* Prices may differ from that shown
A Top Protest Song has been released to highlight the case of Stafford Hospital & the 50,000 members of the public who recently stood up & said 'NO!' to a downgrade. The song, released this week is '50,000 People Can't Be Wrong' by Clare Palmer. The song is available to download from Amazon, I-Tunes, Play.com, Spotify etc etc Good protest songs are hard to find in these days of apathy but here is a great tune that sums up the mood of the town of Stafford. ... Due to dodgy number work Stafford Hospital has been wrongly labelled the Hospital that stopped caring and even the Hospital of Death, after repeated slurs and the part-time closure of the A and E dept the hospital now faces downgrading. 50,000 people recently marched through Stafford to protest against this, to prove that the local people still have faith in the wrongfully-shamed hospital yet the national media have ignored the story. Bad news sells it seems even if based on now-disproved facts. The artist has released this record, not for profit as any royalties are to be given to the Childrens Ward of Stafford Hospital, but to try to get some kind of national recognition that this is a hospital under threat yet is currently one of the best performing hospitals in the UK. If Stafford hospital is allowed to be down-graded under the pretext of saving money, lives will be lost and the government will go on to adopt this model with other NHS trusts. It's easier to privatise services once you've rubbished what's there. The downgrade of Stafford Hospital might not directly impact on you but the long-term consequences on the NHS may well be catastrophic. So that's the reasons behind it, but is it any good? Fortunately the answer is very much a yes. Clare Palmer plays her swiftly-penned acoustic number with aplomb with a hauntingly catchy hook that will stick in your head and have you humming it to yourself all day. The song isn't too preachy despite being a plea. 50,000 people can't be wrong, but how many can download this song? It's less than a quid, it's for a good cause and as an extra bonus if it breaks the top 40 we can all sit back and wait to see how many different reasons for not playing it the radio stations can come up with. Ding Dong the witch is dead wasn't played as it was an affront to Thatcher, this song is an affront to the Government, the media and general apathy. Buy it - You get a top track, the childrens ward of Stafford Hospital get some funds, the Government might wake up to the fact that they should put people before profits and the people of Stafford could have their lives saved. Not bad for a quid
The aims of the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK are laudable, and if one considers its original inception, this country wouldn't have got to where it is today without it. Despite this, I can't help but feel that it's increasingly lost its way. Like others, my experience has been very mixed, ranging from GP's who've gone out of their way to help me, and consultants who've been completely useless and treated me like an idiot. The best way is probably to describe some of the experiences I've had, then in that way, I can't be accused of generalisation! I've been very lucky, particularly over the past seven years, to have had a fantastic GP who has absolutely gone out of her way to help. She's attentive and reassuring, and she will chase up anything which needs to be chased up (test results, consultants' reports etc.). She's always been willing to speak on the telephone when I've needed something clarifying or have needed some advice about something where an appointment wasn't necessary. Likewise, she's always been ready to ring me to pass on information and results. Above all, she's always been there when I've needed her; I've never felt rushed and I've never been made to feel that a particular issue or problem is insignificant, or of low priority. The problem is that because she's so good, she's in demand, and it's not always easy to make appointments. Sometimes one has to wait 5-6 weeks or longer to see her, and this isn't always practicable, so on occasion, I have had to see other GP's at the same surgery. This is where the experience becomes much more negative. Earlier this year, I began to get a lot of back pain which gradually got worse and spread to other joints. There was no obvious explanation for it, and it was incredibly worrying considering the previously I'd been reasonably fit and healthy. After the pain had lasted about two months and had begun to get much worse, I was forced to make a reasonably urgent appointment with one of the GP's. The first GP I saw said it was sciatica and nothing could be done for it - I wasn't wholly satisfied with this as from what I know about sciatica it has very obvious pains in the legs which I hadn't had. A week later, I saw another GP who diagnosed Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and once again said there wasn't anything could be done - again, I wasn't satisfied as I saw no reason by IBS should affect my neck and ankles. The third GP's diagnosis was, quite frankly, laughable - she said that I might have vertigo and prescribed some pills to counteract the effects of seasickness. I think both these instances go to show that whilst in some areas, the service is absolutely superb and better than expected, in other cases, it is worryingly poor. How a GP can diagnose vertigo when the symptoms are back and joint pain is extremely concerning. This inevitably means that the system which the majority of us have no option but to rely on is very 'hit and miss' and this doesn't always fill one with confidence. I know people get fed up of so-called 'NHS-slamming', but you have to admit that when people experience completely ridiculous diagnoses like these, they have a right to be concerned and upset.
