What was wrong with the old way?

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The NHS is a remarkable institution and should be cherished! That said, nothing is beyond criticism.

I was asked to attend Warwick Hospital on Monday last for a series of blood tests. Having checked it opened at 8.30am I, like several others, got there early, only to find that the numbered paper ticket system I remembered from my last visit had been replaced by a computerised system.

The old system allowed we early birds to take a ticket on our arrival to indicate our position in the queue. The new computerised system does not get switched on until 8.30am.

On this day the computer did not want to work, so after ten minutes of trying, the staff member gave up and had to revert to the old paper tickets. Of course they first had to be located but that didn’t take too long. But then chaos ensued as people jostled for their position in the queue “I was before you” and “No I was before you”. A further ten minutes of chaos ensued.

But money has been spent on a computerised system that would not operate, staff training and a TV screen to view the next patient’s number. And it doesn’t work! What was wrong with the old system?

Then again, sitting there waiting my turn, gave me the chance to view the numbers of staff (lanyards and ID cards around their necks and not, apparently, medical staff, but administrators) going up and down the corridor. It appeared to take two members of staff to wheel a trolley laden with just four pints of milk and a small bottle of water.

I’m sure they are all caring and well-intentioned people, that’s why they work in a hospital, but surely their time could be spent more efficiently.

Colin Sullivan, The Paddocks, Warwick