NHS in crisis

Recent Forums Chit chat NHS in crisis

This topic contains 31 replies, has 27 voices, and was last updated by  alec 1 week, 2 days ago.

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  • January 12, 2018 at 3:21 pm #420

    “The NHS is about as safe with them [Tories] as a pet hamster with a hungry python.” (John Major, former Prime Minister, 2017).

    Last winter the Red Cross said the NHS was facing a humanitarian crisis, which was denied by the government. This winter things appear to be worse, with people sleeping on floors in corridors in A&E and people dying whilst waiting for ambulances.

    Anyone care to defend the government?

    January 12, 2018 at 3:24 pm #421

    I don’t vote, it only serves to encourage them, but by inclination I would be tory. That said, no, I cannot defend the frightful mess that we are in, and what I find even more worrying is that a change of government won’t bring about any meaningful change.

    My impending old age (I’m now 71) frightens the life out of me, when I think about it.

    January 12, 2018 at 3:24 pm #422

    (No defence of the government, just my tuppence)
    There needs to be a better system in place to stop people presenting at a&e with minor ailments. If only those who genuinely needed a&e were there it might be a different story.

    That being said, that means the whole system needs overhauled, being able to get a same day Gp appointment, seemless hospital to care discharges etc.

    I’ve been thinking about his today, we use NHS 24 here ( same down south?). Clearly in an emergency you would call 999, but otherwise call NHS 24 and ask for advice, they may direct you to A&Ebut often not. If everyone done this before presenting, maybe the amount of non life threatening cases using up the precious time will reduce.

    January 12, 2018 at 3:25 pm #423

    Its a simple equation, nothing to do with politics. There are more people, living with conditions that would have died 40 years ago and less people to look after them.
    In 1979 I was a student nurse, my dad was 55 and died from heart disease, he had two heart attacks and basic treatment. Now he would have been treated with sophisticated drugs, have heart surgery. There are 90 year olds having major heart surgery today.
    The drugs budget is huge, and people expect the NHS to solve everything. There are still people going to the GP to get a prescription for paracetamol, and if they do not get it they will probably rock up at A/E. I have seen the mum get out of an ambulance with a child with a small cut on its finger.
    Then there are all the normally fit and healthy people who get drunk and either make themselves so ill or injure themselves and end up in A/E. In 1979 the A&E had a room with a drain in the floor and a mat to put the drunks, I never saw it used in the six weeks I worked there including night shifts.
    Who ever was running the NHS would be stuffed. There are more jobs than people wanting them.
    No one wants to confront the fact we can not afford to treat everything, at any cost. Basic economics.

    January 12, 2018 at 3:26 pm #424

    You have misquoted him. John Major’s quote was not about the current government, it was about a theoretical future government after Brexit.
    If you insist on getting political, do you want to make any comment on the fact that the Labour run Welsh and SNP run Scots NHS are in a worse state than the English?

    January 12, 2018 at 3:27 pm #425

    There was a very interesting article on the radio in the week asking why? is it thats its always the same few trust that are in crisis and the ones we hear about. If you went round many trust last week people were getting treated quickly but I guess that doesnt make the news,some were going in and out in under half an hour. As somebody pointed out on the program if its the same old trust its a planning issue as they know its going to happen and the suggestion was that the chaos was being manipulated by the trust management as they tend to get extra funding chucked at them if they make the news . Funnily enough of the local NHS trusts the majority seem to have Labour supporting top management and that is very common in the NHS make of that what you will.

    January 12, 2018 at 3:27 pm #426

    No one wants to confront the fact we can not afford to treat everything, at any cost. Basic economics.

    …. and that is the simple truth. The problem arises though when society has to decide who lives and who doesn’t. The drug producing companies, through their sales are continuing with research and in to ever greater depths …….. The DG has RA and she has, on top of a weekly methotrexate injection, a monthly infusion. I asked the biologics lot where was the basis from which the infused drug was grown or created and the answer was that the start was from the uteri of hamsters and that it originated from China, it may have been a previous infusible drug, I’m not too sure, but without this infusion (Tocilizumab I think) she wouldn’t be able to function and would meet an early end.

    I agree with you just as long as it doesn’t affect me or mine.

