RogerBW's Blog

Less perforation, more perfer et obdura 27 April 2021

(Guest post from Gus.)

Put down your chow mein now. I only say that because the friend to whom I chose first to vent inhaled some of hers: apparently that's rather painful.

Dutiful citizen that I sometimes am, I did finally get registered with a GP. Four local practices pointed me in the direction of the one surgery up with whom I refuse to sign (the nearest and husband-killing one). If only the Big Road were a railway: wrong side of the tracks has more of a ring to it, somehow. But I lucked out with the fifth practice, since the phone was answered by the woman who manages registrations and who recognised my address as being only just out of their catchment area. Or whatever it is called; they aren't a school.

This very particular practice isn't doing vaccinations at the moment, which is fine by me. They might actually be looking after patients with non-Covid problems: that would be nice. Once my registration was confirmed, back to the online booking site I went and was not unduly surprised to find it still didn't recognise my existence. Left it a few days and tried again. Result as before. 119 said this was nothing untoward and to give it a fortnight.

After slightly more than a fortnight, I tried yet again. Yay! I got through to a page with big, friendly radio buttons which asked me if I work in healthcare, social care or neither. Neither. The next, not-friendly-at-all page told me I am ineligible for a vaccine at present. Now, it can't be age: I am a dozen years, give or take, into the chronological cohort now being jabbed.

Back to the helpline again, sergeant… The patient and confidence-inspiring Majeed flagged a fault on the system while comforting me with the fact that 'at least it now recognises you as a person, Gus!'. He suggests I keep trying and either further data will trickle through to them (what further data? It recognises my personhood and, probably more importantly, my 10-digit NHS number which I now know by heart) or the fault will be rectified and 'we'll meet in the middle'.

Whether or not I am holding my breath, I leave as an exercise for the reader. It could yet come down to a leopard-proofed letter to Otterbourne.

Oh and it turns out that this Friday and Saturday, there was a pop-up, walk-in vaccination clinic in my borough… Which I found out about on Sunday afternoon. Hence the venting and the half-choked dear friend. This is becoming a serious public health issue, dammit!

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