Author Topic: NHS clinic access  (Read 1626 times)

ally

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Re: NHS clinic access
« Reply #15 on: 02 Dec 2021 03:41PM »
Due to the virus we’ve had, and it’s been ongoing for over two weeks now.  My husband dropped me off at the surgery.   He couldn’t come in with me, due to where he was parked.  The surgery is next  to a school, and, McDonald’s.  It’s rare to find a disabled bay, as it’s used by parents or those at McDonald’s.  Despite being behind a glass screen, the receptionist wouldn’t lower her mask.  She finally resorted to writing down what she was saying.  However, she then carried on talking.  I felt frustrated and annoyed.  From what I can gather from her notes,  I’m going onto a waiting list for triage.  Whatever that is, and, when, I have no idea?.  I’ve come to the conclusion the deaf no longer have a NHS a service.  If I was living alone, I’d be up the creek.

Sunny Clouds

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Re: NHS clinic access
« Reply #16 on: 02 Dec 2021 04:03PM »
Triage is a term with wartime origins that's become vaguer and vaguer.

Originally it was dividing casualties into three ('tri') categories to prioritise for medical care.  Lowest priority = those expected to die anyway even with medical care.  Middle priority = those that would probably survive even without medical care.  Top priority = those that will only survive with medical care.  As a former combat medical technician, I've used it in that crude sense.

The term is used more widely now, e.g. some GPs have 'telephone triage' services where you phone up, and the GP decides whether he can advise on the phone, whether he needs to see you, or whether you need to see someone else.  In a hospital or clinic, it might mean prioritise patients for healthcare in more detail.   The meaning/usage of it has extended now to the point at which it is often just used to mean 'decide when we can fit you in' or 'try to find someone who can fit you on their waiting list'.

As regards the receptionist, I suddenly thought - I think if I were feeling bolshy I'd want one of those whiteboards with an easy-wipe pen.  Scribble "Please respond thumbs up or thumbs down."  Wipe.  "Are you going to see me today?"

Actually, in all seriousness, I think I may try that for my appointment if what's said is too blurred and mumbly.  I wonder if you can still get those grey boards you write on with a sort of plastic stick, then pull or turn something to write it?  Toy shop here we come.

I have such mixed feelings when I read what you write, Ally.  On the one hand, I feel shared experience, and so I feel less alone with my experiences.  On the other hand, a bit of me is shaking my head at myself "And you think you've got it bad, Sunny?"
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

Sunny Clouds

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Re: NHS clinic access
« Reply #17 on: 02 Dec 2021 07:20PM »
Quote
I’ve come to the conclusion the deaf no longer have a NHS a service.

Did the NHS ever adequately provide for deaf people?  I'm not sure, but I think maybe better than now.  I find it difficult to judge because I've had so many poor experiences.

I've actually spent a wasteful chunk of today mentally whingeing about the absurdities of this.  I reckon at my nearest general hospital the most disability-unfriendly department is A&E.  Ditto the next nearest.

Then again, I remember visiting an eye A&E a few years back, stumbling in with my white cane and trying to explain that no, we don't all see glossy black on bright yellow easily.  Depending on your vision problems, it can be much harder to see than black on white.  Oh dear, how dare I have the wrong sort of visual impairment?  That was an eye clinic, of course the adjustments they had made for a stereotypical eye patient must suit absolutely all their patients.

I know that there are limited funds, limited resources etc.  But there's so much that could be done that would cost next to nothing. 

Something that always bugs me about this sort of thing is that it must be stressful for front line staff as well.  If you don't adjust for a patient's individual needs (within reason) patients don't turn up or they turn up at the wrong time or they turn up with the wrong information or whatever. 
« Last Edit: 03 Dec 2021 12:13AM by Sunny Clouds »
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

oldtone27

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Re: NHS clinic access
« Reply #18 on: 03 Dec 2021 03:17PM »
It just occurred to me that if you have a smart phone could that the be used for the other person to speak into so it could be converted into text?

Sunny Clouds

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Re: NHS clinic access
« Reply #19 on: 03 Dec 2021 04:14PM »
I don't have a smartphone but mentally I'm mapping it onto autogenerated subtitles on Youtube.  I wonder whether an app to do that would be expensive.

We live in an age with so much potential but still it's limited in terms of what people can afford.