    January 12, 2018 at 3:29 pm #427

    I spoke to an A&E consultant who said that people were presenting because they couldn’t get a GP appointment.
    As he said…if you have ongoing back pain for weeks, we’re not going to be able to fix it in one night.

    My local trust are also trying to treat older people as far as possible at home, in care homes or in ambulance…it is another huge shock to the system on top of an existing health issue for an elderly person to be blue lighted to a crowded A&E in the middle of the night in their bedclothes to wait hours to be seen. Care homes are being told by OOH doctor to ‘ring 999’.
    Hospital isn’t actually the best place, in a lot of cases.

    January 12, 2018 at 3:29 pm #428

    The NHS can never meet demand as the public’s wants are infinite and supply will always be finite. Every time it treats a patient and stops them dying, it leaves them alive to get some other ailment.

    Throwing money at it does not make it better, an example being my GP and his colleagues cut their hours when the last Labour government gave them all a pay rise. He gleefully told me about the classic car restoration business he was able to start. Pay them more, they work less. Nice.

    January 12, 2018 at 3:30 pm #429

    I don’t know the answer but I do know that the current system is awful. Only this week our local doctors surgery has changed its system. If you want a same day appointment you have to go on a list and then travel 10 miles in the worst traffic imaginable to see someone. who may only be a nurse. Our local surgery has plenty of nurses who used to deal with a lot, and presumably they’ve been moved to the new community place. Our council are determined to build in excess of 10000 houses so the situation is going to get lot worse.

    There was also a story in our local paper which sums up our local A&E

    https://www.portsmouth.co.uk/our-region/portsmouth/family-s-upset-as-nan-88-dies-after-neight-hour-wait-for-treatment-at-qa-1-8317124

    This is quite normal here and explains why ambulances are slow for real emergencies. My dads GP phoned an ambulance for him once because he said if he got a lift there, he would have a much longer wait which could have been very dangerous for him so that ambulance was potentially diverted from somebody who needed it more.

    January 12, 2018 at 3:31 pm #430

    If it is the same Trusts always struggling, maybe they are the ones with a greater population catchment. Our Trust is always struggling ,has been in special measures, but a lot of people in quite a “poor” area.
    Also about 3 weeks for a docs appointment locally so people rock up at A &E.

    January 12, 2018 at 3:32 pm #431

    It’s not just about the end user though is it? In business if you ran an organisation so wastefully, you would go bust. The NHS continues to be propped up despite disastrous management.

    Just two examples from either end of the spectrum:

    1) A local senior NHS manager who was provided with a car as part of her package, all costs including insurance for all family members paid for by the NHS. So she basically gave the car to her two teenage children to drive around in (and they crashed it twice, paid for by the NHS) while she continued to use her privately owned car for work.

    2) In 2012 a brand new huge state of the art hospital was opened in our area. In 2016 I went to A&E with my son, and although there was not a huge queue, we waited ages. The reason was that the whole of the department was being redesigned, so most of the cubicles were under plastic sheeting while the builders knocked down walls, and staff attempted to treat people in corners. The doctor we saw was livid, and said it was all to do with a new manager not liking the way it had been laid out previously.

    We are now fighting to save our stroke unit and maternity department, because apparently they can’t afford to keep them open.

    January 12, 2018 at 3:34 pm #432

    (No defence of the government, just my tuppence)
    There needs to be a better system in place to stop people presenting at a&e with minor ailments. If only those who genuinely needed a&e were there it might be a different story.

    That being said, that means the whole system needs overhauled, being able to get a same day Gp appointment, seemless hospital to care discharges etc.

    I’ve been thinking about his today, we use NHS 24 here ( same down south?). Clearly in an emergency you would call 999, but otherwise call NHS 24 and ask for advice, they may direct you to A&Ebut often not. If everyone done this before presenting, maybe the amount of non life threatening cases using up the precious time will reduce.

    @claro Not entirely fool proof when a lady with MSK shoulder pain turns up in a 999 ambulance ‘query heart attack’

    My 2 cents – its a multi-factorial crisis: a combination of chronic under-funding including social care and community resources, a demoralising media smear campaign, an aging population with poor planning, and occasionally the entitled attitude of people who have always had access to world class free health care, short sited planning of successive governments only looking to make promises to get elected.

    If I was a health care worker in Scotland you could not make me work in NHS England for love nor money for any thing.

