Bowled over by the NHS

Ouch! I got hit by a cricket ball travelling at about 60 mph last night, right in the middle of my foot. I stopped that ball dead in its tracks, but after letting out a yelp I carried on and spent the next hour and a half bowling without any problems. So it was a bit of a shock when I woke up this morning and could hardly move it. (Especially as I expected the rest of my body to be suffering from my first winter net of the season, but there were no aches and pains at all). 

The swelling wasn’t that bad, but I could not put any weight on it and the pain was, well, really painful – and it was also on the other side of my ankle than the small red dot which marked where the Yorker had hit, so my concerns were increasing. As the morning continued, it became clear things were getting worse so I took a trip to A&E. 

It’s quite a pleasant place during the day – TV on, friendly fellow patients sharing their stories of woe as we wait to be seen, and no drunken injuries clogging up the seats (Yes I’ve been there observing others at 1am when a friend was in the wrong place at the wrong time). Plus nobody laughed at me hopping around the hospital looking for the X-Ray department. 

Thankfully there were no broken bones, so I was sent packing with a walking stick and some good advice to aid recovery - all will be well again in a couple of weeks. 

The thing is, I was treated brilliantly from start to finish. I have no complaints. I am a happy customer. Being a specialist healthcare PR agency, we are steeped in the business and politics of the NHS – including the RCN’s suggestion today of 27,000 staff cuts in the pipeline. It makes for depressing reading, so I hope NHS staff don’t pay too much notice and just keep doing what they do best – treating patients. Because the service is excellent. 

There are businesses out there who spend small fortunes trying to improve their customer service to increase profitability. My advice is to put the customer first (you’d be amazed how many still don’t do this) and you’ll see a dramatic improvement.

Andy Rea