When the doctors surgery is frightened of being sued!

On Monday 11th and Tuesday 12th December 2017 my mum had to visit her doctors... 

Sheepcot surgery. A relocated surgery which is now on the new estate next to the Harry Potter studios.

The surgery is an excellent example of a modern day health centre with automatic doors, ramps, lift and easy access tools to facilitate what is an ageing client base.

As you will no doubt remember the dates concerned were pretty cold... -5c in parts and a heavy snow on Sunday meant that snow, compacted, thawed, then re-frozen poses a real hazard to walking.

Much to my surprise on the Monday afternoon having managed to secure a spot in the disabled bay it was instantly noticeable that neither the parking area, nor the walkways had been treated with salt in any shape or form.

Being fully able bodies even I was having to be careful not to lose my balance myself... imagine an 82 old on a zimmer frame navigating this? We didn't have cause to visit the reception desk on the way out so I thought nothing of it... a bit of an oversight perhaps... maybe busy in the surgery and the person assigned the task hadn't gotten around to it yer.

Tuesday... same thing... no sign of any improvement whatsoever... indeed with even more freeze thaw it was probably worse.... on our way out (booking another appointment, next one Jan 4th... another story) a lady (probably) in her 50's came in shouting, what on earth was going on...

How is it that a doctors surgery, here to provide access to healthcare services for the sick and elderly has a skate park outside the door? ... She had walked right around the building to navigate a safe entry point for fear of falling over and pointed at my mum's frame and said... "bad enough for me, what must it be like for someone using a frame like this lady?".

The reception staff were understandably embarrassed by this situation, I dread to think how many times they would have been confronted in this way with the situation as it was... the response was... "we are not allowed to put salt down... if we were to take this action and someone fell over, we could be sued. This is the responsibility of the owners of the building who we lease it from, they have been contacted but we have heard nothing yet".

How can it have got to this? ... if my mother was to fall over and break a shoulder... that's ok... at least the medical centre can't be sued... I'm not angry... I took great care to ensure my mother was ok... what I see here is a country that has followed the American litigious mentality.

On Sunday evening... I was warned as I cleared my mother's driveway and continued to clear the path in front of the house... "you don't want to be doing that" ... if someone falls here on this piece of path that you have cleared or on your driveway you could be sued.

Honestly... if this is what people are happy to 'go along and comply with' these days then forgive me for not following suit. This is stupid, it doesn't make any sense and it is heading in the wrong direction... time for change!!

Next time I am faced with this there will be a shovel in my car... and I'll clean the doctors surgery path myself... the surgery can't be sued... the owner of the building doesn't have to worry... but most importantly those that use the surgery could do so safely... and no one pays any lawyers or wastes court time... see... everyone really would win!


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