Letter: Such a poor NHS service at weekends

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On Saturday at 7.45am I picked up my 89 year old father as usual to take him shopping.

I noticed he had a graze at the edge of his left eyebrow, and his eye was slightly swollen and red.

He said he didn’t remember exactly when he’d done it, but he’d been adjusting his recliner chair the previous day and it was probably then the injury occurred.

We did our shopping and visited the breakfast caravan in Pillings Road, Oakham as usual, and while having breakfast I noticed the eye was looking a lot worse, so I took my father to the minor injuries unit at the hospital in Cold Overton Road.

The lone receptionist explained that as it was the weekend, there was a doctor on duty, but he could only be seen by appointment, and dad would have to go home and telephone 111 to make said appointment, or, we could go to the surgery next door in the hope of seeing a nurse or duty doctor.

We went across to the surgery, where the receptionist said we should go to the minor injuries unit next door.

We explained we had just come from there and had been told to come to the surgery. The receptionist said there were no doctors available, only by prior appointment and no nurses, as it was the weekend.

She said he should go home and ring 111 for an appointment.

I think it is a very sad state of affairs, in a county like Rutland, which has increased in size fourfold since we relocated here from abroad in 1968, when the county then had a cinema, a fully functioning hospital and maternity unit, not to mention a decent bus service from village to town, that we are reduced 40-odd years later to a county where a pensioner cannot even get an eye injury seen to without having to ring some faceless person at a call centre who knows where, to make an appointment to see a doctor or nurse at his local minor injuries unit.

Dad has now decided just to put a cold compress on his swollen eye and hope for the best as he doesn’t want to bother anyone, and this is the problem with our older folk, they don’t like to cause a fuss, so they just put up with bad service.

Pam Todkill

Main Street, 
Market Overton