For a few years I received free eye examinations because of an history of Glaucoma in my family.
Then, a couple of years ago, at a routine eye session the optician recommended I had further tests to gauge the extent of my Glaucoma and possible treatment. As there is no cure, as yet, for this blinding progressive affliction I welcomed being put on 'the list' for a specialist assessment.
A few months ago I was contacted saying that as I had been waiting over 2 years I could change hospitals to another, somewhere further away but in Devon I assumed, which had a shorter waiting list. Main problem was that all my notes and future treatments would be at that newly selected venue. No thanks I thought and ignored the letter thus opting to stay put.
Out of the blue, at 6pm last Saturday I received a phone call offering me an appointment at the NHS Nightingale facility in Exeter which is almost 26 miles away. I would have to arrange for someone to accompany me as the drops used in the test would impair my vision and I wouldn't be able to drive afterwards. OK, early action on Glaucoma is very important so I accepted the inconvenience.
Later, last weekend, I received two text messages informing me that taxis had been arranged to take me to the Nightingale and bring me back. What? I hadn't done this. I'd arranged something much cheaper! So I phone the taxi company and was told that they had received a list of bookings, including mine, from the NHS who would pay the bills. Whilst I am very pleased to have the appointment and transportation it does seem to be an expensive solution to our stretched NHS medical provision.
The appointment is later today. I'll let you know how it goes.