Not everyone is aware that you can get an NHS Prescription Prepayment Certificate (PPC) which is a major money saver for anyone that has to pay for more than four items on prescription per 3 month period or more than 14 items in 12 months. So What Is A PPC A PPC is an NHS certificate that you can buy either over the telephone or online and once paid for, which you can do immediately with a debit or credit card, you will be issued with a number straightaway that you can then use to get all your prescription items without further payment for the next 3 months or 12 months which ever period you opted to pay for, just tick the option on the back of the prescription that says I have a PPC and write the number at the side. A few days later you will be issued with card of similar size to a credit or store card with your name, the certificate number and valid from and expiry dates printed on. Near the expiry date you will be issued with a reminder letter from the NHS to renew your PPC should you wish to do so. How Much Does It Cost For a 3 month PPC the current cost is £28.25 and for a 12 month one £104.00. You can pay for the annual one by direct debit over 10 monthly installments if you wish. Bearing in mind that each item on your prescription is going to cost £7.20 an item if you need a lot of items then the saving is considerable. I buy the 3 month one and have 15 items on repeat prescription every 3 months so that would cost £108.00 saving me nearly £80.00 per quarter and that is a considerable saving, and that is without including any extra items the doctor prescribes that are not on repeat prescription. Last month I needed 3 extra prescription items following a chest infection so that was another £21.60 saved. Who Can Get a PPC Anyone who is resident in England that has to pay for their prescriptions can buy a PPC, regardless of their earnings, it is available to anyone. What does a PPC Cover A PPC covers you for all your own NHS prescriptions no matter how many items you need until the expiry date. I have never seen this service advertised anywhere and was only made aware that there was such a thing when my Chemist pointed it out to me when she realized how much I was spending on prescriptions. For full details, telephone number and how to buy online visit www.directgov.co.uk type PPC in the search engine there and follow the links.
Like most people I have had my fair share of problems with the NHS, and I admit that at the time I have been less than happy. If we actually take into account the amount of hours which they put in and how many mistakes we ourselves make then they're not actually that bad. I had one incident last year where I was screened for breast cancer due to finding a lump. I had various tests to find out the outcome and was seen by many different members of staff. At one appointment at the hospital I was given an ultrasound and was told all the information I needed to know by a really nice woman. She reassured me and referred me for more tests the following week. When I went to hospital the week later the receptionists had booked me into a different date than the letter they sent out said. I was more than two minutes late and the gentleman I was seeing told me he wasn't going to bother giving me any more tests except another ultrasound in the same area as he 'thought' there was nothing wrong. I was told I would receive a letter a week later explaining everything. Six months later I received a letter from the hospital telling me that there was infact something wrong-but due to such a long delay and the fact that I am now pregnant I have to wait until after I've given birth to sort out the problem! I have also been in hospital about seven years ago for a total of two nights. When my father called me an ambulance they arrived at my house promptly and they spent the next half an hour making sure that I was okay and reassuring me. I was dealt with instantly at the hospital and all of the staff were really kind and helpful. I am now nearly at the end of my pregnancy and have seen lots of different midwives-all of whom have been kind and helpful. They have talked me through any fears and concerns I have had and I am so much more at ease because of their positivity. Even when they are busy and over-worked they still always have time for you. My mother is a nurse so I am obviously slightly biased, but I feel that the NHS are unfairly critisised for what they do. They are only human, and like you and me they do their best. They make mistakes like the rest of us but at the end of the day if you have a problem you still always call an ambulance or go to the hospital. So what does that tell you? If it wasn't for them and their years of hard work and training many of us wouldn't be here today.
