Adventures in NHS Counselling… Day 2

I arrive for my appointment a little stressed since roadworks closed the only access to the building and I had to find alternate parking…

I hobble the distance on my crutch to the address with seconds to spare, and with a smile I announce myself at reception.

The receptionist in her very early 20’s covered in tattoos confuses my name with the name of the counsellor saying they don’t have an appointment for … I patiently explain, no I am here to see that person, my name is Jason…

Receptionist: “Do you know which department they are from?”

Me: “No”

Receptionist: “There are 42 departments operating in this building…”

Me: “Mmmm ok, wasn’t an issue two weeks ago…”

Receptionist: “Can you give me your Name, Date of Birth and Address please”

Me: “Yes, I can if I had privacy, however there are other people arriving of which they are stood invading my personal space, and from a data protection point of view it’s not information I want to be sharing with the general public” …

They really don’t understand Data Protection or the upcoming GDPR, or care quite frankly…

The couple whom flanked me, looked a little embarrassed and took a step back.  I ended up showing my driving licence with all the information available.

I’m asked to take a seat whilst they sort this out…

Ten minutes into my appointment time pass when the receptionist informs me I was discharged last year and shouldn’t be here and to go home and make an appointment with the GP for a future referral.

I explained that her records management is clearly poor and not correctly maintained…

At this point the counsellor calls me on the phone to find out where I am…

I explain that reception won’t let me in as I was discharged last year and that I’m instructed to go home.

The counsellor arrives in reception, and explains that her appointments are on a different IT system, yawn yawn blah blah blah…

20-minutes of my 50-minute slot has been wasted by an inept receptionist and broken controls/systems that don’t provide an accurate inventory of visitors for the day…

I’m thinking compliance, controls and governance are out of the window as I take a leaflet for their complaints procedure…

Once again, I find myself sat in the same skanky room, complete with bodily fluid stained chairs, wiring on the floor to trip over and I’m proffered the same questionnaire for anxiety and depression and instructed to fill that in.

I try to make conversation, but rules are rules, nothing to discuss until the form has been completed…

The completed form has its scores totted up and I’m told that my anxiety has increased since the last visit.  Why is that?

Well… Reception didn’t help… Plus I have the builders in and the place is in a mess…

Counsellor: “Have I discussed the different therapy options with you?”

For the remaining 10 minutes I’m informed of the different techniques she is trained in, and then asked if I had a preference? CBT or EMDR.  I didn’t have a strong opinion either way, and then I’m asked about my childhood (ah Classic Freud, to paraphrase If it wasn’t your father it was your mothers fault…) I stated (as I had in my previous session) that my childhood is out of bounds, I only want to focus on and discuss the grief and trauma of losing my wife through such a cruel disease and what she went through.

I’m informed that EMDR is not relevant to me then and CBT is the only option…

At this point we’re out of time (well there’s 10 minutes to go but I’m informed that it’s not worth using that time now), and the next appointment is when she returns in a month from taking a holiday!

Two sessions, paperwork and not really discussed what my issues and problems are…  There is too much inefficiency in the system that I don’t see or feel any benefit.

I may go back to private counselling at least they jump straight in and flip the old noodle open and take a look under the hood…

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One Response to Adventures in NHS Counselling… Day 2

  1. Pingback: Next of Kin Conundrum… | Welcome to the New Home of Muckypaws.com

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