Seven days notice, a garbled voicemail on the phone says that a therapist has had a cancellation and could I attend on Tuesday week to meet them.
I can’t. I also can’t make the following two appointments and I know that will be an issue for the therapist to have so much dead time in their calendar. The time they first meet you is the time they will offer you going forward and I’d told the service that Monday and Friday are the best days to allow me to continue to run some sort of business.
The voicemail doesn’t state the duration of therapy being offered and when I call the office no one there can tell me either. They also can’t say whether this impacts my place on the waiting list. Whether declining two offers (due to them being made for days where I’ve long stated my non-availability) automatically excludes me going forward.
I try booking on to the “Service User Workshop” I’ve been invited to but apparently it’s probably cancelled due to oversubscription. They will get back to me but they can’t say when that will happen.
On the bright side the medication seems to be holding me in place. Colleagues say I seem a little more measured, my speech slowing to a more normal rate. I certainly seem to have a little more capacity and insight. I’m quite reflective which is not normally a feature of being this high up on my personal mood scale.
One of the things I’m reflecting on is that if I ran my business with such opacity and contempt for the customer then I wouldn’t last in business terribly long. I understand the arguments that the NHS can’t allow every customer to be “right” but in my work I’m open with clients about the capacity in my system, when and how I can work for them. They accept I have limitations and are grateful that I keep them informed.
What I face is a bureaucracy which appears to have little interest in the care it provides to me and to others in a more acute situation. I appreciate that dwindling budgets mean cuts to services. I know that I’m not an urgent case. However, being told more about the decisions and compromises being made by the service would really help me to manage my expectations and reduce frustration. It’s the hope which kills you.