Jane Reynolds' Weekly Magazine/Blog – 26th February 2012

This morning’s Sunrise over Swindon from my office window wasn’t as good as usual, so here’s a couple of photos I took yesterday when I ‘shut up shop’ early to go and get some fresh air for the first time in over a week.

It was a glorious afternoon, and I went up to The Lawns, a big open space in Oldtown with a wood; small lake and lots of little paths. The one on the right is of snowdrops (they’re SO beautiful), and the one on the left was a lucky snap as there was a tiny crack in a fence and this was the sun at 4.45 pm as it sank down and created this amazing scene.

The first one I’d taken was better, but my phone suddenly cut out and by the time I got it working again the light wasn’t quite as good, but I’ll try and get back next week and get another one if I can (and assuming the sun’s out)!

My father went up to London on Thursday for a second opinion on his heart. It’s quite disturbing that it took less than a week from him having made the call to being up there, yet our Hospital here in Swindon ‘lost’ his notes for several months last year, and so the appointment he’d been waiting for was never made.

It also makes me shake my head in disbelief that in the 21st Century, not only did the London hospital not have his notes online from either his Private consultation or his visit a fortnight ago, but there was also a complete ‘gap’ of six months, which meant they couldn’t do anything more on the day and will have to make another appointment for him when they track them down.

We have mobile phones that will allow you to talk to people in ‘real time’, on-screen on the other side of the world, and yet we can’t have a system which allows doctors access to a patient’s notes in a hospital 70 miles away. I truly despair, and more so if I think of the billions wasted on Labour’s abandoned system and at the millions paid to the idiots who weren’t able to make it work but were PAID for that failure.

I wouldn’t mind betting that there’s many teenagers out there in the UK right now who could create a working system in a matter of weeks, or why don’t we just give the job to any one of thousands of employees of Apple or Amazon etc – any one of whom could almost do a job like this ‘in their sleep’?

I simply refuse to believe that it can’t be done. Companies with offices all over the world communicate simply and effectively; why can’t the NHS?

You can’t even book an appointment. When I went to my doctor last year he wanted to refer me to hospital and looked online (in front of me), for an appointment. There was one right there (only a week away, and several others too), which would have been perfect. “I’ll take that one please,” I said.

“Oh no. You have to take this piece of paper (TWO A4 sheets, as it turned-out), with your reference number on it and phone them directly,” he instructed me.

Have you ever HEARD of anything so stupid? I did what he said and … you’ve guessed it. In the couple of minutes it took for me to get back to my car and ring, the appointments had ‘gone’, and there weren’t any more for six weeks.

Is this the best we can do in a civilised country in 2012? My father could have had a whole year with a better quality of life than the one he’s just had if the NHS had even a rudimentary computer system. I’m not knocking the staff. The care he had when he had his heart attack three years ago couldn’t have been better, but the rest of it puts us to shame.

I hadn’t meant to have this rant when I started typing, but now it’s here I’m leaving it up, as I get so sick of people pocketing thousands for being completely incompetent – and then getting a bonus on top!

Ok. I’m over it. As for the rest of my week: I can’t believe how long it takes to apply for things online, and my attempt to widen my marketing strategy has taken almost every minute of my time over the last seven days, and if I worked 24/7 I STILL wouldn’t even scratch the surface of what’s out there and what I want to achieve.

I’m feeling pretty upbeat though, so let’s see what this week brings. Have a good one, and I’ll see you next week!

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