    January 12, 2018 at 3:35 pm #433

    I don’t know the answer but I do know that the current system is awful. Only this week our local doctors surgery has changed its system. If you want a same day appointment you have to go on a list and then travel 10 miles in the worst traffic imaginable to see someone. who may only be a nurse. Our local surgery has plenty of nurses who used to deal with a lot, and presumably they’ve been moved to the new community place. Our council are determined to build in excess of 10000 houses so the situation is going to get lot worse.

    @luke They may ‘only be’ a nurse but probably a nurse practitioner/prescriber who has passed extra exams and can prescribe.

    The reason why a lot of these centres have been developed is instead of very cough, cold, flu, tonsillitis, cut finger, skin rash etc, being seen by a GP, they are assessed by someone who is qualified do so at a cost of about £25 and opposed to a GP consultation £50. They follow the same training assessment as GP would for minor illnesses, if they think its more serious or needs a GP consultation you will still see one.
    In Manchester they are developing schemes where other health care professionals who see patients are developing the same skills to take the load off GPs so that they can spend more time with patients with more complicated needs.

    Most of us on this board care for horses, and most of us treat minor injuries ourselves, we think before we call a vet. Some people will even ask for advice from Joe Bloggs with no qualification or experience for advice for something that is quite a serious problem.
    The NHS is seen as free, and we have paid in to it so we can use it. Instead of, I am not feeling well, can I treat this my self? should I ask for advice from a trained professional like a pharmacist? do I need to see a nurse? Can I wait to see a GP? Shall I ring for advice? Do I really need to go to A&E?

    I do agree there are too many pots of money, and each area likes to spend its own pot, its a case if you do not spend it the money will not be allocated to you next year, so they spend it.
    I have spoken to HCP working in Manchester and they are hopeful that this may be one solution.
    http://www.gmhsc.org.uk/news/new-era-for-integrated-care-in-greater-manchester/
    They said one person had called an ambulance 44 times in six months for things that they saw as an emergency but were actually managed in their home. It meant they did not see a doctor but were given support from someone with relevant training.
    http://www.gmhsc.org.uk/case-study/community-enhanced-care-service-cec/

    January 12, 2018 at 3:36 pm #434

    40% of NHS Walk-in centres have closed since 2010.
    We have seen a loss of 14,000 NHS beds, to date.
    How many A&E departments are being closed or downgraded?
    The number of District Nurses in England has been cut by 28%.

    Why repeatedly cut funding for social care, particularly for vulnerable elderly people when it has been recognised that the primary reason for so called ‘bed-blockers’ is that there aren’t enough services in the community to enable safe discharge or to avoid hospital admission in the first place?

    January 12, 2018 at 3:36 pm #435

    And mental health services are facing similar problems
    https://www.mind.org.uk/news-campaigns/news/mental-health-services-cut-by-8-per-cent/#.WlIpgqanyf0
    This article is 2 yrs old and things are getting worse.

    January 12, 2018 at 3:37 pm #436

    Lots of mismanagement within the NHS (although by no means universally). But the main problem is the galloping increase in life expectancy, accompanying tremendous increases in cost-per-head while we prop people up into their eighties and nineties and beyond, and a complete unwillingness to fund it. That’s not just politicians, by the way; only a tiny proportion of people would be prepared to pay more tax to fund the services we demand. The sums do not add up.

    We need different types of care and more of them, better management, and more money. But I think we also need to accept as individuals that our requirements are completely unrealistic – the state can’t fund endless care home places at a grand a week, because the taxpayer can’t / doesn’t / won’t contribute the amount necessary. Nor are people prepared to save properly for pensions, or use their savings or equity to help fund their own care. It’s bonkers.

    Even with better financial management in the NHS – even if it was perfect! – there still wouldn’t be enough money in the system. Either we reduce the services we expect, or we all pay more, or both.

