air down and cool air up, making the ground a bit warmer. Interestingly, the effect is reduced during the day but is still there. 

p1000453-top-of-cnoc-wb

The study looked at just the United States.  It found that in the unlikely event that the U.S. switched massively to wind to supply its electricity, there would be so many turbines that on average the nation’s temperature would go up about 0.4 degrees, though there would also be some cooling in places, such as the East Coast. Additionally, the turbines would cause more warming in the short term, this century, than the carbon dioxide America spews into the atmosphere would. 

P1030280 2010 Aug 5th Limousin Supreme Champ

The effect from turbines is different from human-caused climate change. According to the study authors, the effect which mostly consists of warming, is localised and it’s temporary. When the turbine blades are still  the air is calm and there’s no warming.

Wind advocates emphasized that the Harvard study doesn’t show turbines causing global warming, just local hot air.

 

Study lead Author Keith Miller and Co-Author Professor David Keith. Based on an article by Seth Borenstein Associated Press. October 10th-2018

SHOPPING SPREE

Hubs clapped his hand to his head. “What did you buy that for?”

It’s a side table, I cheerily replied.

Hubs –“I can see what it is…did it cost a lot?”

Me -“I don’t think so”.

Hubs-Where did you get it?”

“In the Home charity shop”.  And I turned up the price tag so hubs could see it.

Hubs-Oh, that’s nice, was there another one!”

 

 

AN UNLOVED NECESSITY

Keeping ahead of the game.  I wrote about it here .  Fuel suppliers are an unloved necessity.  I thought I had eventually got my totally frustrating fuel provider trained and I was swithering about whether to stay with them at the end of the contract.

I re-contracted and billing horrors renewed apace.  The fuel provider went into seige mode.  Online notice boards and review sites were buzzing with irate and unhappy customers. A few got to speak to an unhelpful operator after an hour or more. I waited fifty-nine minutes and forty-five minutes respectively, during one day.  The company also switched off its auto-acknowledgment of emails.  Thus, there was no way of communicating.  This firm was in lock-down.

The Ombudsman Service (Energy) assured me the fuel provider was still trading, though one weary advisor said they were getting daily calls.  That prompted me to put in a formal complaint. (The Ombudsman Service,  provides a negotiation and remediation service).  I have now had two complaints against this company found in my favour within a year.

 

Where am I now?  The company have been able to complete two of the agreed remedies, the remainder, which would allow me to smoothly switch supplier without a contract exit penalty and within a specific period of time, are being frustrated.  Why?  

I started the switch process; it stopped because my gas meter was linked up to a different address on the industry’s main database for the gas supply !!!  My current supplier is obliged to ‘update’ the industry database.

I’ve emailed the company.  Their auto acknowledgment feature is switched on again.  It tells you there is a ten day response time.  Previously, it was five days.  The Ombudsman Investigator has now got the case back.

 

GLASGOW’S UNDERGROUND WORLD

When in Glasgow:
Visit the underground world of Glasgow Central Station. The unique guide and major enthusiast, in his retirement, is otherwise employed as Network Rail’s Historian and Archivist.  He used to manage this station. During his career he also managed several other major stations in London, U.K, however, he always returned to his home (and station) Glasgow Central.

Lovely Victorian Supporting Pillars

Descending into Glasgow’s historic and present transport underworld made for a tremendously engaging and educational visit, the guide, bringing to life with his words this major, solid, surviving transport hub. He spoke of the hustle and bustle of transport, for and with all sorts of people, now and in previous times. Peering into the pitch black, eyes following the slim line of a torch beam, it felt like we were intruders into someone else’s world. We saw the outline of places on platforms that were still intact where men could not go, and neither could we. Women of the 19th century waiting for trains in that gloom had the ‘comfort’ of separated waiting areas.  Our way was barred for reasons of safety, which pertained to present day use.

A Disused Line

In a lower street level goods entry, (Glasgow is a city of hills) there were still signs of horse drawn transport. The resting places for the horses still exist.

Like many stations, the ‘streets’ under Glasgow Central station were put to stark use in the two major wars, (WW1 and WWII).  The guide did not mince his words about many elements of the nineteenth century social history associated with this station. He felt very strongly the roles of womenfolk in life and death in this station, was and had been, totally ignored… he was definitely intent on correcting with his words what he felt was a grave neglect and a major injustice.

Preserver Of  Industrial/Social Heritage

While we were in the depths exploring some unused tunnelling and were in our joint reveries sensing the spirits of the past, on a nearby spur an underground train whizzed through.