Not blogged in a while – maybe I am becoming more placid, busier (that is true, I have), finding more “stuff” to occupy my time with – who knows? What I do know is last week, I was riled with our glorious NHS. My leg operation got cancelled, again but that is a whole other blog post which I could write when I am in recovery.
For now though, I want to moan about another aspect of the NHS – audiology centres. Following the cancellation of my operation, my wife needed a new tube for her hearing aid because it had broken. Fair enough, so off we trot to the audiology place – just a small walk away. In the morning they have a walk in centre, great I thought, no appointment needed. What I didn’t know until we got there, was the absolute shocking deaf awareness! This is a place where people go to get aids to assist them to hear.
The receptionist who greets us, exaggerating her lips, “whattt issss yourrr name pleassse”? Not even a basic BSL greeting with voice, “Your name what?” – NHS, your first fail, please learn basic sign language!
In the waiting room (I should have taken a photo), they have a massive TV which lists patient’s names. On a piece of paper underneath it says that the screen is only used for appointments and not “walk in” patients – NHS, your second fail.
I find out whilst waiting that in all the times, she’s been to the clinic, not one member of staff has even a tempted a bit of basic BSL with my wife – really?! I am shocked. NHS, you suck!
The audiologist comes out and calls out my wife’s name, not particularly loudly either (or maybe I’m gong deaf!?) – So a profoundly deaf person in there, unless they have eyes like a hawk, the second someone comes out would miss their name being called – NHS, you screwed up again!
We go into the room, by which time my blood is boiling and so I feel that I have to bring up all these things. I bottle it all, apart from the non functioning TV with the lack of names – “well, we use 6 different systems and the TV only works for people with appointments and not walk in patients”. Fair enough, I calmly explain to her, but why can’t you even write names on a piece of paper like at the airport, “oh I didn’t think that!”. Really?!
Why don’t the NHS attend basic BSL courses or at least a basic deaf awareness course?! I know, I am going to Bangladesh to go and work with the locals where only about 2% of the entire population speak English …
… or maybe work at the airport collecting passengers whilst showing their names on a placard!