    January 12, 2018 at 3:38 pm #437

    This is an issue with demographics.
    We must must must have an adult discussion as a nation about the increased cost of people living longer.
    We need to be grown up and accept that the old will have to be prepared to pay for more and better management of the help needed in old age.
    I was saddened that the idea of the elderly paying on death part of their estate to cover the cost of some of the costs of their care in old age got such a ragging in the general election campaign.
    We need IMO to remove the care of the elderly from local councils and made it part of the NHS in a specialist wing of the NHS which oversees elderly care.
    A and E units is not where a elderly person with flu having difficulty breathing needs to be they need specialist nurses and support within a suitable environment staffed by doctors who specialise in elderly care.
    It’s essential we get into gear and deal with this issue.
    However I see no issue with the cancellation of elective surgery during emergency’s there’s no point in having staffed hospitals a third empty just in case.
    This is not just a money issue the nhs is behind the curve dealing with the changing demographics of patients and the spilt between health (nhs ) and social ( councils ) is a major cause of of the difficultly in getting a streamlined efficient system for elderly care working.
    And we all need to take better care of our own health certainly there’s no need for the nhs to creak under the strain of caring for the obese individuals ,in the vast majority of cases can deal with that themselves with no cost to state at all.

    January 12, 2018 at 3:39 pm #438

    With all the above you have to think, why?
    I have worked on and off for about 40 years, so I have seen a lot of changes. The NHS has always been managed short term, every shade of party thinks they can do it better and most have tried.
    When it worked about its best, we had managed to reduce hospital stays and increase waiting times we were as a population younger and fitter. Progress was made on cutting waste. I think there was an assumption this would continue and as a nation we seemed to be well off. Perhaps then there should have been a long term assessment of our needs, but how do you tell voters we need to cut back? because, ‘winter is coming’ when all in the garden is just about rosy. No, money was spent on extras that we now can not afford, not just in money, but more importantly in people.
    Decisions about A&E are made by local Trusts. They are deciding their areas needs. I live about half way between two A&E’s, I know which one I would rather go to and wait longer to be seen. A small hospital often can not sustain all the expensive equipment needed for diagnosis and treatment. Is its better to have community centers that treat all the minor stuff quickly and send the all the majors to a well staffed well equipped A&E at a major treatment hospital?
    I have worked in small hospitals, I have worked in a small hospital ITU, my children have been treated in a small hospital A&E, and I can understand why they would choose to close one. But no one wants to give up what they have.
    The cut in District Nurses. Is this due to name changes? There are now Community Nurses, Fall Teams, District Nurses, Nurse Specialists , nurses in the community that handle eating disorders. Then you have Nurse Practitioners, Nurse Prescribers. If there is a hole to fill bung a nurse in it, if you can recruit one.
    Please do not try blame one set of MP’s for decisions that as a country we have all walked in to. We all need to expect less and do more. If its only checking the person next door can get to the shops, or offer to watch a stressed mums kids for an hour.

    If you want to see the amount of NHS jobs going, just have a look on here. Most keep being readvertised in certain areas
    https://www.jobs.nhs.uk/xi/search_vacancy/212621b52853556aac32ffc13ba074e8/

    January 12, 2018 at 3:40 pm #439

    The “promised” money for mental health care from Jeremy Hunt, is after years, by parties of all colours, of underfunding and closure of beds and services. In one major northern city when the large instittion was closed there were three new hospitals built with a total of 20 wards for in-patient care, fifteen years later these were reduced to a total of 15 wards, with very little more investment in community services. It became impossible for the trust involved to recruit consultant psychiatrists, senior nurses and senior staff in the allied professions, they also saw a huge problem in retention of staff. So it really is too little too late.

    January 12, 2018 at 3:42 pm #440

    To be honest, even with the best will in the world, I don’t think it is going to be possible to maintain the NHS in its present form into the future.
    It is inevitable that it will have to become at least part paid for by the end user directly.
    Medicine is becoming more personalised and as a result, more costly. Many of the new drugs coming through are horrendously expensive, often because they can only be applied to small numbers of patients.

    There will come a point where, in the not so distant future, a choice has to be made between having health insurance or a putting up with a truly third world service.

    January 12, 2018 at 3:43 pm #441

    Hmmm….Our GP surgery seems to be quite well managed, appointments can be made for an emergency at short notice, some surgeries start early, others go on late, the close private hospital is used for X rays and some operations are carried out at private hospitals paid for by the NHS.

    It is such a political hot potato that any sensible discussion about long term solutions seems impossible.

    January 12, 2018 at 3:48 pm #442

    It will be more bonkers as things go on as you have a generation of people coming up who have been unable to buy their own homes so don’t have that sort of equity either, and have had a much poorer deal on any pensions they have (no final salary set ups etc).