Like many people around the country, this week I received notification of the NHS Summary Care Record initiative. This will see medical information on anyone registered with an NHS GP practice entered onto an online system which will be accessible by NHS staff in any location. It sounds like a good idea in theory, and the benefits sound impressive: - If you need treatment, NHS staff will be able to access details on any medication you are taking and whether you have any allergies, to medication or other substances. They will only be able to access your record with your explicit consent. - You will have access to your own record and will be able to access online appointment services to make your own hospital appointments (I like the sound of this very much). You will also be able to set controls to limit access to some of the information on your record, in a similar way to Facebook settings. - Initially, the records will only hold information on current medication and allergies, along with personal details such as name, address, age and NHS number. You will able to include any other information you wish, such as past or current illnesses and conditions. This will save you from having to rehash your entire medical history should you be anywhere but your own GP's surgery. Well that is just common sense, surely? One of the most frequent criticisms of the NHS is that the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing. Centralising information will result in a better service overall. Inevitably, though, there are also counterarguments. - It won't be secure. They will do all that they can to make it secure, but it won't be. However good the security is, there is no way to make any system completely inviolable and even if there were, it would still be open to abuse and errors from those with access to it. How long do you suppose it will be before someone copies a load of records onto a disk and then leaves the disk on a train? - The data entry will of course be a manual process, and this is only ever as good as the person sitting at the keyboard. A relative of mine was recently given a letter to take to her hospital consultant which stated that she'd had a hysterectomy in the past two years, which was news to her (you'd think she'd have noticed something like that). This does not exactly instil confidence, and since you will have access to your own record, the onus will be on you to ensure that it is correct. According to the SCR website*, updates will be subject to quality control checks, but the volume of data makes this unlikely to be a practical solution. Let's assume that on average, each person visits a doctor or other health professional four times a year. With a population of sixty million, even if only twenty percent of those visits result in a record being updated, that is just over 13,000 updates PER DAY. It's not feasible to expect that any but a small majority of these are going to be checked by anyone else, so it's going to be up to you. - It's going to be VERY expensive - up to £12.7 billion at last count. No, that's not a typo. - Logistically, it will be a nightmare for NHS staff who will need to ask for your consent - presumably in writing - every time they need to view your SCR. - The words 'It will initially cover three areas' are highly suspicious, as this can only mean that at some future time it will be decided (on our behalf) that the SCR should contain more details, whether we like it or not. So you're probably sitting there thinking 'well, it sounds like it could be a good idea. I'll have a think about whether I want my medical history floating around in cyberspace, and then I might sign up'. Here's the catch: You are already signed up. Let's repeat that for the benefit of those not paying attention at the back: YOU ARE ALREADY SIGNED UP. You are assumed to have consented unless you opt out. If you don't do this, you can't change your mind and opt out later as once your record is created, it can never be completely removed; it can be overwritten with a blank record, but the underlying data will still be there. In order to opt out, you will need to download a form from the website, pick one up from your GP or send off for one using the form provided (this takes 2-3 weeks). Of course, they could simply include the opt-out form - which could have space on it for all family members - with the letter; one suspects that they are aware of the reservations that many people have and are making the opt-out system as difficult as possible. My PCT is part of the second wave of the roll-out and has given a deadline of June 10th 2010; unless I notify my GP by then, my record will be created, even though this may not be until September 2011. Of course, I'm not under any illusion that my medical history is going to be of interest to anyone but me. If the system is hacked into, or unscrupulous NHS staff are sneakily looking up records without permission, they're hardly going to be interested in a rather ordinary thirtysomething mother of two. It's just that I have this image in my head of the whole thing being a kind of bloated medical Wikipedia with 60 million pages; you won't know who has access to your record, anyone who can access it can update it, and if you want to make sure everything on there is correct, it's up to you to check it. I have enough on my plate without having to look in every couple of weeks to make sure that my record doesn't have someone else's blood test results on it because the person who entered the data was a bit hungover (you KNOW this is going to happen). So I'm going to be opting out. The system may sound like a good idea, but it's not going to be anywhere near perfect, and if that's the case - what's the point? * http://www.nhscarerecords.nhs.uk
