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Jumping through hoops

I HAVE every sympathy with Janet Woodham (SA, March 8) regarding trying to book an appointment at the GWH.

Recently, just like her, my GP issued a referral for me. I received a letter from the NHS and upon opening it was expecting to be given an appointment, but Oh No! I was given a booking reference and access code and told to ring the Pierre Simonet Building (what or wherever that is) to book an appointment.

On ringing them I had to go through all the references etc, then again, expected to be given an appointment, but Oh No! He told me he had to pass the details on to someone else. He said that I would have to ring back the following week when I would be offered appointment times by yet someone else. On doing this, something was finally sorted out.

My whole point is - why do we have to go through so many people and channels, when one letter from the relevant department in the first place would suffice. Two years ago when I was released after a stay at the GWH I was issued with a zimmer frame. When it was returned they did not even want to know where it came from. Don’t they keep a register to follow up non-returns?

When I was released, for months I had to be supplied with several items of medical equipment. When I no longer needed them, I finished up with two large boxes of items. When I tried to return them to the NHS they would not take them due to fear of contamination. Each item was individually enclosed in heat sealed polythene bags (use by dates 2021) so how could they possibly get cross contaminated? I was not happy with having to throw away hundreds of pounds worth of perfectly good equipment. These are three instances of terrible wastage that I have been directly involved in so there must be many more. No wonder the NHS is struggling financially.

Keith Gubbins, Kingshill, Swindon

A simple way is needed

I am writing in reply to Janet Woodham’s letter, Adver 8/3, regarding Pierre Simonet.

I had the same experience last year after being referred to an eye specialist following the result of a diabetic eye screening. Rang the number on the letter, tenth in queue, after 30 minutes down to 1, that was not answered for a further 10 minutes.

After giving all information code etc I was told to ring back in a week. That was only 12 minutes, was asked for my choice, obviously Eldene Medical Centre as I live in Eldene.

I was told 6 weeks waiting list but I could go to Taw Hill but would have to make my own appointment that could be sooner. I opted for Eldene.

The treatment was excellent. I have had this year’s diabetic eye screening and dread the letter coming with a referral and having to go through all that again.

I am retired but how people that work manage, I don’t know. Its just crazy having to go through all that.

Surely there must be a simple way.

Patricia Woolhouse, Bevisland, Eldene, Swindon

Two cafés for Coate

You won’t know me, I am just an Adver reader. Mother said “Adver” was my first word when the boy came round shouting “Adver” in the 1930’s! That’s beside the point but like me you are a Swindonian and I am proud to say so.

Occasionally I get fed up with Swindon Council and have a battle with them. My fight at the moment is to make Coate more disabled user serviceable.

I am 88 and have been walking around Coate for 80 of those years. My favourite was during the war and my mother helped at the YMCA in Fleet Street of an afternoon.

But Wednesdays she had off and we would walk the fields to Coate, pay our penny to get in, walk round to the swings and paddling pool and we’d catch the bus home. That was sheer joy.

Today I can only walk the bank up and down as I have a tin knee which keeps me going but not far. I need a handle to pull myself up the steps, more seats, a path of hard core instead of loose gravel and a cafe.

If Lydiard can have two cafes, why not Coate?

I want the redundant toilet block converted into a first class cafe with seats, china cups, waste bins and outside seating plus loos of course. We only have a cabin for drunks.

It’s a disgrace to Swindon. Think of the trade if Coate was upgraded. I could sit there drinking tea for hours, so could many other elderly folk.

Margaret Godwin, Glenwood Close, Swindon

Take pride in town

After reading in SA Tuesday March 5 about how many sites have been sold or given away by this hopeless council of ours.

With all that money isn’t it about time some of that money was spent on the roads? They are an absolute disgrace, potholes everywhere.

And rubbish could not people who are given community service be made to go out and pick up rubbish. Swindon is becoming one big rubbish tip.

What visitors must think I dread to think. Nobody takes any pride in the town anymore.

L Townsend, Redcliffe Street, Rodbourne

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