So, here I am recovering from my broken foot. At the end of last week I had to go to hospital to have the cast removed, another x-ray and see another doctor to find out whether things were getting better or worse.
With all the bad things you hear about the NHS in the media, it would make sense to expect slow service and poor facilities. In all my trips to the hospitals to fix my foot, I've experienced only pleasant staff, excellent service and complete care. From the moment I arrived at casualty at Ashford hospital at 2am I was treated well. Both the doctors on duty were dealing with 2 serious accidents brought in by ambulances so the triage nurse arrange for me to get X-Rays rather than wait. After the X-Ray it was clear the doctors were not going to be available for a while so she managed to find a bone specialist on duty elsewhere in the hospital. All in all I was treated in 2 hours. I find that more than acceptable for an organisation that can't accurately predict when members of the population will injure themselves.
Forward 1 week and I have a follow up appointment at Canterbury hospital. All my paperwork had been forwarded (actually, the X-Rays are electronic images and I guess they share the same computer system with Ashord) and I was sent for another X-Ray. The doctor decided a cast would now help the bone fix faster and leave me a little more comfortable (every light touch to the foot was painful). I had the cast fitted and went home within 2 hours.
Last week, 4 weeks after the accident I returned to Canterbury for the cast to be removed and another X-Ray. The X-Ray was good, the foot felt a million times better (the doctor could touch it without me hitting the ceiling) the only problem I was left with was restricted movement due to the muscle wastage. I was immediately referred to the physio-therapists at the other end of the hospital, seen within half an hour and given an exercise plan to help me get back to running. I have another appointment in 2 weeks with the same physiotherapist and she mentioned that if the movement is good by then I may be able to join their weekly gym class. The whole process was complete with 3 hours of my arrival.
Every one of the staff I have dealt with has been pleasant and professional. Despite all these positive things I have to say about our local NHS hospitals, I still wouldn't encourage anyone to break a bone to try them out.