Saturday, August 11, 2007

NHS Direct ...

I got a call today from Susan, who's with her mother and the children in Gower. My in-law had left her tablets behind, but her GP said he'd fax a prescription if she could find a chemist that's open late tonight or tomorrow. Could I take a look on the Web ?

A quick Google gave me a list of pharmacies, but which were open out of hours ?

The Swansea Council website had a helpful link.

www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk

NHS Direct operates a 24-hour nurse advice and health information service, providing confidential information on what to do if you or your family are feeling ill, particular health conditions, local healthcare services, such as doctors, dentists or late night opening pharmacies, self help and support organisations.

Looked useful - followed the link. And look - there's a place at the bottom of the page to look for pharmacies by postcode.

Enter a postcode, check the pharmacy box and you end up here.

I don't know if any of you can get any results from that page, but I couldn't. I hadn't noticed the bit underneath saying :


This service is provided for people in England only. For local services information in other parts of UK please visit the NHS in Northern Ireland, the NHS in Scotland or the NHS in Wales.


Not to worry - I found another link to here.

"Enter a valid postcode or place name" - OK, "Swansea".

Apparently that's not a valid placename - after all, it's only a city of some 250,000 people.

It appears that the "National" Health Service is in practice "The NHS in England" - only unlike the Scots and Welsh, the name of the English nation is verboten. If you enter "SA3 2BT" on this page you're told :

This postcode can be classed within Wales.
Please visit the http://www.wales.nhs.uk/ for more information outside England.

Follow the link and you do indeed get a list of pharmacies - but no information on late opening.

With a sigh I dialled NHS Direct Wales - which turns out to be the same number as NHS Direct England . Fifteen minutes later I sat listening to a staff member typing in the same details on the same web pages.

"I'm sorry, I'm afraid I can't help you"

If you want information on out of hours pharmacies in Swansea, it seems the thing to do is to ring your 80-year-old aunt there. She walks up to the local shops, where a list of out-of-hours pharmacies is displayed in the chemist's window, copies them down and rings back.

I explained my problems with NHS Direct.

"I could have told you not to bother. Everybody knows they're a waste of time".











10 comments:

Dave said...

67% want an English Parliament

dearieme said...

25 years ago we moved to a large market town in England (now a "city"). The local rag carried a list of which chemist would open late each day for the coming week. It was weekdays only and "late" meant until 6p.m.

Anonymous said...

They aren't a waste of time to the thousands they employ. They are a publically funded gold mine.

Observer said...

You really must prepare better when travelling abroad. I would not consider living in Scotland as I now consider it more foreign than Germany.

vv

You could always call one and ask whose on rota, or call the PCT

http://www.yell.com/quickclicks/SP/P/PHARMACIES/swansea

http://www.btinternet.com/~bujinkan/tyrfelin/contact.html

Usually local newspapers publish the rota

Sarah said...

The Evening Post probably carries it...

True Brit said...

observer: "I would not consider living in Scotland as I now consider it more foreign than Germany"

What an imbecile thing to say. You little Englanders really need to grow up and stop blaming 'The Scots' for all that irritates you.

The Scots are just as much a part of the UK as England is - and plenty of Scots fought and died in the wars against the Germans who you claim to prefer - you pathetic toerag.

P.S. Labour has a majority of Labour MPs in England - 248 Labour to 193 Conservative in England alone in 2005 - so get it into your head that England has the Labour government that England voted for. Nothing to do with the Scots.

True Brit said...

P.S. The other place that will be able to tell you who's on the rota is the local Police - they should still be good for that, on their local no. rather than 999 though - 999 is reserved for reporting people who call police horses gay and that sort of thing.

Anonymous said...

To say Scotland is as much part of the UK as England isn't really saying much, there isn't a United Kingdom anymore other than in name.
We are all controlled by the EU, and nations making up the UK have been set onto a path of division with an unbalanced unstable political 'settlement'.

Observer said...

True Brit said...

observer: "I would not consider living in Scotland as I now consider it more foreign than Germany"

What an imbecile thing to say. You little Englanders really need to grow up and stop blaming 'The Scots' for all that irritates you.

The Scots are just as much a part of the UK as England is - and plenty of Scots fought and died in the wars against the Germans who you claim to prefer - you pathetic toerag.


True Brit is struggling in his straitjacket...and wallowing in his self-pity. So I prefer one EU country (Germany) over another EU country (Scotland)....isn't that allowed nowadays in the "True Brit" Proto-Fascist Fraternity ?

Anonymous said...

true brit, - just another verbose rectum.