That being said, else-site someone mentioned living somewhere where they give phones to homeless people.  Wouldn't it be lovely if profoundly deaf people were entitled to a free smartphone on the state? Well, I can dream.  Who knows what the future might bring.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

Fiz

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Re: NHS clinic access
« Reply #20 on: 03 Dec 2021 06:29PM »
Apps are often free and that sort of app would be relatively inexpensive, ie if non profit £4 a month at a guess, you'd just need a smart phone to operate it even if it were free. There are free apps that help people with disabilities but they're funded by an advert every 10-15 minutes which wouldn't be ideal if you needed no pauses and constant use as you would for translation but I doubt the cost to be advert free would be much. Might be worth looking into. I'd be lost without my smartphone for the help it gives me.

Sunny Clouds

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Re: NHS clinic access
« Reply #21 on: 03 Dec 2021 08:29PM »
I'm beginning to feel like the last person on the planet without a smartphone.

That being said, I have a sense of being totally out of my depth trying to choose stuff like that.  I get very, very depressed, and whilst I can mitigate some symptoms with things like outpouring/chatting, and silly humour, it impacts heavily on my ability to  make decisions.  To put that in context, it took me over a year to choose a new washing machine after my old one died.

I've just paused to do a search for 'speech to text app' and found that some apps/software for both smartphones and desktops/laptops appear to be free, but I've no idea how good they are or quite which devices they are or aren't compatible with.

I ought to get my act together on all this because I'm pretty sure my hearing's getting worse.  Ironically, in many contexts I've benefitted from mask-wearing in the pandemic.  No, really.  You see, people are now getting used to the idea that people they speak to may mishear them or may not hear them at all. 

Reading about what Ally's up against thus has three benefits for me personally - not feeling so alone with my problems, feeling better on an 'it could be a lot worse' basis, and reminding me to plan ahead.  What she needs now, I may need in future.

Not that that's much consolation for Ally, save that maybe it helps that we can appreciate it's tough for her.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

Fiz

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Re: NHS clinic access
« Reply #22 on: 03 Dec 2021 08:53PM »
I'd be very surprised if you didn't find a free app Sunny were you to get a smart phone.


From the viewpoint of a technophobe, I bought an apple iPhone for 24 hours, couldn't understand a mb of it and took it back and thankfully got a full refund, they are not beginner's phones. Apple (Mac) are for the more tech literate imo and possibly able to do more but from what I hear the add ons cost money whereas Android phones are simpler and most apps are free.


My first smart phone was a Samsung Galaxy and as a technophobe, it was perfect. I totally understood it and could handle it. I'm now onto a Pixel phone which is a Google firm, I switched to them as you get more phone for less money but it has several drawbacks and occassionally I wish that I hadn't switched. Of all that I have used, Samsung Galaxy have been the simplest and I suspect I will return to them next time I need a new phone.

Sunny Clouds

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Re: NHS clinic access
« Reply #23 on: 03 Dec 2021 11:06PM »
In due course, I need to sort that, then.

That being said, I'm using a 10 year old desktop.  My browser and operating system are now out of date.  A few months ago, I bought a laptop to back up everything on prior to upgrading my desktop.  A neighbour came round and helped by making Windows 10 look more like Windows 7 and by downloading something for me that will work with my libre office.

So one step at a time.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

ditchdwellers

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Re: NHS clinic access
« Reply #24 on: 04 Dec 2021 07:41PM »
I had to get a  new smartphone a couple of weeks ago as I could no longer use mine to do my online banking due to the operating system being so old!
I went with another Samsung as that's what I'm familiar with and it cost £150.00 directly from Samsung. I swapped the SIM card over and once it was set up I could start using it.
There are so many Apps available and the only one I pay for is Spotify which is linked to our music system.

ally

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Re: NHS clinic access
« Reply #25 on: 04 Dec 2021 09:29PM »
Sunny you might find the galaxy note mobile helpful.  I have one.  It has a pen attachment, and, you can use it for writing.  I pass the phone over with the pen for people to write down what they’re saying,  if I don’t understand them. It’s a lot more convenient than lugging a pen and paper around with you.

Sunny Clouds

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Re: NHS clinic access
« Reply #26 on: 04 Dec 2021 09:52PM »
For one glorious moment, I thought you meant they've invented a smartphone that you can communicate with entirely in writing.  Why would that appeal?  One factor that's been key in my not getting a smartphone is the sense that I can't cope with using fingers on a screen to operate it.  When using my desktop computer, I type by feel.  I don't actually remember where all the letters are, so when occasionally I type by using  just one hand and look at the keyboard, I do quite a bit of searching. 

