There was a message left on my answer machine last Friday with a name and phone number asking me to phone them back.
So on Monday I returned the call. I waited on hold. She's not at her desk. I left a message with the very nice receptionist who assured me the Occupational Therapist (OT) would phone me back.
On Tuesday there is a recorded message when I phone. Out of curiosity I listen through to the end. It tells me what to do if I need a repair to my wheelchair out of hours. Ring this other number. Nothing to do with the NHS wheelchair service then. They must've all finished work for the day. At 4.45pm. I can't be bothered to leave a(nother) message on this machine.
Wednesday morning. I try again. Speak to the receptionist. Confirm I am returning the call. Explain I am not sure why they want to speak to me. I have been referred by my GP. The OT is in a meeting. But she does want to refer me to another OT. One I have seen previously. One who previously told me I could not have any equipment for the bath as it would not fit. An OT who never measured the bath. An OT who told me I needed and was entitled to an electric bed raiser. Told me she would get me one. Then looked at my bed. Said 'oh'. You have a slatted bed frame. You can't have a bed raiser. An OT who did such an appalling assessment it later had to be redone properly by a different OT. One who did at least measure the bath, but still wouldn't provide any equipment to help. Apparently my hips were 'too bad'. I might hurt myself on the equipment they (the OT's) had provided. Such a shame the first OT had not measured the bath. When my hips had not been quite so bad. And I would have been safe to use the bath board that fitted and she claimed would not but could not be bothered to measure the width of the bath and find out. An OT who when delivering a key safe organised by someone else distressed me so greatly I asked her (politely) to leave my home. An OT who then told her manager I had refused her access to my home, had refused to sign a form, listen to her instructions and 'been rude to her'. An OT who wasn't terribly successful with her complaints against me as when I spoke to her manager about it, I pointed out that someone was not telling the truth. That considering they had a signed copy of the form their OT was claiming I'd refused to sign and that I knew the code to said key safe along with instructions for use that the OT had claimed I'd not been given it wasn't likely to be me not telling the truth.
I tell the receptionist none of this, but say that there have been problems with this particular OT in the past, and I would very much like to be referred to someone else. Please. Thank you ever so much. I would really appreciate it. Yes my height and weight are correct as on the form.
This time the original OT who left the message does call me back. Within about 15 minutes. Why do they want to speak to me? Apparently on the form filled in by the teenage receptionist at my GP's surgery which with approximately 20 GCSE's, a fistful of A levels and a degree between us, neither she nor I could understand the vast majority of, we ticked the box to say I am interested in the voucher scheme. They want to know if this is so. Er. Right. Ok. I say that I know next to nothing about the voucher scheme but I might be interested. I won't know until I know enough about it and more importantly, what wheelchair I will need. So maybe. I ask will they go ahead and book me an appointment now?
Oh yes. We'll send you one out in the post.
NHS efficiency at its best.