    January 12, 2018 at 3:49 pm #443

    I was born and grew up in the UK, have lived in several countries and seen how the health services work there as a user of those services. I also have a brother who is an anaesthetic technician in hostpital operating theatres in the UK, friends who are nurses and specialist nurses, are GPs or are specialist doctors in France and in the US, so I get to hear stories from the professional side, too. For five years in the US I worked on molecular biology analysis machines for hospital and research labs. And I read a lot. The Economist is a good source of information about healthcare economics.

    As I see it, the demand for service has changed, and the provision has changed but has not matched the change in demand.

    The demand, as others have pointed out, is that the population is in general older and less fit than before. Even among those under fifty (and even those under thirty) there are far more cases of obesity, diabetes, asthma and allergies than there were during the three decades after the founding of the NHS. I would call this the purely medical increase in demand. This has, to some degree, been mitigated by reduction in pollution, improved safety (everything from improved food safety through testing and hygiene to better road safety).

    To this we need to add what I’ll call, for want of a better term, the psychological increase in demand. This goes from a desire to get the best health care possible for ourselves, our children and our parents through to (excuse me if this sounds elitist and aloof) stupidity and an overblown sense of entitlement. People turning up at the Accident and Emergency department for coughs, colds (“but it’s flu”), a sprained ankle or a minor cut that can be treated at home. The thinking that “I’ve paid for this through my National Insurance contributions, so I’m entitled to [insert desired treatment]”.

    These demands clog up GPs surgeries with malingerers, pushing other malingerers into A&E. The whole system gets clogged up.

    An on top of all that, the cost of new diagnostic kit and of new treatments is expensive.

    So the system needs reforming in the way it provides care.

    But society needs to reform, too.

    People need to change their behaviours to reduce unnecessary demand. Parents should learn how to take a child’s temperature, rather than just put a cold hand to a forehead and rush off to A&E claiming “my baby has a fever!” (of course, they do this because the GP works only by appointment, and the next available appointment is in eight days). Basic first aid training in school. Bring back “home economics” classes, too, so kids learn how to cook properly.

    Lots of mismanagement within the NHS (although by no means universally). But the main problem is the galloping increase in life expectancy, accompanying tremendous increases in cost-per-head while we prop people up into their eighties and nineties and beyond, and a complete unwillingness to fund it. That’s not just politicians, by the way; only a tiny proportion of people would be prepared to pay more tax to fund the services we demand. The sums do not add up.

    We need different types of care and more of them, better management, and more money. But I think we also need to accept as individuals that our requirements are completely unrealistic – the state can’t fund endless care home places at a grand a week, because the taxpayer can’t / doesn’t / won’t contribute the amount necessary. Nor are people prepared to save properly for pensions, or use their savings or equity to help fund their own care. It’s bonkers.

    Even with better financial management in the NHS – even if it was perfect! – there still wouldn’t be enough money in the system. Either we reduce the services we expect, or we all pay more, or both.

    It will be more bonkers as things go on as you have a generation of people coming up who have been unable to buy their own homes so don’t have that sort of equity either, and have had a much poorer deal on any pensions they have (no final salary set ups etc).

    What was the level of home ownership in the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s? What were pensions like back then, for ordinary people, even in the days of final salary pensions? When a factory worker’s final wage packet was crap and he lived in a rented house, where was his “equity”? Well, his old age care didn’t need funding, because five years after retirement he was dead of heart disease caused by disrupted circadian rhythms and hormone levels, from working night shifts, or he was dead from a disease caused by his work environment.

    Relying on each individual’s “equity” to finance his or her old age care is not going to work. Those who, as you say, can’t get on the famous housing ladder will not have a house to sell to fund that care. And those who reach old age with a house worth seven or more times the median annual income will have put that house into a family trust or similar vehicle to keep it from being seized to fund old age care.

    I am convinced that the only way to finance care is through a national scheme, through NI contributions or through taxes of some kind, so that everyone pays as they earn. Just like acute, chronic and accident care. I don’t expect to be presented with a bill for radiology and another for surgery, when I turn to hospital up with a broken arm because I slipped on the ice.

    You might argue that there is a difference between my example of an accidental broken arm and the person requiring old age care; after all, ageing happens to everybody. But not everybody requires care in old age, and some people (for one reason or another) simply never reach old age. And this is why it can be rolled into National Insurance: it is not funding a place in a retirement home for every single person on reaching some threshold age, it is funding a place for those unfortunate enough to need that kind of care.