I get a little infuriated when I hear people slag off the NHS, because although the institution has its problems, in general it is a fantastic service that we are lucky to have. The NHS provides treatment to everybody, regardless of their nationality, age or income and this is something to be proud off. Six years ago my four year old cousin was struck down with an aggressive form of meningitis, thankfully she recovered, and when the consultant visited her, when she was over the worst, he said that he wasn't expecting her to get through the illness. The reason she survived was because of the amazing doctors and nurses at our local children's hospital. People seem to forget the good job that these people do. However, when you have millions of people in a country and you have millions of people that don't contribute to the system, it will inevitably strain. It's fair to say that the healthcare system in Britain is two-tiered. Some people choose to take pay for private care, while others receive NHS treatment that is available to all. When I was 18 I developed a cyst on my ovary, which I had to have removed. I had just started university and the whole thing felt like a big stress. However, I was covered under my father's private medical insurance and we enquired about the option of private treatment. I was told that I would be treated by the same surgeon regardless of which option I took, but I would be able to book a convenient time if I went privately. This was the deciding factor for me - it meant that I could go for treatment during the Easter holidays and that I wouldn't be away from university for long. Some may say I was wrong for doing this, especially when I think the NHS is a good service. At the time I made the decision on what was best for me, but looking at it retrospectively I do think it's wrong that the same surgeon was operating both publically and private, yet I got preferential treatment because I was being treated in the private healthcare sector. I know that the NHS has its problems, but I think these problems have been caused by the government. Now I am about to ramble on about political issues, because I am not an expert on such issues, but personally I that both Labour and the Conservatives have contributed to our strained National Health Service. Maggie Thatcher decided to cut costs in the 1980's which resulted in a poorer service and the NHS was hit hard when Labour stopped monitoring immigration and effectively opened our boarders to the whole of Europe. I'm not saying that immigrants don't contribute - I know that thousands come to this country and work hard - however a lot don't and somehow I don't think the weather is the driving force for migration, but I am sure that the benefits system appeals to many. And if we are opening up the NHS to the rest of the world, then is it any surprise the system is strained? I am not saying that we should completely close our boarders, or stop offering care to those that need it, but immigration needs to be controlled before the NHS crumbles. I don't think you can blame the NHS for failing, on the whole the service is one of the best in the world, the doctors and nurses working in Britain do an amazing job and it's a system we should all be proud off. If you're going to blame anybody for the NHS's performance, then blame the politicians and the people in this country that don't contribute to the system.
I unfortunately have no option but to be part of the medical system of the NHS, as I currently have to many outgoings to be able to afford for private healthcare but the moment I am able to I shall be getting rid of the nhs care, or lack of care that I and my family receive. I have had many experiences of the services and care that the nhs provide and overall my opinion of the care they give is shocking. However there has been on one particular occassion when my mother suffered a brain tumour where the nhs care in a particular hospital was simply exquisite. My family have suffered greatly with ill health throughout their life, my mother as detailed and my father having type 1 diabetes, heart failure, kidney disorders and a brain complaint also whom is now wheelchair bound at home. I have experienced various one off incidents with the nhs before I gave birth with general health and visiting the doctors, but it wasnt until I dealt with them through my birth and the treatment to wards my father that my disgust of the nhs really becamse apparent. I will not go into great detail regarding my personal matters however words can only fail me at the state of many areas of the nhs. My father was in hospital for 3 months after suffering a huge heart attack. The ward was shut every other week due to the norovirus and my father caught this awful bug whilst there, and he was treated with lack of dignity and respect. He is 70 years of age and cannot walk and was verbally abused by nursing staff, not attended to for hours on end, was not washed daily, and was fed wrong types of food when he was on a speical diet, which added ot his health problems. After a 2 week closure of the ward from the bug when we were finally able to see my father he was so weak he couldnt lift his head, had not been taken out of bed at all, stank due to lack of cleanliness and his feet were black with dirt. He was angry, disorietated and petrified. After his operation which was thankfully up in london he returned to another hospital which catered specifically for elderly patients, however most of the wards were specifically dedicated to dementia patients. This was an awful experience for my father, who was attacked twice within this ward due to lack of security and then was violently attacked which caused an investigation and hence emotional issues for my father afterwards. The care I received throughout my pregnancy and birth were appauling, with lack of staff, change of appointments, dirty wards, lack of personal care and daily needs, rudeness and aggression, as well as nursing staff forgetting to do highly important procedures. This to went through an investigation but nothing has ever been dealt with as the hospital refuse to take responsibitly. All in all I dont rate the nhs in any shape or form, there are a minority of medical staff who do care, are wonderful and are gracious and exquisite in all areas with their patients but when you find this try and keep it close as I find its not found in the majority of healthcare.
As we hear and read a lot in the media these days regarding the NHS; some of it has been good and most of it, criticising the conditions and management particularly on a political basis. The latest is from a Financial and Management consultancy team which has already advised the Government to slash thousands of jobs within the NHS to bring its bank balance to a level it can work efficiently. This doesn't take rocket science and decent mathematical figures to work that out. Whoever hired this bunch of jokers in the first place, should be the first to lose their job, because it must have cost the tax payer and NHS a huge sum to hire them in the first place. The NHS is an institutional service to help people with illnesses, injuries and other many health problems. It is up to the Government in power to provide the funds to run that service and it appears that The NHS Trust haven't been given enough funding, or that certain areas of management have over-spent in some areas and not enough in others. For anyone who doesn't know this, it is call prioritizing. Although I understand that hospitals have to be modernised or rebuilt, I find when there is such a shortage of cash, how all of a sudden, millions of pounds are found to fund such new and lavish state of the art buildings.
