Every upside apparently has it's downside, every head, a tail, and so it was with North Tyneside General Hospital this week. After praising the greatly-improved appointment waiting times in one of my posts this week, two bits of news broke on local TV and Radio, to the effect that NTGH had decided to increase parking charges (to patients and visitors) AND to make a whopping 140% increase in charges made to in-patients for use of a TV and telephone. The former is scandalous, the latter quite shocking - is there no limit to the greed of the privatised providers of TV/Telephone services. Estimates are that TV will now cost patients £7.00 per day.
Years ago, before an outright ban of smoking on NHS property, in-patients were asked not to smoke, and 'to look upon their visit to hospital as an opportunity to cut down their cigarette-smoking', but also to reflect on 'if they really did want to continue smoking'.
I've got something to say to patients paying these muggers - 'look upon your visit to hospital as an opportunity to stop watching as much TV', and 'In-patients should vote with their purses, switch off the televisions and tell these extortionists to get lost'.
(For those readers born in the post-Beatle years, Blue Meanies appeared in the film 'Yellow Submarine' where they patrolled the outskirts of Pepperland and caught Jeremy in the 'Sea of Holes'. (don't ask!) When Ringo jumps on to a green hole - the 'Sea of Green' - and actually a door through space-time, they arrive in Pepperland.)