A Day in the Life of a Patient Attending an Outpatient Clinic: The Problems and Solutions

I arrive at a hospital I haven’t been to before. I have been told in my appointment letter to go  directly to the outpatients desk to let them know I’m here. I look around – there are three reception areas – but which one is  for outpatients? I logically choose the one nearest the front entrance, wait in a queue for five minutes but am then told that this is the reception area, and that I need to go to the one near the coffee shop. Looking at my watch (as I’m now afraid I’ll be late) I head over to the queue that has over ten other people waitingRead More…

Are “Self Management” courses worth the paper they’re written on?

A 46 year old man stands at the kitchen counter in his house staring blankly at the two bags of medicines he has just collected from his pharmacy. Maurice – his heart full of regret; his head racing with anxiety. Feeling unhappy, scared about his future – and feeling, oh, so alone. Suddenly he is stirred from his thoughts as his four children – two teenager boys and twin 10 year old girls – come bounding into the house with their mom in tow, after being collected from school. He smiles at them, pushes the dreaded bags aside and asks them how theirRead More…

When patients have no choice but to be innovative…

Patients and carers across the world are constantly coming up with new ideas in relation to the management of medications, achieving daily tasks with limited mobility, tracking symptoms and even finding ways to remember medical information. I myself even came up with the MediStori – a personal health organiser – while caring for my dad who was on 22 medications! And this last week, for us, it was no different. This time, however, it was not because of one of the many chronic conditions each of my daughters have – it was simply because my youngest daughter had slipped on a path,Read More…

The Christmas Retail Saga: Exploiting consumers experience rather than creating it.

Yet again another Christmas shop opens. A video posted shows a large retailer in Ireland selling its Christmas decorations – in August. Yet again, I sigh. I sigh not because I have yet to pay upcoming fees for my children going back to school (and I don’t want to be hounded about Santa just yet) nor do I sigh because I am still in my positive summer mood (and don’t want to think about hats and scarves just yet!) I sigh because I think it is just bad business planning. Now before people think I am the ominous Grinch – please let me explain…my absoluteRead More…

Camping Showed me the True Spirit of Community

I started packing bags, folding sleeping bags, filling flasks, writing lists of things I needed, topping up the car with Diesel and checking our travel emergency bag to ensure it had every medicine known to man in it – just in case. Yes, we were going camping. On the spur of the moment, I had decided that I was bringing my three daughters on a camping trip. My husband, who couldn’t take time off work, was staying at home, but I was determined that I could do this on my own. So off we went in the car up to the beautiful mountainous scenery inRead More…