    January 12, 2018 at 3:51 pm #444

    @york you are talking about the kind of care that would have been provided by family and often still is. I don’t get the argument that the general tax payer should pay more tax so that the family can be off doing something else while preserving their inheritance. Do you see no responsibility on the part of a family which has the funds/time to look after its own?

    January 12, 2018 at 3:52 pm #445

    @mary Perhaps my point was buried in my overly long post.

    When I wrote “old age care” I meant specifically the kind that requires some kind of medical supervision and equipment, a care home, or whatever the term is at the moment.

    When I wrote “not everybody requires care in old age” I also meant that some people are able to live in their own homes with a lesser degree of support, or live with other members of their family.

    I don’t believe that it is fair that somebody easily able to pay for his own old age care in a home should be lodged at the someone else’s expense. But I am certain that this is what will happen in a system where a person’s house will be seized and sold off to finance such care: the property will be transferred to another person or to an entity from which is cannot be seized and the State will left to foot the bill.

    And this is why I think that such care, where it is necessary, should be funded through a fund into which the person who finally benefits from the care will have contributed, either through NI contributions or through some sort of tax.

    When I pay contributions to the health service, I don’t get a refund for not using the service. But it’s there if I need it. Two of my cousins and several of my friends have no children; their taxes are not reduced to take into account that they don’t have children making demands on the education system. My opinion is that old age care should be the same: we all pay in, and benefit from it if we need it.

    January 12, 2018 at 3:52 pm #446

    Some A&Es are setting up a GP type facility where the people who think it appropriate to attend with illness/injury that could be self treated are seen. Personally I think the 4 hour maximum wait should be abolished so the people cited in the previous sentence get pushed further and further down the queue. I am an ex NHS professional and have spent much time in the A&E environment so do know a bit about it all. The abuse of both GP system and A&E by malingerers is rife and a little more personal responsibility would go a long way to help.

    The NHS in general is being expected to “keep people alive at any cost” by society sadly this costs, local paper regularly has shock horror headline “X who has terminal cancer is denied ultra expensive drug which might give them another 6 months to live” in reality the cost of the drug would pay for 4 hip replacements. There are many contentious “treatments” that people expect IVF is one of them.

    My OH is a retired NHS ITU consultant who regularly had to say no to admitting people as there was nothing further in the way of treatment to help them – they were going to die. My in-laws are the you have to something type of people. Friday before Xmas they were going to dial 999 as FIL had a runny nose and was a bit shivery it was extremely strongly suggested that Paracetamol and going to bed early would be a better idea. Next morning hey presto was better.

    January 12, 2018 at 3:54 pm #447

    The NHS need more funding.

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 2 days ago by  Elbie.
    January 12, 2018 at 3:55 pm #449

    @elbie The NHS should not be given more money as it has consistently demonstrated that it does not provide a better service for it. The waste that I have seen at first hand in both community and acute services is eye watering and what made me angry is that the staff don’t even notice it any more. I confronted a surgical consultant as to why a patient in the same ward bay had not been discharged 2 days earlier because he forgot to fill in a form and the nurses and junior doctors were too afraid of him to chase after him. Two extra days in that ward £3k?

    A focus on improvement (doing better/more with the same or less) and sorting out the culture in the NHS is what is needed. Organisations like Toyota focus on getting the quality right first, then worry about productivity/cost. A focus on what adds value to patients could make a massive improvement.

    It is nobody’s “fault”. That is like saying “I don’t live in a 20 bedroom mansion, which is my fault for not being born to very rich parents or for not winning the lottery.”

    Funding is not always the problem anyway. My wife manages three community nursing teams and has the budget that she needs for the patient numbers. However, she is short staffed by 10% and on the worst day in December, 20% of her staff were off sick. When she holds interview days for nurses and HCAs, she will have 8 candidates, of whom 2 won’t show up without explanation, 1 calls in sick on the day, 2 will be totally unprepared and unable to answer the easiest of questions, 1 sets her spider senses tingling (left last 2 jobs at very short notice and won’t say why) and the remainder are borderline. She makes them offers, but they turn them down as they have decided the location or hours aren’t what they want.

