Wednesday, April 2, 2008


I seem to have a bit of writer´s block at the moment ... but here´s some miscellaneous updates.

Highlight is that a week on Thursday I´m off to the UK for two weeks. Kezia´s birthday is 14 April. Easter hols will have passed but I want to see Jaime and Kezia´s teachers anyway - also it might give me and Nanda some time together which we haven´t had since October. I bought my coach ticket from Heathrow to Manchester today and arrive in Manchester at 07:20 on Friday 11 April. No flights to Manchester when I arrive and no time to cross London and catch the last train. A 1 1/2 hour wait at Birmingham coach station at 3 o´clock in the morning. At least I can fill myself up with nicotine.

Downside to this - I will use up all my Annual Leave and unless we can afford a trip on leave without pay I might not see them until October (the beginning of my employer´s financial year. That is what happened last year and it was a tough one.

Tomorrow Kezia has Intrathecal Methotrexate - there was some kind of mix up in scheduling at the beginning of February and I´ve not got it straight since. Whilst I´m in the UK.

There´s not been any major NHS news - Drs Crippen and Rant continue to call our attention to what I would term rather small, although real, niggles. I guess we are all awaiting with tredipdation Lord Darzi´s report in June.

However, some minor NHS developments today:

1. NHS Wales has abolished car-parking fees at all but ten of its 130 hospitals.

2. NHS Scotland has reduced its prescription medicine fees with a view to phasing them out all together by 2011. NHS Wales started free presciptions last year.

3. NHS Northern Ireland has frozen prescription charges.

4. NHS England has just increased its prescription charges.

The first is welcome. Imagine turning up at hospital in your own car for your regular chemotherapy only to be told you have to stay as you are severely neutropenic and it certainly won´t do to cross most of Wales or Scotland to pick up 5 days of supplies.

Our NHS England Royal Manchester Children´s Hospital prescriptions are free ... but I wonder what the rules are.

No comments: