Tuesday, 12 August 2008

"Press one to hold, press two to give up"

With NHS 24 recording, er, record staff absences, health-minister-fish-thing Nicola Sturgeon this week called for a report "I'm calling for a report" she told The JT: "It's vital that NHS24 runs smoothly thus releasing doctors to get on with the vital work of working on getting their golf handicap down."

Staff absences have been causing problems at the NHS call centres for sometime as this spokesphone confirms: "Sometimes it's difficult for patients seeking advice to get through - the lines are clogged mainly with staff phoning in sick. We had to put a woman on hold who was worried because she'd missed her period, by the time we put her through to the triage nurse she'd had an ten pound baby boy."

Patients who finally hang on long enough to describe their symptoms report staff responses like:
"Oooh, that sounds just like what I had." and " You don't feel well? What about me? I shouldn't have come into today, I really shouldn't have." etc.

NHS 24 has requested that GP surgeries open on holidays to assist with telephone triage but at the time of writing no response has been forthcoming - apart from the sound of hysterical laughter.

You see "NHS 9 to 5, Monday to Friday" might be more honest but it wouldn't inspire the same feeling of confidence would it?

NHS 24: hive of erm...

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