    January 12, 2018 at 3:59 pm #450

    We actually have a National Illness Service rather than a Health service – it most usually deals with ill people. Ill people tend to be either very quiet or quick to whinge. When I have considered myself ill enough to go to hospital – I couldn’t have cared less actually where I was treated, so I think we all hear far too much of trolly lying and hours in A & E. Most hospitals have triage nurses on duty when busy now so if you’re bleeding to death or arresting – you’ll get seen so in my opinion – too many complaints.

    I waited about an hour to have a broken knee seen to this year – there were about thirty folks waiting with me – one or two obviously worse off and seen before but most of the other could have had an asprin at home!

    The perfect NHS would be rather like the perfect fire brigade – a fireman standing over every naked flame hose in hand but the NHS now costs £120 billion and counting for what it is.

    My number two daughter did fifteen years in nursing, climbed the greasy pole before ditching all the thankless unsociable, 20 hour shifts, shiftless consultants, backbiting and vindictiveness for a life in academia. Her husband still perseveres in the NHS and has risen from lowly orders to top flight management (boo hiss, do I hear? he’d be the first to say – if you think it’s a mess now – just leave to the medics for a day!)

    Oh yes, another little insight – they were both in the Army – Queen Alexandra’s Nursing Corps and if any NHS staff found that out – the first thing they’d say is – “well you can’t order us about like soldiers!”)

    Many NHS staff seem to regard their job as an “easy billet” they didn’t join up to be “the Best” – pulling sickies is a national pastime and is way above most other industries ( if indeed you can call health an “industry”!) Many surgeons and consultants are paid well into six figure salaries yet don’t work even normal shifts let alone long ones. If any modern factory was run like the average hospital – the shareholders would sack the directors. Multiple millions of investment, much of it lying idle half the time, so o.k. it would be rather inhumane to conduct 24hr operating theatres for elective surgery but there must be far better ways of organising. And it seems that it’s the higher ups that are the ones most resistant to change.

    I’ve had my share of experience at the receiving end of NHS treatment over an extended period and can report here that CRISIS or some form of dire criticism has seldom been far out of the news – yet I’ve not noticed much change apart from the huge increase in form filling and computer screen watching that seems to go on now when the time used to be spend discussing last night’s telly or one’s holidays.

    January 12, 2018 at 4:01 pm #451

    I have troubled the NHS over the last 4 years and one more year to go. I have nothing but praise for them in the main, and due to the nature of my treatment (breast cancer) I had time to get to know one or two of the team that looked after me.

    I remember being really shocked at the speed (7 days) I was processed at. I asked how I was being operated on just 7 days after a positive diagnosis, the nurse told me my surgery would have been instead of several routine planned surgeries. I bet whoever got cancelled that day was spitting feathers but would not have realised why. I needed the surgery there and then, their agonising joint or whatever ‘could’ wait.

    A trip to A&E late at night whilst enduring chemo was an eye opener for me too. The abuse the staff were enduring was beyond belief. I was fast tracked (chemo patients carry a card to enable swift care). As I was wheeled in I heard people shouting about ‘that xxxxx bitch should get in the queue’. My husband told me the receptionist was being hurled abuse at because she had ‘allowed’ me to be seen.

    Whilst in the cubicles I watched nurses being abused by a patient handcuffed to a trolley and a policeman. Those nurses just carried on doing their job. It is little wonder staff retention is so poor.

    January 12, 2018 at 4:02 pm #452

    On the 27th. Dec we had cause to call our GP’s surgery. Following consolation with one of the GPs we were advised to call for a paramedic, which we did. A fully kitted-out ambulance arrived and spent two hours with us. Nothing was too much trouble, the potential seriousness of the situation was accepted by the ambulance staff and the service, complete with God knows what by way of an array of equipment and printouts, which was something which no GP could have provided.

    Was the call-out needed and would the sufferer have come through without the attention of a medic? In my view, they certainly would. The ambulance crew were insistent that the call had merit and completely swept away any need for any apology for waisting their time, with both assuring us that on the day before, they’d been called out to a guy with a hangover.

    I wonder if we had to pay directly for the service of our health care professionals, if we’d be so quick to make that call. As someone else suggested earlier, we do because we can and because the service free. Time that the time wasters were charged for the often needless attention which they demand?

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