We adapt to new things, though, don't we?

Meanwhile, I've photocopied the pages of my appointmnet letter that I put info on to hand in.   I always find these questions interesting.  Why do they ask about diabetes, eating disorders, osteoporosis etc. but  not about sensory impairments or ataxia etc.  They ask about arthritis, but not which joints.  I suppose they wait until they tell you to hop up on the couch to discover whether it's in your hips/knees.

Gosh, I'm grumbly.

I'm going to have to work hard not to project my grumpiness onto the staff.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

Fiz

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Re: NHS clinic access
« Reply #27 on: 05 Dec 2021 06:56AM »
More and more companies do communicate with customers by messenger (owned by Facebook) which is a typed conversation and apparently some do video calls via WhatsApp and they can be signed. Things are changing slowly!

ally

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Re: NHS clinic access
« Reply #28 on: 05 Dec 2021 10:30PM »
Masks are starting to  freak me out.  I wasn’t expecting to get an apt at the surgery.  However, they decided to see me, as I can’t have a telephone consultation.  Unfortunately, the GP who I’ve seen before decided not to remove his mask.  I sat there trying to tell him I couldn’t understand him.  That didn’t register, and, he continued to talk.  The mask was moving so I knew he was speaking to me.  When I didn’t  answer, or, speak to him, he tried again.  By this time, I was ready to walk out of the door. Then, hallelujah, he lowered his mask, and, asked if I could read his lips. 


My deafness, and, audiology chart is on the computer system.  The audiology chart is more or less a flat liner, so, why would he presume I was able to hear him?  Sometimes, I wonder why GPS, receptionists etc have little common sense when dealing with the deaf.  The dentist wouldn’t lower her mask either.  She wrote what she was saying down on paper.  If the NHS GPS etc are so afraid of covid. Why don’t they ask patients to have a lateral flow test before the appointment?  I took covid tests before both appointments above.  The test kits are free, and, easy to use.  It would save so many problems, especially for the deaf.

Sunny Clouds

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Re: NHS clinic access
« Reply #29 on: 05 Dec 2021 11:41PM »
I'm lucky that the GPs in my usual practice are good.  You know the GPs in your practice and what they're usually like so I'm not challenging your judgement of the GPs you know.

However, in general, I do have some sympathy with GPs over masking, and I say that as someone who, whilst not as dependent as you are on lipreading, am heavily reliant on it. 

You say do a lateral flow test and that's logical but sadly they wouldn't know whether you had. 

GPs are under so much pressure that not only are GP numbers still decreasing, more and more GPs are resigning from partnership to take salaried jobs, which in effect means they can limit their hours and get less aggro.

The BMA did some research last summer and found that over half the two thousand GPs who responded said they have mental health conditions such as anxiety, stress, burnout etc.

You may say well doctors are stressed anyway, hence the horribly high suicide rates in the profession even before the pandemic, but the aggro they have been getting during the pandemic, like the GP in Manchester who recently had his skull smashed by an angry patient, takes its toll.

Meanwhile, they see how people with covid-19 can suffer, and they can read what doctors with long covid say they're going throuh, and they can read what doctors with ME/CFS say about what they go through, and be frightened.

What I find difficult about all this is that I think that it would have been perfectly feasible for the government, instead of lining the pockets of their mates with scandalously high sums for basic PPE, a lot of it unusable, had kitted doctors out with really good stuff, including, by now, adequate supplies of masks with clear panels in the middle to facilitate lipreading.

Meanwhile, over time I've been asking various health professionals and receptionists etc. a particular question and the response is consistent.  I ask whether there's a field on the screen that first comes up when they type in your name that contains information about your communication or access needs.  Everyone I've asked has said no.  It's expletive ridiculous.

So as I say, you know your GP, and what he did or didn't already know about you and what you'd normally, reasonably expect.  I trust your judgement on that.

By contrast, I think a high proportion of GPs and other health professionals are on a hiding to nothing over this.

I'm still dreading my appointment next week in a secondary care clinic.  I'm less fussed about whether they're ok to take their mask down than whether they're ok to repeat, gesture, write etc.  But it's the same underlying problem.

Big hugs.

(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)