Saturday, 21 May 2016

The NHS and sustainability?

Back in the old work days I worked as part of a County Council (sort of) and we were required to convene and act on "sustainability"  i.e.. cutting our footprint on the world's resources. I sat through regular, long, boring meetings talking about turning off lights/heating, not using the photocopier, cheaper ink, communication without paper. I won't go on but it is obvious the NHS has never been asked to do this!

Last week I got out of synch with the Health Centre to renew my prescriptions and suffered the consequences of having to make 16 phone calls (15 getting a busy signal of course, no queue system) at 8.00 am to get an appointment for 35 seconds of a doctors time to authorise something on his computer screen. You will gather I was not in a chirpy mood by the time the prescription was filled. I was also very hot as I had cycled to the surgery and the indoor heating there was on very high.  When I got home I unpacked the paper bag. This is the haul to deliver to my hand 60 pills weighing less than an 5 grams in their foil wraps.
For obscure and stupid NHS arguments I have to do this once a month. so by the end of the year I have filled my recycling bin (2.5 mins after getting home each time) with:

24 boxes
24 stick on labels printed inhouse
24 A4 sheets of closely printed duplicate instructions
12 paper bags
and the most annoying?
12 printed prescriptions -  I order on line and when you see the GP (once a year) he authorises on line. I am never asked to sign. So why print it out every time!!!!

Multiply that with the last 10 years, and at least 20 more, - I have generated my own paper NHS mountain.

I understand it all needs to be kept clean - and I suppose I should say thank goodness it is, because in the current pharmacy set up the basket with my name is on the floor, under a counter, in a dusty walkway. 

Do you suffer stuff like this?

I am going back to the garden for quiet, sane weeding - look out docks and nettles  I need to work off some aggression today!


  1. We were worried about how things would work here as we'd been with our old surgery for 23 years. They had an in house pharmacy. here the pharmacy is in the same building but doesn't belong to the doctors. Touch wood and everything else, so far so good and it helps we are only 5 minutes walk away to sort everything out if it goes haywire!

    1. Ours is within sight too which is very handy. Last month I forgot to check the bag before going out the door and had to go back for the second packet! Always check twice!

  2. If we need any they deliver it to the local shop the next day for you to collect otherwise its 45 mins away to a chemist, in fact I dont even know were the chemist is.

    1. Wow, someone has thought that one through! How supportive for you.

  3. The most times I have had to dial the prescription line before getting through at my GP surgery is 46 - thank goodness for the redial button. I almost dropped the phone last week when I got through at the first attempt! I have to order my medication every 2 months, and the request is sent electronically to the pharmacy across the road from the surgery- I can collect it 2 days later, which has worked well so far.

  4. I agree with you totally. I order online. email. Collect from the pharmacy and each time theres the paper listing the drugs. Each of which has the packaging, literature, side effects etc. I could fill a recycling bin in a month with what I get from all this. There was a request recently for signing a petition for reducing this sort of waste in the nhs. The cost to us the taxpayer must be phenomenal.

  5. Hubby is a insulin diabetic and fills and landfill site all by himself!

    1. I wish we could go back to those little pill bottles. At least the glass could be recycled.


Afternoon off

Left all the gardening undone yesterday and headed out  for the afternoon in our small boat.  Went up the River Wissey for about 4 miles. ...