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“… in times of crisis …”

7th November 2012 

11:59 As I haven’t had a reply to my previous two emails and would prefer not  to waste my own and everybody else’s time by going to an Eye Hospital appointment I don’t need tomorrow (8th November), I try to contact the Eye Hospital by phone.

  “ At the tone please leave your message, name, telephone number and hospital or NHS number if you have it to hand. We will endeavour to respond within 24 hour. Thank you”.

I haven’t got 24 hours. Why “endeavour” rather than “aim” or “try”? Is it a subliminal reference to Inspector Morse?

12:11 Call alternative number. Silence. Call cuts out.

12:14 Discover the phone number of the consultant’s PA. She is not available and I decide to try later before leaving a message.

12:15 Have a bath (family tradition in times of crisis, dating back to the time my grandfather’s ship was torpedoed by a U-boat during WWI).

12:58  Try the Eye Hospital again. First number is busy. Alternative number is silent again and then cuts out.

13:00 Try the PA again.

The PA answers.

I explain that I think I have been given a duplicate appointment with Mr Salmon’s clinic. The PA checks the hospital’s records there and then, agrees to cancel the wrong appointment and arrange the appointment with Ophthalmology that should have been arranged a month ago.  The whole conversation takes less than 5 minutes. Praise God for efficient women.

8th November 2012

9:00 PA phones to confirm that I won’t be attending the glaucoma clinic today and that she will arrange my appointment with Ophthalmology.