I have, since swine flu first appeared last April, been highly critical of the government's preparations and plans for dealing with the pandemic. If you are unaware of my regular posting on the subject, click HERE to read the link to them.
So now having had to phone the pandemic flu line for my son who, on Christmas Eve, late in the evening, appears to have all the symptoms of swine flu (many thanks to the parent who sent their child to nursery with flu and gave it to my son), I am aware even more of the inadequacy of the service.
Phoning the main pandemic flu number involved listening to about 10 minutes of chatter and advice which was all very obvious before then being given another number to ring. Then I rang the other number (0800 1513100), only to be put through to a person, who never actually picked the call up. After having the phone ring off dead twice when they were "connecting me", I eventually went through the internet method of registering for Tamiflu. Now we have to wait 12 hours for a place in Norwich to open so we can get his Tamiflu.
I know it is Christmas Eve and we should make allowances. But for the national phone helpline to simply fail to connect callers and leave them with a dead phone line really is taking the mickey, especially when you are trying to deal with an asthmatic two year old who is running a temperature of 38.7c and is throwing up and coughing.
Of course, I hear you say, "But if he is a two year old with Asthma, he will have been entitled to a vaccine". The answer to that is no, he isn't. Because he takes a non steroid based inhaler, the government deem his asthma not to be asthma, so he does not get a jab. There must be tens of thousands of at risk patients across the UK who fall in to this boat who cannot receive a jab either because of very odd government rules.
Now I must get back to my son.
Merry Christmas to you all, accept for the health minister who set the rules that mean my son who is a high risk patient did not get a jab because of spurious and illogical rules. I hope the minister personally has a rotten Christmas and that he/she loses her seat in the new year.