Ashdown Forest Health Centre
Written by a patient
29th May 2019
Last week in France the earpiece from my hearing aid became detached from the wire and embedded itself deep in my ear canal. I was thus rendered totally deaf in my right ear and in some discomfort ( think of having a large frozen pea rammed in your ear). My neighbour was able to contact the Audiology unit in crowborough who saw me the day I returned home and confirmed they could just see the earpiece and that I needed to see my GP. I rang them. Got cut off the first time. Second time the receptionist informed me they hadn't the equipment to remove the earpiece from my ear and I should go to minor injuries unit.
More petrol, pollution, anguish, phone calls and upset. Went straight into minor injuries unit and within three seconds the nurse had removed the earpiece using a cottonwool bud with a small blob of superglue on it. I suppose the surgery must be tight on cash if it can't afford a pack of cotton wool buds and a small tube of superglue.
Additionally getting an appointment is upsetting, time consuming and usually unsuccessful. Now the receptionists are allowed to ask why you want to see the doctor, they are making judgements on your symptoms without proper training. Having been fobbed off on at least three occasions I finally got to see a doctor, with symptoms which could have been serious, five months after they began, having been told by receptionists that they weren't a medical emergency.
As a result I went to the hospital for an MRI scan long after I should have been given an appointment. Unfortunately the receptionist at the hospital forgot to check me in so after two hours waiting I had to be given an alternative date which will be 3 June, now more than five months since I first had the symptoms.
Either this surgery is over subscribed with patients and/or their management is incompetent. Why do they close for an hour and a half at lunch time? Why no late night surgeries, or come-and-wait-and-be-seen-according-to-your-ticket-number surgeries, or Saturday surgeries? It's a mess.