This is just a moan, not a criticism of the NHS. It's just life really. Since mum moved near me in May, I've been trying to get her healthcare needs met. On the positive side, it has been easier to do that here than when she was living in Sussex, where she her GPs found it easier to treat mum as a difficult patient than pay attention to her complex needs. But, that said, accessing the care mum needs is still an uphill struggle. For her double incontinence, we requested a referral in May, and we now have an appointment in late August, a wait of over three months, during which time we don't even get the pad service. For her prolapsed womb, we had a referral to a gyny, which unfortunately fell on the hottest day of the year. We eaited nearly 2 hours to be seen, then were told that we'd be seeing the registrar, because the consultant was so behind with his list. The registrar examined mum, then told us that she hadn't got a prolapsed womb at all. Which is really, really odd. Because, mum has had a prolapsed womb for at least 20 years, and been examined by numerous doctors, including a consultant, in that time. I'm no medic, but I've never heard of a prolapsed womb recovering spontaneously in a ninety year old woman who doesn't get any exercise. The reason I'd asked for a referral is that over the last few years mum has had her pessary ring removed and replaced very frequently, because she finds it uncomfortable in, then uncomfortable out. It may, or may not, be one of the causes of her incontinence, or the chronic pain she experiences. Her new GP was reluctant to make the referral before she examined mum, but having done so, she said the prolapse was very bad and did not hesitate to refer. So, now I'm waiting for the written report from the registrar, and then I'll discuss it with our GP. Unless the GP persuades me otherwise, I'll be asking her to examine mum again and for another referral to another gyny, and this time I'll insist that she is examined by a consultant. And now we are dealing with another problem. Mum has a bad ear infection. Mum has had a perforated left eardrum since she was a teenager. When she was in her twenties, she had an operation on the ear called a mastoidectomy. The ear cannot be syringed, and should be cleaned out annually using microsuction, by a skilled nurse or doctor. Thanks to a combination of the negligence of her last GP, and mum's own chronic lack of assertiveness, the cleaning has not taken place annually for the last fifteen years or so, and as a result she has had more than one infection. I should have ensured that mum got referred for ear cleaning when she registered at the surgery, but it never occurred to me, and now I'm kicking myself for it. So, now we're having to take mum for ear microsuction on a weekly basis until the infection has cleared up. The snag is that we are having to take her to Exeter, which is a two hour drive away, because our nearest hospital has no ENT consultants at the moment. It takes all day, with me and my husband going, because I still can't drive, and anyway it really needs two of us to help her get to the clinic, since the infection is badly affecting her balance. Mum is being very stoical about it, dear old thing. But, I and my husband are just frustrated and exhausted. We've had to spend far more time dealing with mum's needs in the last few weeks than we anticipated.