Every time I don’t attend an NHS appointment, the NHS send me a shaming letter, detailing how much DNAs (Do Not Attends) cost the NHS every year. Fair enough. That was a valuable 8 minute appointment that could have been given to somebody else so they could have been patronised, pathologised, ignored and sent away by my sub standard GP. I deserve the letter.
But it’s unfortunate that there is no standard letter that patients can send to their GPs for wasting their time. And costing them money. Here’s a brief list, off the top of my head, of people I would like to send that letter to:
- The consultant who looked at my broken arm when I was 10 in A and E and said, “Gosh, your bones are a bit brittle,” and proceeded to do fuck all about it. If you had ordered a few tests, I might have got diagnosed with coeliac disease at age 10 rather than at age 17, saving me 7 years of pain and an expensive appointment with a private nutritionist who prompted me to ask for the coeliac test on the NHS.
- The GP who said, “Gosh that’s a bit weird,” when I told her that I fall asleep all the time. Thanks for your brilliant analysis, but next time, remember that you’ve gone to medical school and say something - anything - more profound than that.
- The GP who told me that as I have Meniere’s disease, all dizziness - any dizziness - is due to Meniere’s disease and can NOT EVER be a symptom of other things. It is COMPLETELY IMPOSSIBLE for Meniere’s sufferers to ever experience any other kind of dizziness ever until the end of time. You cost me £4 in a charity shop buying a second hand blood pressure monitor and hours on the internet researching hypotension. That’s valuable time I could have spent becoming an entrepreneur you bumhole.
- The audiologist I saw when I was 16 who told me that my hearing was fine (it wasn’t), and that any mild hearing loss that I did experience (so it’s fine but also possible that I’m experiencing mild hearing loss? How does that work exactly) was probably due to ‘hayfever’. Thanks a lot. I had to wait another 10 years before I got my Meniere’s diagnosis.
- The urologist who spent about 25 minutes talking to me about Sexual Intercourse: how Sexual Intercourse was probably the cause of my recurrent kidney pain, how I could prevent further kidney issues by urinating before and after Sexual Intercourse, by taking a prophylactic antibiotic before Sexual Intercourse and having a shower after Sexual Intercourse even though I explained right at the beginning that I don’t do Sexual Intercourse and haven’t done for some years. Your obsession with Sexual Intercourse cost 25 minutes of valuable A and E time when you could have been giving other patients who do have Sexual Intercourse this patronising and insulting lecture and I could have been working on my career as an entrepreneur.
- The GP I saw when I was 16 with severe intermenstrual bleeding and cramps who told me that, “It’s common for some young ladies to have irregular periods,” and was so obviously embarrassed that I had said the word ‘menstruation’ that he tried to get me out of the door as quickly as possible with a promise of an appointment with a ‘Lady Doctor’ if the bleeding continued for another 6 months. In what world do you live, GP, when Lady Doctor means an actual thing, and where you think it’s perfectly okay for someone to bleed continuously for a whole year without anyone so much as testing them for anaemia (which I had. Thank you Lady Doctor for diagnosing that)? You owe me 6 bottles of Floradix and some kind of medal for not putting you in a museum on the spot.
- The GP who told me that they would ring me (there is no other way to get hold of patients, we don’t care if you have a hearing impairment) if anything showed on my test results and proceeded to not ring me when something showed on my test results. Thanks.
- The countless doctors that have lost my friend’s test results and also proceeded to fail to ring them when they found something worrying on their test results. You are all wankers.
I made a letter we can all send out to clinicians who waste our time based on the DNA letter.
Dear (clinician’s name),
Re: Wasting My Time
We have noted that you wasted my time on (date and time of appointments).
Having reviewed your record it can be seen that this is not an isolated incident and that over the last (number of months) you have wasted my time (number) different times. In each of these cases there has been no attempt to apologise for this behaviour.
(Insert name here) has a lot of things to do. If a clinician wastes (insert name here)’s time, (WMT) and they do not receive prior notification of the time wastage, (insert name here) cannot plan to do other things with their time.
There may be specific circumstances around you wasting (insert name here)’s time that (insert name here) is unaware of. If this is the case, please feel free to contact (insert name here) so that this can be discussed.
Clinicians who imply that they can be of use and then waste people’s time are wasting an extremely valuable resource and this is not acceptable to (insert name here) or any other patients.
(Insert name here) expects a high quality service and reducing wasting (insert name here)’s time is clearly of the highest priority.
If you continue to waste (insert name here)’s time without providing any notice of time wastage, (insert name here) will have no alternative but to bitch about you on the internet.
It is hoped that there will be no further need to contact you about time wastage.
(Insert name here)