"When kindness without communication doesn't add up"

About: Norfolk PCT

(as the patient),

Last month I went to the doctor's to pick up a letter that my doctor had written for me to forward on to another party. He had said I should come and pick it up a few days later, and that's what I did. When I explained to the receptionist, she looked in the file and said 'I'm sorry, it's not here. You'd better try again another day.'

This was Tuesday. It was evening and the surgery was quiet as the grave, so I wasn't holding up a queue or anything. I said, 'He did say I should pick it up early in the week.'

'Well it's only Wednesday now love.'

'Well to my mind early in the week means Monday or Tuesday, and I left it until today just to make sure it was done.'

'Well it depends how you look at it really, doesn't it love? Early in the week could mean Wednesday too.'

'No, not really. I'd call that midweek.'

'Oh well, nothing I can do I'm afraid - it's not here.'

'Well could you at least check my notes to see if he's made a note to do it?'

'Well... I don't know if...' Sees the steam coming out of my ears. 'Well, I'll have a look... Oh, well it says here it was done yesterday. Thing is the secretaries have all gone home now and perhaps they haven't typed it yet. The only thing I can suggest is that you call and ask for Dr Dashes secretary, Debbie, tomorrow, and she'll be able to tell you exactly what's happened to it.' (Names changed to protect the innocent and all that!)

So off I go, fuming and steaming, not to mention limping, as I have RA and the letter was about a very sore knee, only to get home and find a letter on the mat addressed to me. Open it and what do you think is inside? The letter from the doctor.

So thoughtful of the secretary to realise that she's writing a letter about someone with a very swollen and painful knee, and wouldn't it be a kindness to post it? Such a pity the doctor wasn't equally thoughtful... as he'd told me to pick it up. Also a shame there wasn't a little note in the notes to say 'posted to patient' or something!

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