I had my flu jab today, going to a walk-in clinic at our new surgery which was open from 9 to 4.
There was a long queue……………. at the petrol station a few yards up the road, as people are filling up amid fears of a fuel shortage. This is very reminiscent of twenty odd years ago when fuel was actually rationed at the pumps, and you were waiting as long as an hour in the queue to be allowed a maximum spend of about £10. That would not buy very much today as fuel is £1.40 a litre for diesel which is what we now require for the Picasso. We are hoping to fill up when we go to my mammogram appointment next week as it’s in a bigger town with more petrol stations to choose from.
Anyway, back to the flu jab.
There was a horrendous queue outside the surgery and we were in two minds whether to stop. It was moving steadily though, so I donned my mask and joined the end, getting into conversation with the elderly couple in front of me (who are both in their eighties and have been married 60 years) and the young man alongside me who was their grandson, has a young daughter, and another baby on the way. I’d never met them before today!
Apparently they were all at the same surgery we were but changed some years ago and have never regretted it.
The queue today reminded us all of the ‘sit and wait’ clinic at our previous surgery, where people would begin to queue as early as 7.30 for the doors opening at 8am, but there was no possibility of a sign being slammed up in your face to say all appointments were taken and to go home and ring the NHS alternative emergency number or call the surgery/come back tomorrow. Tempers ran hot and angry, and the staff weren’t much better.
It was only about twenty minutes before I got into the surgery for my jab and I didn’t hear a single moan or negative comment in the time I was waiting.
Not many were wearing masks as they waited, but as soon as they were in close proximity of the door, masks went on, and hands were sanitized at the pump inside.
They were operating a good system with all rooms open for jabbing and patients being directed by a nurse. Everyone was smiling (I’ve got very good at detecting the smiling eyes above the mask) and each room had two people in it, one on the computer taking your details and the other ready to vaccinate you. I did ask about our Covid booster and apparently we will get an invitation in due course.
When I came out via the back entrance, the queue was as long as when I’d joined it, but no-one appeared angry or frustrated. What a contrast.