Monday, April 07, 2008

Red tape.............!
This morning I should have been talking on the Radio this morning, on the Beeb, about all sorts of stuff including the embryonic wool felting business I'm setting up called Woolly Waste......but I wasn't there at the studo due to a variety of factors, mostly my knee that decided to hurt like crazy whilst getting out of bed!.........dangerous activity getting out of bed with a torn cartiledge!
So having been promised an appointment 'within 2-3 weeks' I have waited 3 weeks and .......nothing! So at 8.30am right on the start of their opening time I phone hospital.....and the conversation went something along the lines are booked you say.....yes, please can you tell me a date yet......mmmmnnn ummmm well we have no record of you are you sure you saw the consultant and went to the pre op assessment?.....YES (through gritted teeth).....have you a reference number from your letter?.... No, because you havent sent me one yet!.....Oh! Ok I will see what we can do the earliest appointment seems to be August as I know we are chokablock until the end of May.........but I cannot wait until August I have a life to get on with and cannot even take the dogs for a walk or safely handle my sheep, infact I cannot even cross the road without risking my knee giving way (at this point I burst into tears) ........oh sorry, we have found you on the system and you are under non urgent surgery.................BUT IT IS URGENT I sob, feeling rising hysteria.........Right we will see what can be done and phone you back.

I was so devastated.....if I was rich or a footballer or the queen I would have had it repaired by now but not being able to do my job properly, having to have someone help me with my sheep, someone exercise my dogs, someone carry the washing downstairs, and friends and family helping with ordinary tasks such as heavy shopping bags is classed as non urgent! What is this country coming too!!

Phone went at could fit me in on the 23rd April.....2 weeks time!
Well why had it taken me getting hysterical on the phone for that to happen? Probably the same reason that by my persistant phonecalls had got me an appointment with the surgeon originally, out of hours at the private hospital and cost me £120. I have had to buy a very uncomfortable metal hinged knee brace too at £75 to be able to walk outside the house and do tasks.....if it were not for that brace I could not even walk down the field or feed the pigs let alone lay a hedge. If I try to do anything quickly or suddenly or carry anything I am in trouble.

So I will get knee repaired on 23rd 7 weeks after the initial accident. BUT the important issue here is if I had not the capacity and confidence to make a song and a dance, and not the money to pay.....I would still be waiting for the initial consultation let alone be on a list even for health service in the world the NHS......thats what my father thought.....I don't agree!

Add to this a phone call I received last week at 7am............from Animal Health the dept that sends us ALL those forms and regulations. They wanted to know if my animal records were accurate! They had some queries......firstly why had I only recorded 2 sheep deaths. I answered because I only had 2 sheep die ......well what about lambs.......well yes we lost a few one to a fox (no body to be found), didn't mention the 2 to the dog as they were very tiny and we incinerated them. Well she was very 'official' and said we must report ALL lamb deaths even aborted ones.
Well.....I obviously have been at this too long....we can bury a dog but not a tiny aborted lamb foetus.....we must take it to the appropriate disposal facilities....brings to mind a story I was told this week by a dartmoor farmer who put 150 sheep out onto the moor but when he got them in for lambing only found 141. Animal health of course asked him to account for the missing sheep! Hid reply was 'well they is probably dead' the animal health officer wanted to know how he had disposed of the bodies to which he looked blankly at them and said you'd be best asking the crows and foxes that my dear........which right flummoxed them as there were now at least 9 once eartagged skeletons on the moor.....along with all the other hundreds of bodies of deer, ponies, sheep, cattle etc that have dies over the years and not been found!!! Scandalous!!! ;o)


Jackie B said...

Sorry to hear you're still having trouble with your knee, but well done for making a fuss. It shouldn't have come to that though. Of course, if you were royalty and had a chest infection you would have been admitted for three days!

We found a dead deer at the bottom of our garden (and other people have fairies!!!). By the time we found it the majority of it was absent and within a week there was no trace at all. Nature knows what she's doing, even if DEFRA and Animal Health don't!

Anonymous said...

urhg - sorry the knee is still giving you grief.. and yes.. its wrong that you have to be 'the squeaky wheel' to get something done.

sheepish said...

Sorry to hear about your knee. You should move to France, not only is the Health service amazing but the DDAF[Dept of Ag]seem to be much more pragmatic about EU legislation. Of course we had rules about disposal of dead sheep but they expected us to deal with lambs. Although I am quite relieved to be out of farming now as the rules seem to change every week and even here it's getting harder to keep up with it all. England seems to have a 'job's worth' attitude to too many things these days.
Anyway hope your knee holds up til you get your op.

Fr. Peter Doodes said...

With my parish council hat on I often get calls from people asking to have dead badgers removed from the roadside. Sould I have reported these to the Animal health, as they may have departed this world due to TB or do you think DEFRA would be interested? There must be the chance of lots of paperwork there I am sure!

Re the knee, if the NHS was half as good as our local vets and their surgery you would be out and sorted by now.

Hope you feel better soon,



Val Grainger said...

Now reporting dead badgers to them....I like that idea ;-))) that would prove a very interesting challenge!
Yes Sheepish I would like to be in fact was there yesterday and one day would like to move there permenently!
Knee feeling better but I must be very careful not to jar it or twist it too much.....roll on the scalpel!