The NHS as we all know is a free for all health service, here for us at our time of need. So you would think! We all know that there are many, many flaws to the NHS, but when something is run by the Government, could it ever be perfect?! Now, I work for the NHS, in the HR department of a hospital, so you would think that this review is going to be a one sided view, given from an employee, well its not, I've also been in the care of this particular hospital as a patient on 3 occasions. I have also seen as a parent, what the hospital had to offer for my daughter when she was just 6 months old, and taken into their care for a period of a few weeks. I have to say that it on the whole, has been a very positive experience each and every time. On two occasions, I gave birth here, and while the media seems to bombard us with stories of women left alone during the birth of their children, it certainly was not the case on the two occasions I was under the care of the Midwifes. They acted professionally, and courteously, and yes on a few occasions, they did have to leave me, but certainly not when they were needed. I was also offered advice and parenting classes before the birth of my first daughter, after care through community midwifes, and non stop support at the end of a phone. I was also under the care of this particular hospital, when my daughter was just 2 months old, and I had to call for an ambulance after I had breathing difficulties at home. An ambulance arrived quickly, and took me the 6 or 7 miles to the hospital. Once under their care, they could find nothing wrong with me, and (this is one of the few minor faults) I almost was made to feel like I had made the whole thing up! I was swiftly sent home and after it happened again shortly after, I was scanned and it turned out I had gallstones. The reason they gave me why I had not been scanned before was because I was young, fairly fit (!), and had a low BMI - fair enough, it was just one of those things! As I was covered by my dads company policy, I actually had my treatment through BUPA, so I can't comment further on the care I received for this particular instance. As an employee of this particular Trust, I believe I receive good rewards, with a good salary, great flexible hours, and a good pension. My job is also secure through the hard times the country is facing at the moment. My only gripe is that I have to pay for the pleasure of parking in my own workplace! Fair enough if we were located in the city - but we are not! During the recent pandemic, it is clear to see how well the hospital works together, and we have recently been asked to volunteer to take over duties such as catering, portering and health care assistants, should the situation get any worse. This will of course include training, but I would be more than happy to help, if it meant the pandemic could be somewhat confined (as much as possible in a hospital!) and that staff could be sent home as soon as was needed. As a person who doesn't get ill that often, and is quite fit and healthy, I haven't needed the care of the NHS that much in my life, but I would feel confident knowing that I could get help or advice should me or my family need it, through the many sources the NHS seem to offer. With NHS direct available on line and by phone, my GP surgery just a mile away and my local hospitals, I feel that with regards to my health, me and my family are in safe hands. I'm sure there will be some that disagree with me, but when I have received nothing but valuable advise, information and great care, what other opinion could I form. Other than the instance of being covered through my parents policy, I would not consider taking out BUPA cover at this moment of my life.
The NHS what can I say about them? Well plenty as it happens I have a lot of experience with them especially since I was 12 and was diagnosed with type one diabetes's and my wife also suffers from rheumatoid arthritis. My experience has been nothing but positive. Sure they mess up sometimes and get things wrong but doesn't all types of business private and public. On the whole they give a fantastic service. As I said before I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when I was 12 which was 22 years ago. From the start I felt that they were interested in getting me back to a normal life as soon as possible and there was loads of support to help me adjust to dealing with such a big change in my life. 22 Years on and how do I feel about them now? I would say that they have got even better over the years especially with the support they give at this moment in time if I have a problem I have various contacts to call: 1. The diabetic day care centre is always on hand to help me with day to day advice for everything diabetic. They offer you really practical advice on the day to day stuff. And if there is any new products or services out they are really good to let you know or even get you in for a course on different ways to look at diabetes. 2. The diabetic clinic is available to call and they bring me in twice a year to check me over and test me to see how I am performing with the control of my blood sugars. 3. The dieticians are always available for advice. Terrible but I tend not to use them as they don't have the same love for takeaway food as I do, I really should listen to them. 4. My local surgery is always on hand to help out if need be. 5. I am taken twice a year to the eye clinic to make sure everything is ok with my eyes. I do feel that they keep a really close eye on you to prevent anything from developing into a big problem. Diabetes is really all about preventing problems for the future and I feel that the NHS is really good at keeping an eye on me to make sure I live a full and healthy life in the best way possible. I obviously use a lot of medication i.e. insulin and blood testing equipment. They supply me with very up to date equipment and all my prescriptions are free. I can't imagine what the cost of my illness has been over the years but I remember when I first became diabetic I was told that insulin was more expensive to buy than gold, I don't think that will be the case any more but I can't imagine it's cheap. I know we all pay for it through taxes but I think its brilliant value for money. I've never had any major problems with them. Maybe it's because my local NHS in Falkirk is really good. The only thing that's ever gone wrong is appointments being messed up and this has only ever happened probably 4 times over 22 years. Not bad! As I said earlier my wife also has an illness and she is treated very much in the same way. I here a lot of people complaining about the NHS but I have nothing but good experiences, not just with diabetes I have had a number of other issues many minor and a few more serious. I feel the NHS is a brilliant system, it's not perfect but it's pretty good.
