Ruth's Diary


My first diary entry of the new year and I ain't gonna talk about it :D.

Came back yesterday, my first exam is next week, but I do have work to be getting on with in the mean time. But something so unusual happened on the coach journey here that I felt inclined to send my parents an email about it.

The day was a good day for journeying: before setting off on the long trip back to Aber I watched WWE Raw in the morning with my brother. When in Wales, I had just eaten a banana but I didn't want to keep hold of the peel nor put it in the plastic bag I'd brought along for the purposes of stuffing with banana peels (needless to say it remained empty). The driver wasn't too happy I walked to the front of the coach to drop it in the bin bag. I figured he wouldn't be since the coach was being assaulted by strong wind and rain. Shortly after the driver's announcement urging all passengers to remain seated and fastened I lazily looked out the window and saw...snow.

I vaguely wondered if I would arrive at a snow-covered Aberystwyth. Well, a couple miles out of the town there was no more snow and I found the town to be wet but calm and not too cold. The taxi driver even told me that the town got no snow during my absence-just hail. Good thing I was indoors when a storm finally kicked up...

Oh yes, I might as well make a criticism of the NHS-it's the thing to do these days. Now this one I'm sure has not been covered by newspapers. Around my 20th birthday I got a letter urging me to get a Smear Test. I think: 'fair enough', so I use the information posted to me to book an appointment. I thought it only made sense if I got the test done at my local GP, so I phone, then I find out that no more bookings were being taken for it 'til November. I ring at November, and am then told they don't do it anymore. So the next logical step (and recommended by GP) is to book an appointment at the Family Health Clinic. They were booked until the middle of December. I figured maybe there was a flurry of bookings since maybe thousands of women were getting the same letter at the same time, not to mention all those women prompted to take their 3rd/7th/20th tests.

Of course, with the Christmas period being a bit busy, I, unsurprisingly, forgot to book an appointment. I thought maybe there'd be more space in the new year. Well I've booked...for March. Now this was truly baffling, but then I put together all the clues and realised that it was a fault of some NHS Management Authority somewhere (based in either Ceredigion or Swansea...more likely the latter I think). Now if my GP surgery doesn't offer Smear Tests any more (except perhaps emergency ones), it's not too improbable that other surgeries also don't do 'em anymore, or have maybe limited the offers. So the only place left is the Family Health Clinic. Now I got told if I rang that place on a Wednesday afternoon, then I might be able to get a Test in place of a cancellation. I tried doing so on 2 Wednesdays and no one answered. So that must mean that Smear Tests are only carried out at that place on Wednesday afternoons. No wonder it gets packed.

I mean, this is just silly. I get a letter from the Cervical Health Association (or whatever they're called) telling me how to arrange a Smear Test along with a list of good reasons to get one, but it seems that the facilities and manpower are sorely limited. This is just typical of the NHS today isn't it? It's very willing to carry out its duty and serve the population with every service it requires and gives information very willingly, unfortunately it always seems to be mis-managed: running out of money and restricting services (often through the ludicrous act of firing people-you can never have enough medical staff). Twits.

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