This time last year I went over the handlebars of my bike and had to get my chin stitched up by the wonderful doctors at Kings College Hospital.
They did a great job and as well as the stitches provided me with a great example of how targets for individual metrics work against the system as a whole.
After I’d been triaged I saw the doctor who asked me if rather than having the stitches done there and then I could come back the next day to the regular sutra clinic.
It was getting on for midnight, I’d already been waiting about three hours and if I had to go home and come back in again the next day the end to end time would have been getting on for fourteen hours.
I asked why I could not have the stitches done now, or at least on the same day and was told that the hospital managers didn’t like this sort of work being done as it would go over their target time for dealing with an accident and emergency patient.
Fortunately for me, the doctor could see the absurdity of this and after seeing to a patent with more pressing needs than mine, did my stitches on the spot. I remain extremely grateful to this day.