Led by the holy flowchart

At the recommendation of various bloggers and Facebook friends medical experts, and because I wasn’t feeling any better than yesterday, I agreed this morning to phone 111.

111111, for those that don’t know, is the replacement service for NHS Direct: a free telephone service you can ring when you’re a bit poorly.  Not poorly enough to go to A&E but poorly enough that you don’t want to wait for an appointment with your GP.

111 and NHS Direct differ in just one way: their flowcharts.  One always concludes you should go and see your GP, the other always suggests you should go to A&E.

This is annoying because the whole point of ringing either service is to avoid, if at all possible, visiting a busy GP or A&E department.

Anyway, I rang 111 just before 8 this morning – still coughing and wheezing as I have been since the weekend.  Lo and behold: you should go to A&E.

So I did.

A&E were great – probably helped a little by the fact that 9am on a Thursday isn’t, traditionally, their busiest time.  A very nice nurse swiftly triaged me, sighing heavily at my story of being led here by the holy flowchart of 111.

I was seen – twice! – within less than 30 minutes; diagnosed with a chest infection, given some antibiotics, and sent on my wheezing way.

The effects shouldn’t be evident for a day or two yet, but I’m already feeling quite a lot better.  Which is annoying because tonight I was supposed to be going to not one but two parties, wishing farewell to some old work colleagues.  But my chest infection and antibiotics have put paid to that. 😦



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