I have a personal interest in the NHS because one of my daughter's is a Team Leader for the out of hours District Nurse Service. So if you live near me, and you need a district nurse in the evening or during the night , you will get one of her team. They are a great bunch, with a sense of humour and very dedicated to their work. Our local PCT is one of the few public sector organisations in the country, that is well managed and financially buoyant. Of course this does not mean that the NHS is in good shape, just this one small part. The Service that is offered locally has it's problems, unacceptably long waiting lists with some people falling through the cracks. Some of the facilities are outdated and unpleasant to be in. Much the same as in other part of the country, but there are procedures in place to try to iron out the problems. As I watch my daughter work, I see a great commitment by herself and her team to improve their skills by training, team work, and sheer hard work. I see them striving to provided patient centred care against the odds. The NHS is made up of people Doctors, Nurses, Allied Medical Staff, Receptionists etc. Whatever the powers that be throw at them, for good or bad, they struggle on. For this reason our NHS is the best in the world.
Unfortunately I dont rate the NHS very highly anymore, this is not speaking of doctors and nurses etc, because I know how hard they work and how underpaid they are.. Obviously I havent stayed in every hospital but I can only speak of my own experience of one hospital. I had been staying in hospital for a few days after having my third child, there had been problems with the delivery and it was a really long labour. I was treated well, as was my new-born son. We eventually left the hospital 3 days later. On the way home in the car, I had a terrible pain tearing through my stomach. The pain was unbearable, so when I got home we phoned the hospital to say I was feeling poorly, they put it down to tiredness and told me to get some rest. The following day I had a high fever and feeling sick, and my stomach pain had worsened. The midwife calls round to check the baby, and I explained what was wrong. She told me to take some painkillers and rest. For 5 whole days I felt terrible and was in excruciating pain with a fever, I couldnt hold my son in my arms as I was too weak. On the 5th day there was a phone call from the hospital to say they sincerely apologise but they had "forgotten" to give me antibiotics for the infection I had contracted when my waters broke. I was utterly shocked that there must have been such a lack of communication that something so serious as this would be overlooked or just plain "forgotten". Thankfully I recovered but it could have been alot different...
I never though I'd ever have to review a health service, but after the awful service I was provided with last night, I felt the need to share my experience. If you have read my 'Living with ME' review, you will know that I am in hospital and at the doctors quite alot, with alot of health problems - I've never had much of a problem with the NHS until now. Also, before I get to the point, if you have ever had an experience like this, think I'm being unreasonable or know why they would be so unhelpful, could you let me know please? I guess it all started on valentines day, I felt absolutely rubbish and just wanted to sleep, I put this down to my birthday party the night before, but as the night went on I started to think I possibly had tonsillitis - fair enough, most people come down with tonsillitis at some point in their life. Me, being all drowsy, feeling like rubbish and thinking I was coming down with tonsillitis, I went to bed. Yesterday, February 15th, I woke up and thought "yep, I definitely have tonsillitis", but as the day progressed, I was having trouble breathing, I couldn't talk - only make strange noises, kept dry heaving, kept passing out and my head would twinge every time I blinked - surely that wasn't normal. I waited for my dad to come home and typed up how I felt on my laptop for him to read, by the time he called G-Docs, it was 11pm. He explained how I was feeling and that I needed a doctor - I think that's reasonable, yes? The receptionist/nurse on the other end of the phone kept saying to my dad "we can't send an ambulance out until we speak to her, please put her on the phone", so my dad held the phone to my ear and the lady would say "Michaela, talk to me please, when did you start feeling like this?" How could I answer that when I was unable to talk? My dad took the phone back and told her again that I was unable to talk, but yet again, the lady on the phone just said that they couldn't send anyone out until I spoke to her, hmm, somehow I think that's rather idiotic when most people that end up in hospital can't talk for whatever reason. 11.37pm. I pass out again. By the time I came round, my dad was still on the phone begging for someone to come out and check me over, but no, we weren't getting that. The nurse hung up. Now it's 9.45am and I still feel exactly the same, if only you could see me, my eyes are barely open because the are so swollen, and my tonsils are enlarged, my head is still twinging and I still can't talk, but unless I get my capability to talk back, I don't have the right to medical attention. It's utter crap. Thank you for reading, if you have had a similar experience I'd love to hear about it.
