OUT IN THE FIELD: It’s too dark on Eastbourne seafront

Lights on the upper promenade at Eastbourne (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-190919-105905008
Lights on the upper promenade at Eastbourne (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-190919-105905008

I know I frequently bang on about how people abuse our wonderful A&E department at the DGH and that if some patrons had to pay for their treatment they wouldn’t be half as willing to sit in the waiting room for treatment to ‘anything and everything’ which I feel is what they think the letters stand for. If I were the hospital boss there would be drunk tanks for the boozed up nuisances to spend the night in rather than clog up the waiting room swaying and hollering and they’d be presented with a bill for services when they’d sobered up. But my latest bugbear is when people fail to turn up to their appointments with a GP. My surgery, albeit not for much longer due to moving to Westham, is the wonderful Grove Road Surgery where 1,433 patients failed to keep appointments without bothering to cancel in the last year. Not good when you think that missed appointments at GP practices cost an average of £30 – wasted if a patient does not attend. Nationally the total comes to more than £216 million each year which is a staggering waste of money. Aside from the cost, it has an impact on other patients who are denied the opportunity of getting an appointment.

While there may be a good reason for people missing an appointment on some occasions, in most instances it is a lack of understanding of the cost and impact on others or, in the case of serial offenders, a total lack of consideration for anyone else. If you have an appointment and can’t make it, make sure you cancel it so the slot can be freed up for someone else. Rant over.

Nobody ever likes them but smear tests – or cervical screening tests as they are now known – are just one of those things us women folk have to undergo and we should remember to pat ourselves on the back afterwards. Everyone I have spoken to recently who has had to “put your ankles together and relax your knees” has said they have waited up to three months for their results. That’s not acceptable – especially if you have been spoken to about possible abnormal cells. After much ringing round this week we have discovered cervical screening tests are commissioned by NHS England and provided by Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust and they are currently looking into why there is such a long wait. Hopefully we will have something positive to report next week.

I had a little chuckle when I read Eastbourne council has asked a contractor to deal with the problem of the lights along the promenade not working as a “matter of urgency”. I should hope so too as these lights have been out of order for more than 12 months and if I had a pound for every time the council said it was being sorted out, I wouldn’t have to make my own sandwiches. Repairs to sections of the lights may well have taken place over the summer but it’s still like the black hole of Calcutta between the Bandstand and the pier.

Finally this week, not a birthday shout out but wedding congratulations – to Steve and Tracy Parks who finally tied the knot.