My work - this week we began having to undergo weekly COVID 19 tests. Yes, that horse had bolted so long ago it is now lost beyond the horizon. At least I don't have to hike to Bidston train station again for these, as we're using self-administered tests done at work - so we're all breathing on the same office mirror while we poke a cotton bud down our gagging throats then up each rebellious nostril while the manager waits with sterile tube in hand in which to dunk it, and the admin lady rattles away on the computer to log each test. Results are sent to each tested person (and place of work) via text, and the NHS log site assumes everyone has a mobile phone and makes no allowance for those like me who don't. So my results get texted to work, then work emails them on to me - so much for data security!
Speaking of daftness, Richard tried to make an appointment to see our doctor. As the surgery is just around the corner and as he was passing it anyway he decided to walk in. The receptionist told him this wasn't allowed and that all appointments have to be made online now. What if a person hasn't got access this way? Apparently, this is too bad; no alternative provision has been granted. "But I'm here now," he said. "Why can't you just look at your computer and book me in directly?" This, apparently, is too simple. Hoops have been invented and we are now obliged to jump through them.
So, I went online on my PC, got to the medical centre's website which has a Big Red Warning on it about this new requirement. Okay, so there was also a preliminary stage to pass through which asks people to look up their query via a Q&A process - only it had nothing about diabetes in its A-Z list of ailments, or anything about a diabetes/medication annual review, which is what he wants. The robotic computer response advice was to phone 111 - not really relevant. So then, below all this, there was a small Book Your Appointment button - click to that page, only it won't load; all I get is a Page Unavailable sign. Tried several times, no joy.
Anyway, I mentioned this palaver to a colleague who said he'd had a similar run around. He'd ended up going into a Walk-In Centre in order to get antibiotics for the infection which was happily tracing dark lines up his leg from the knee surgery he'd had last year. So next time you hear the NHS whining about the amount of people who keep turning up needlessly at A&E, now you know why!