In November 2008 I stayed On the Maternity Ward within an NHS run hospital in Bradford. I was dreading this stay as past experiences on this same ward had not been so good for me. However I was pleasantly surprised to find how much things had changed since my last visits. The staff were displaying a whole new positive attitude and a much friendlier side to themselves. In comparison to this, during the past I had found them to be aggressive, bored, un-interested and highly disrespectful. At that time they had also been short-staffed and the management was so poor that the entire time I was there not a single professional came to check on me. It was only when I was being discharged from their care that someone came and filled my chart in, logging down all the times someone had, 'supposedly' been to see me and the comments they had written. I am too much of a soft person to stand up for myself, so I let it be. Anyway back to my recent stay in hospital, not only did the midwives come and introduce themselves they came to check on me constantly and made me feel really cared for. There was enough staff that each midwife was assigned to no more then four patients. There was also enough doctors to examine babies and specialist for carrying out hearing-tests, all on site. I received lots of help and advice with bathing and changing my baby. I also got all meals brought to my bed. Overall it was like a mini vacation- (now that just makes me sound sad...) okay it wasn't THAT good but it was a satisfying stay.
Dooyoo REVIEW Date: 12/11/07 NHS TARGETS Can seriously damage your health First of all I would like to say there are many great people who work tirelessly within the NHS; without much reward or thanks. The people who I have met within the health service; who practice skill mixing ;and do many jobs within their health trust without extra pay and thanks; I salute you; without these remarkable people, the NHS institution would not exist. The NHS is the envy of the modern western world; and therefore should be cherished; alas it looks as if Westminster flyby night reforms are seriously damaging the UK publics health. The introduction of all target schemes within a health-care system; is heart-breaking and sole destroying, for both care-workers and patients. Funding is determined by these target measures; forget patient care and caring ethics. Ive seen how these ideologies have taken hold of 21st century society; you dont have to look very far into the psyche of Westminsters think-tank to see where they get these ideas. Yea, its UKs interactive game-shows; except its a post-code lottery instead. By having these implemented health-care targets, determines whether you live or die. Sounds harsh, but that is how it is. Why do we have this target method? Well, it is correct to claim that the individual target system makes Westminster completely blameless. The government also believes in skill mixing. For a couple of years now health-care trusts have implementing this scheme and there has been some successes, but the government also has been incredibly devious to, making a mockery out of the hospital workers contractual terms and also pay. By having hospital workers doing other types of work apart from what they specialise in, means they are doing two/three jobs extra each. Whereby this saves money overall, the quality of professionalism suffers; such as patient care. In one hand these caring individuals mean-well but are in many ways letting the government off the hook. The same individuals get themselves into situations whereby they become professionally inept rather than being of any help. What I also found was that many unskilled workers have been sent to local hospitals for employment experience; all of these individuals are unpaid, on benefits, and working long shifts, yet still trusts are paying out huge amounts of money on an hourly rate to nursing staff agencies. This double standard mismanagement is typical of the NHS today. Its nearly 2008 and the NHS is still getting re-vamped. I do believe it is possible for a great functional NHS, the possibilities in the NHS is endless; yet still basic fundamental problems such as work ethics in a caring profession is being ignored. One of the problem lies is governmental Cabinet swapping ; health ministers have come and gone in recent years without actually doing anything of purpose; sounds familiar doesnt it with many cabinet posts The difference is of course is that the NHS affects real lives every second. The statistics are getting confused with targets with many briefings across the UK. Health management teams are being governed by Westminster; when Westminster is questioned they pass the buck to all the health management teams. All this has been highlighted by the media for over 14 months now, and this review is not going to re-iterate it again at great length; but I was astonished that C Diff infections is a target that is set by health ministers and their back-room staff who know zilch about super-bug infections. Instead of it being a big fat 0 cases (like it should be without questions asked). The government actually allows a double digit figure as a nominal target for NHS hospitals. The Health minister collaborates with the Health management teams in setting a C Diff target that is the number allowed in hospitals per year. This in my view is totally immoral. How can anyone decide an allowable rate of C Diff or super-bug infections? There has to be a zero tolerance within any