I had need to see a specialist doctor. His clinic doesn’t make appointments, but operates on a 9 ‘o’clock first-come first-served walk-in basis. OK, I thought, I’d better be there in time, and arrived at the machine where one pulls the ticket number at 8:15.
The room was already half full of people smarter, and even earlier than me.
The receptionist arrived at quarter to nine, and the first question was “who’s got an appointment?”
What? I have never found out how one gets an appointment on the no-appointment Monday morning walk-in clinic, but never mind. Turns out I was number 14 in the no appointment queue, and when it was 9 o’clock, the exact time when the clinic would officially open its doors, they announced that they were now fully booked for the day, and started turning people away.
Luckily, I had gotten in earlier. I’d be fuming with rage otherwise.
After only 90 minutes, I got called and transferred to another queue. Arrangements there were less comfortable, but people were in better, and humorous, spirits, after realising that this is just another queue.
I was seen half an hour later, and discharged 10 minutes later. All right, I got the assessment I came for.
Next time, I’d like to provide an assessment into their work, though. I am sure there were lots of things going on that we didn’t know or understand, but the number of times my file was picked up, looked at, put down again, the number of times nurses and doctors walked up and down the aisle â€“ I am sure that I don’t understand half of what is going on there, but I can’t believe they organised themselves, and a whole room full of patients, in the best possible way.
Anyway. I got out of there and back home in little over 4 hours. This will probably beat the official NHS target.