This is Bad Enough

This is bad enough
So please …

Don’t give me
gobbledegook.

Don’t give me
pages and dense pages
and
“this leaflet aims to explain … ”

Don’t give me
really dodgy photocopying
and
“DO NOT REMOVE
FOR REFERENCE ONLY.”

Don’t give me
“drafted in collaboration with
a multi-disciplinary stakeholder partnership
consultation
short-life project working group.”
I mean is this about
you guys
or me?

This is hard enough
So please:

Don’t leave me
oddly none the wiser or
listening till my eyes are
glazing over.

Don’t leave me
wondering what on earth that was about,
feeling like it’s rude to ask
or consenting to goodness knows what.

Don’t leave me
lost in another language
adrift in bad translation.

Don’t leave me
chucking it in the bin.

Don’t leave me
leaving in the state I’m in.

Don’t leave me
feeling even more clueless
than I did before any of this
happened.

This is tough enough
So please:

Make it relevant,
understandable –
or reasonably
readable
at least.

Why not put in
pictures
or sketches,
or something to
guide me through?

I mean how hard can it be
for the people
who are steeped in this stuff
to keep it up-to-date?

And you know what I’d appreciate?
A little time to take it in
a little time to show them at home
a little time to ask “What’s that?”
a little time to talk on the phone.

So give us
the clarity, right from the start
the contacts, there at the end.

Give us the info
you know we need to know.
Show us the facts,
some figures
And don’t forget our feelings.

Because this is bad
and hard
and tough enough
so please speak
like a human
make it better
not worse.

by Elspeth Murray

Liason Coordinator

With thanks to Dr Duffy, who shared this with me and with whom I have done a practice exchange – I worked for her last week in the Peat Road Medical Practice, which was a great experience. I’ll blog more about this later.

By Tom Leonard, from Ghostie Men

efturryd geenuz iz speel
iboot whut wuz right
nwhut wuz rang
boot this nthat
nthi nix thing

a sayzti thi bloke
nwhut izzit yi caw
yir joab jimmy

am a liason co-ordinator
hi says oh good ah sayz
a liason co-ordinator

Just what this erria needs
whut way aw thi unimploymint 
inaw thi bevvyin
nthi boayz runnin amock
nthi hoossyz fawnty bits
nthi wummin n tranquilisers
it last thiv sent uz
a liason co-ordinator

sumdy wia digree
in fuck knows whut
getn peyd fur no known 
whut thi fuck ti day way it

I must add – the social interventions from this practice were nothing like this. It was joined up, aimed at getting the best from available resources, ensuring people got the best help from the right people.

I’m already thinking of going back…

Poetry as a way of seeing another perspective, in carefully chosen words.

Precious 10 minutes

The GP stands at the door of his room,
shakes my hand, asks me how I am.
I always smile and say fine, except for…
this niggling problem
or I’m just here for a checkup
or a repeat prescription
or something.
He listens.
He’s a cautious man,
gets me tested
just in case: ‘Let’s be sure.’
He sounds me out about an ongoing condition:
if I can live with it
he can live with it.
‘As long as you can do the things
you want to do.’
He knows I’m a worrier.
I don’t feel rushed.
It’s a conversation.
It all seems as it should be.
Hamish Whyte

An ode from Horace

Ode I. 11

HORACE
TRANSLATED BY BURTON RAFFEL

Leucon, no one’s allowed to know his fate,
Not you, not me: don’t ask, don’t hunt for answers
In tea leaves or palms. Be patient with whatever comes.
This could be our last winter, it could be many
More, pounding the Tuscan Sea on these rocks:
Do what you must, be wise, cut your vines
And forget about hope. Time goes running, even
As we talk. Take the present, the future’s no one’s affair.