Idiotic Outpatient Appointment Rules

On Tuesday 9th October, 2012 I had just completed an appointment with the consultant dealing with my Prostate Cancer. I left the hospital clutching the details of my next appointment.

Having elected for  “Active Surveillance” the next appointment, to review PSA blood test results, was scheduled for four months time. i.e. 11:10 on Monday 18th February, 2013

A while later, seems like a couple of weeks, I was notified that the appointment had been cancelled and that I would be advised of a new appointment in due course. Time passed, Christmas came and went and no new appointment. Knowing that I had to arrange for a PSA blood test a couple of weeks ahead of the consult and not having a specific appointment I took a punt and arranged for the blood test to be carried out on Friday 1st February.

Well time flies by when you are enjoying yourself and here we are, half way through January and I still had not heard anything regarding a new appointment.

So I contacted the Urology Department at the QA where they explained that the original appointment had been cancelled due to government and/or NHS rules and I had been placed on the Outpatients Waiting List. However, very helpfully she said she would arrange a new appointment for me.

“I have an appointment for you in February” she said.

“Monday 18th” she said.

“That’s amazing”  I replied “My previous appointment was on that day”

“What time ?” I asked.

“11:10”  she replied

“Bizarre” I responded. “That’s when my original appointment was scheduled”

“Oh I can’t give you that time” she jumps in. “The diary is showing a conflict with your original appointment even though it has been cancelled.” “I’ll have to give you another time. How’s 11:20 ?”

Obviously I accepted the new time and she said she would mail me confirmation.

So in summary, the new rules meant that my appointment had been shifted by 10 minutes, had cost me a telephone call and cost the NHS/QA  three appointment letters.


I can only imagine that they are applying the same petty bureaucratic rules that stop me from being able to book an appointment, to see my GP, greater than a month ahead of time.

Happy Birthday – 100 Years of Aston Martin

It was on January 15 1913 that Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford founded Bamford & Martin Ltd., the company that would later become Aston Martin. The name change was in recognition of Robert Bamford’s success at the Aston Hillclimb in Buckinghamshire. A suitable showcase for the very first Bamford & Martin cars.


The DB5 above, made famous as James Bonds vehicle of choice,  is the model that will forever be indelibly etched in people’s memory. However, the company had already been producing cars for some fifty years before the DB5 made its debut. Although the lines have changed over the years, Aston Martins are always instantly recognisable and the latest from the stable are just beautiful.


Here’s to the next 100 years.

No Story ? Let’s Just Make It Exciting Anyway

The UKs media are, this morning, falling over themselves to report on, well, nothing really. Who can make the UKs weather the big story of day.

Last night they were warning us about the snow and the big freeze that is going to engulf the country. The ITV News and Weather were advising us that “much of the country” was going to be impacted.

This morning that has translated into “about a third of the country”

Last night we were being warned that even if we didn’t get any snow we could expect to get the severe icy conditions with temperatures as low as -6 degC dropping to -15 degC by the end of the week.

This morning we have +2 degC and no snow

On the TV we have had reporters dramatically describing to us how Stansted Airport is operating as normal, how the roads are clear and traffic is flowing unimpeded by the weather.

To a degree I can understand why they are doing it. After all the last big freeze caught many of us with our pants down. In some case the authorities let us down but predominantly we let ourselves down.

Britain does have four seasons every year, pretty much without fail. So it follows that we will have Winter at some time. We should not be surprised when the winter brings with it snow and ice.

Only in Britain are such conditions or even the lack of them deemed suitable for such a media frenzy.


Where Are We ?

At around 09:30, on a very drizzly Saturday morning, I was waiting on Copnor Road, Portsmouth. Waiting to turn into the car park associated with the Tesco petrol station. In actual fact I was waiting for two under dressed lads to walk across the entrance. Having parked up and entered the store, grabbed two cartons of milk I headed to the cash desk. The two lads had obviously turned about and they now cut off my approach to the cash desk.

Both lads were clasping bottles of water and were looking decidedly the worse for wear and somewhat bedraggled, having no jackets or coats. The conversation went something like this…..

Lad: (With embarrassed laugh) …”Where are we ?”
Me: “Wow, you must have had a great night.”
Lad: “Seriously, where are we ?”
Me: “You’re in Copnor”
Cashier: (Speaking slowly and clearly enunciating as if for a foreign visitor) “This….is…..Copnor…. Road” as he gestured outside.
Lad: “We are from Portsmouth, we know that Copnor is near North End”
Me: “(Thinking that North End is their destination and indicating the nearby cross-roads) “If you turn right at the lights that road will take you to North End”
Lad: “We don’t want to go there”
Me: “So where are you trying to get to ?”
Lad: “We live in Southsea”

The cashier and I gave directions and the two lads set off, once again, on their journey home.

Some questions spring to mind.

  1. Why did we pass up a golden opportunity to prank these guys ?
    After all they had no idea where they were. We could have sent them north, out of the city. If we had they could still be walking.
  2. How can you live in Portsmouth yet not know where you are ?
    Portsmouth is an island of only 15 square miles. Approximately 4 miles in length (North to South) by around 3 miles wide.
  3. Where was my invite to the party ?
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