In the autumn of 2007 Mrs. Angry developed a foot problem: her doctor diagnosed a bunion. However Mrs. Angry was nursing her declining mother and delayed treatment. Her mother lived on and it was only in March this year that Mrs. Angry saw the consultant at Luton and Dunstable hospital.
The x-ray showed that her toe had been split by an arthritic growth. The recommendation was a toe reconstruction. There were options such as fusing the joint but each had a downside. Mrs. Angry had googled the surgeon and read his CV. He was the right man. All was agreed. His waiting list: nine months.
There was a private option: four weeks and over £4,000.
A combination of credit cards, selling Mr. Angry’s collection of Elvis records, a loan from a friend and cashing in her premium savings bonds has secured the funds. Soon Mrs. Angry will be without pain and able to walk again.
But, thought Mrs. Angry, the prime minister says the re-organisation of the NHS gives budgetary power to the doctor. So she went to see her doctor.
The GP became flustered when Mrs. Angry said she wanted the practice to find the funding for her treatment. She then said her ten minutes appointment was finished and she should write to the practice manager. Her letter received a response saying her application was refused and enclosed a leaflet ‘How to Complain’.
Mr. Angry kicked the bucket in anger and he now has a poorly toe.
( Mrs. Angry is having her toe reconstructed in a private hospital in two week’s time. The rest of this blog is imaginary…or is it? The real consequence of the NHS reforms will be a breakdown of the doctor/patient trust. There will many more Mr. and Mrs. Angry.)