God bless our wonderful NHS

From: Jeremy J L HollandLong Beach View, Sovereign Harbour North

Thursday, 6th February 2020, 4:35 pm
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s an 80-year-old ex Royal Navy aviator, flying Sea Vixens from the carriers HMS Hermes and Centaur in the sixties I had 20/20 vision as did the other members of my squadron and was one of my main leftover abilities still left intact so when I woke up last week with bright red eyes I was driven to the Stone Cross Surgery on Monday morning to find out what was happening.

It was a horrible morning with sheeting rain and a strong wind and got there early at 8.05am to find that I was number two in the queue which soon became 20 or so.

We all shivered and froze for half an hour until the reception opened at 8.30am, when even the most modest supermarkets had a queueing system at their fresh market counters with tickets in a strict order with announcements when they next were due, which meant that our poor group of elderly and infirm patients could, at the least, have waited in their cars in dry and comfortable conditions.

The only other alternative old have been to attempt to book an appointment by telephone at 8.30am which, in my experience, would have been almost impossible as the line was fully booked until about 10am by which time the doctors had their appointments filled for the day!

Perhaps it might be a cheaper solution to ask a volunteer or porter to open the doors half an hour earlier when the weather was horrible and give them numbers!

Anyway I was lucky enough to get an appointment with the excellent Doctor Tasharoffi who had been looking after my late parents and myself and family for the last 50 years. After a short interview he recommended some special eye drops and referred me to the Emergency Eye Clinic at the DGH.

To my amazement I was called the same day by the DGH and offered an appointment the next day which I readily accepted, but was told that I might be given some prescription which would make it inadvisable to drive home, so I had to drag my hard working wife from her job as the registered care manager of one of the most awarded care companies in the South East to do the driving.

We did not have to wait long before we were introduced to our doctor, Stella Hristova, from Bulgaria, who recommended certain medications after intensive inspections of my eyes and off we went.

The next day I went to the Pevensey Bay Surgery and handed in the proposed prescription to be told that its would be faxed to Stone Cross and I could expect the result in a few days time.

At that time I was advised to go to the Boots Chemist a few door away to find out whether they had the medication in stock - which they would have to order as they did not. Another thing I was told that I could go “private” and this medication would cost £20 if I wanted it sooner! Never heard before, but it is now in the pipeline.

God bless the NHS - all the way down the line I was treated with the utmost respect and politeness from everyone I met which I thought most marvellous as they were under extreme pressure everywhere.