COLUMN: Mrs Grumpy, of Diss- ‘Don’t be ill on a Bank Holiday Weekend, unless you want to save our NHS money.’

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I love the NHS. It’s not their fault.

My body is my Temple, or so I thought until recent years when it seems to have decided of its own accord to become more of a cluttered garden shed needing a tidy-up.

I am not the fittest of people despite the amount of walking I do. I eat my five a day and don’t over-do the alcohol units unless it’s been a particularly difficult week or I didn’t realise the punch wasn’t non-alcoholic.

I am confused by the (almost daily) latest scientific analysis of the merit or not of what to eat. Too much sugar, salt and fat is I believe, still supposedly bad for you?

What happens if you don’t eat any, sugar, salt or fat? That’s probably also a bad thing.

I am not a dietician and it’s really a nightmare trying to read the listing on food labels when your reading glasses require an upgrade.

We’ve all heard the rhetoric of politicians who tell us our NHS is the envy of the world in one breath followed by phrases such as ’we need to make it more efficient’, which I understand to mean it costs a lot and how can we cut it.

Well, if my most recent experience is anything to go by, I think they’ve found at least one way to save money.

Don’t be ill on a Bank Holiday Weekend, unless you want to save our NHS money.

All will become clear. I looked it up on the internet and it said if I got the drug down me in the first 48 hours the outcome wouldn’t be as bad so I got straight on the phone to 111 (the out of hours number for all things illness).

After the Spanish Inquisition and a ten minute wait I was called by a lovely lady who (making sure nothing had been missed) asked the same questions again and informed me that a doctor would ring me back.

He did and told me to go to my local pharmacist in Diss.

Unfortunately, the light in the small consultation booth of the pharmacy wasn’t working so we couldn’t completely close the curtain that separated me from the shoppers.

I’m sorry if anyone got to see anything they’d not been expecting, but it wasn’t my fault. “It’s Shingles and you need a prescription,” she said, immediately confirming my fears.

I called my doctor’s surgery and got the message to ring 111 which I did. “Can we just go through a few questions...?”

It was about two hours later that I was seen by a nice man at West Suffolk Hospital (where it seems, you get sent if it’s not a week day) who gave me the prescription that I’d need to go into town to have filled.

Here’s where the money saving bit comes in. What if you don’t have a car or feel too unwell to be bothered to go through all that? You’re going to wait until it isn’t a Bank Holiday Weekend are you not? Genius.

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