health-care trust. How can these ministers sleep at night? It goes completely against Florence Nightingales hospital caring work ethics. This proves to me that setting targets is a get out of jail card for the present government. The back-bone to this review started about two months ago, I witnessed a short health-care report from a health management head in Kent; claiming that funding had been limited within their NHS trust due to missing their target of 12 cases of super-bug infection; apparently he claimed it being 13 instead. This was on prime time television. - Personally, having lost 2 grandparents in June 2000 and Jan 2001; due to C Diff super-bug infections (when it was running strive amongst the weak and elderly) and when at the time hospitals kept information away from immediate relatives, it has proven that nothing has changed over 7 years of supposedly unrelenting health-care reforms. The media report in my view was a back-handed slap in the face for the victims families. What astounds me is that with my 2 grandparent cases; both of them had very different health-care requirements, yet both passed away with very similar causes of death; alarm bells start to ring. Infections that do not clear up; and that drain away life from its victim; making them too weak to have urgent operations caused by the ever present health-trusts super-bugs. My Nan suffered with a chronic bladder infection that did not clear up. She had it for months; making her so weak her poor body couldnt with-stand the infection any-more. The super-bug strain she had was lethal. My granddad whose brain was 100% active right till a couple of days of his passing, purposefully wanted to talk to my Mother about something important, but was too weak to do so, by which time the super-bug had engulfed his system and filled his lungs up with liquid, making every breathe a huge effort. He had no chance. Again, doctors claimed he was too weak to operate. At the time, nervous doctors were afraid to relate information that could put blame to themselves or the care centre; even though they were to blame; and knew they were to blame. Actual credible information was sketchy. Consultants didnt look you in the eye when relaying information to you about your loved one. You grasped every word they said, digest it the best you can, then try to make sense of it all; harder still it then has to be related to your family waiting patiently. We all had to make sense of it all, to except it; and except the personal losses. What was impossible is to start any compensation claims of mal-treatment; not only is it incredibly emotionally draining but most of the facts on both files did not make sense. My grandparents trusted doctors and the health system, they did not complain at anytime, even when they were in desperate pain. It is the same for many unfortunate families in the UK. Of course, it must be said that there are many dedicated and caring people in the health profession, whom Nightingale would have been proud of; but through the meddling of government reform systems and poor insight the whole nightingale ethic has been put to rest. In 1860 Nightingale wrote that the greater part of nursing consists in preserving cleanliness. Yet after more than 140 years on, with all the advancements in technology and medicine, we in the UK still forget the basics of simply washing hands. It is outrageous that patients should be subjected to more worse conditions than soldiers did in the Crimean War. Whats happened in our health-care surely has reflected to a much wider social breakdown. It looks as if the fittest prosper mightily while the old and weak are tossed aside without a care or a thought. The elderly should be rewarded and treasured in society. They have contributed the most within a deluded UK tax system. Many elders are too proud to ask for help, but most would take help if it was presented to them with dignity and with thanks for all of their contributions through-out their working years. Wake-up and smell the coffee Westminster. The NHS is failing; yet the Labour Party sees the letters NHS as a ultimate symbol of its own superior social consciousness. Reports in the media show that there is a big lack of care within the service. Now it appears UK doctors have to re-apply for their own jobs Why cant they just get on with doing their job? UKs bureaucratic system has gone totally bananas. Everyone is pulling in different ways. Lives are being lost due to this everyday- more of the diligent caring individuals are leaving the profession. I could not do anything to help my wonderful grandparents I feel saddened that they are now seen as just statistics from years gone by. One thing that doesnt become a governmental statistic, are the great memories I have of both of them; strong, vibrant, happy visions. My granddads immaculate polished shoes and strong steadfast attitude and not forgetting his amazing mashed potato and my Nans energy and fantastic zest for life that enriched everyones life who knew her. These were only two people, just two people; the best two people you could ever meet. Now that is something to think about when you are in your high-powered Westminster suites, slurping your coffee deciding on the yearly super-bug or C Diff health-care target. It is completely true that the NHS has lost its moral compass along with its heart and soul taken away by the Westminster men in pin-striped suites and left in its place a cold corporate target sheet. GOD BLESS TO YOU BOTH -