to think that the NHS should NOT be privatised?

(90 Posts)
LeftWingTwat Tue 26-Feb-13 09:17:59

I am not arguing for no reform, all organisations can end up with waste/corruption etc. etc. However, reform doesn't NOT have to mean privatisation.

It is a myth the private sector is more efficient, what it is is more profitable, but profit has become the measure of success. Profit should not be the measure of success for healthcare. It should have no part of healthcare. When it does we can see the stark results in the US and it is US companies who are circling. US companies who have spent billions, billions of dollars lobbying their own government for the right to make enough off healthcare to not only have enough for themselves but have billions surplus to lobby with. While people die.

Privatisation of healthcare is based on the myth that people's healthcare experience won't change too much, that you will still be able to afford what you have now. This will not happen.

The government promised to protect the NHS. The government, elected without majority, is deliberately taking it apart piece by piece without mandate from the people, this is not democracy. The government is taking it apart without consulting the people. Governments are supposed to be the servants of the people, our representatives, rather than our masters, cutting up and parceling out what we pay for in taxes for their own profits and for the profits of companies beyond our democratic reach. Companies that will not just suck out money from the system but from our country in tax loopholes and tax havens.

This affects us all.

LurkingBeagle Wed 27-Feb-13 21:06:54

Very few hospitals have Nightingale wards any more. I've been in and out of hospitals the last couple of years. I've also worked in them, NHS and private.

Sash - I have too. I have either been in a 4 or 6 bed bay or in the Crimea (on one occasion it was mixed, to boot). It might be more palatable if they actually cleaned the wards properly (i.e. to get rid of the smell of other people's piss), but for most patients it just means no dignity or privacy. I could not contemplate being hospitalised in those conditions under any circumstances. It's the main reason I would never, ever be without private healthcare in the UK, at least as long as there is no decent alternative to the NHS.

I have left the UK now and the difference in healthcare - as well as the basic stuff like cleanliness and staff attitudes - is a huge and welcome bonus. I think it's sad that people think the NHS is the only gig in town - it isn't.

MrsMorton Wed 27-Feb-13 20:51:36

2006... shock Are you in England? IIRC they can still charge in Scotland (and NI?)

meddie Wed 27-Feb-13 20:46:20

My son has always been charged if he missed an appointment MrsMorton. When did it change?

MrsMorton Wed 27-Feb-13 19:57:41

meddie NHS dentists aren't allowed to charge for missed appointments any more. I would explain what the new contract will entail but I was flamed last time for suggesting that dental problems are on the whole preventable.

RedToothBrush Wed 27-Feb-13 15:09:40

I forget to mention, that the problem I have with the idea that the NHS "can not afford X,Y and you should go private" is its not coupled with the ability to actually allow you to do that. Its particular true when it comes to maternity services for the above mentioned reasoning.

If for example you WANTED to go totally private, the rules allowing the cost, planning, building and running of private maternity facilities are so difficult in the UK that no one has done it outside London. And the rules of the NHS don't allow you currently 'top up' your care from within the NHS either.

So if you were outside London and WANTED to make a choice to have access to services the NHS doesn't provide as standard (such as an ELCS) then you actually have no ability to do so.

Rationing healthcare is one thing, but if its rationed you also need the ability and means to provide these by alternative means - especially if they are sanctioned by NICE as actually being best practice. They have to be supported by the people who are advocating rationing; who invariably tend to be those most strongly opposed to the idea of private health care or a two tier service.

So either you get the NHS to stop rationing certain services somehow OR you allow private services to become the norm and to set up in business so people have the opportunity to get best practice at a price. Otherwise everyone in this country gets substandard care, and healthcare in the UK ceases to be 'world class'

There isn't a third way to ensure we keep up with healthcare standards available in the rest of the world.

maisiejoe123 Wed 27-Feb-13 14:48:11

Sashh - I beg to differ. The NHS cannot cope with the number of patients they have, I am not suggesting that they are sitting the staff are sitting there doing nothing, I am suggesting that they are dealing with other patients hence the reason they might not be there for you!

And having had two children - one at a large teaching hospital and one at the Portland - there was a reason I went private the second time. The NHS was complete rubbish! There werent enough staff, I was left alone for hours at a time, my DH had to literally haul someone in when the buzzer was left unanswered because there was an emergency and my DS was in distress etc etc. Despite the buzzer going off he found a couple of nurses laughing and joking around the nurses station.

And when I went up to the private room I had booked on a quiet floor of the hospital and asked a visitor at the end of the day to take my DS to the nursery he said there was no one about and he could have literally wheeled my son out without being stopped.

And if the remedies are so simple why havent they been implemented already.

RedToothBrush Wed 27-Feb-13 13:40:04

*or will go completely private at the sole maternity hospital in the UK.

RedToothBrush Wed 27-Feb-13 13:37:33

sashh - How many private maternity hospitals are there in the UK?

I'll give you a big clue - its ONE. There are a couple of private MLU units but how that ends up being different to an NHS standalone MLU where you would also get transfered to another NHS hospital, I'm a bit clueless about. Perhaps you might care to enlighten.

Maternity is not something that other private hospitals cover. You will either be treated as a private patient in an NHS hospital, a private patient on a private ward in an NHS hospital or will go completely private.

So quite where you are plucking your comments about staffing on private maternity from, I'm not entirely sure. The one private maternity there is, does have 24 hr staff on hand at all times.

Might I politely suggest your comments about private maternity are comments that are coming straight from out of your backside.

sashh Wed 27-Feb-13 13:14:01

* The healthcare staff here are appalled that we still have Crimean-style wards and shared bathrooms. They think that's revolting and backward (which it is).*

Very few hospitals have Nightingale wards any more.

I've been in and out of hospitals the last couple of years. I've also worked in them, NHS and private.

I do not want to be in a private room, I want to be in the sight of nursing and other staff.

There is a reason ICU, HDU, CCU and PICU don't have individual rooms, even in hospitals where all other rooms are single or double.

People who smugly say they will have their baby in an NHS hospital privately 'in case something goes wrong'. Really, do you think doctors are going to be there waiting for you to have an emergency god forbid.

Yes actually they are. Well someone is. They are not sitting twiddling their thumbs, they are working but they are on site.

On the other hand private hospitals don't have to have any medically trained staff on the premiss at all times. Most (probably all) do. Many have contracts with NHS hospitals to provide doctors to cover. If the hospital has maternity services they will usually have a obsgyn registrar.

Fine if you go into labour. Not so fine if you have a massive heart attack in the middle of the night.

The NHS has it faults. It has a lot of faults that have simple remedies. It is not prefect.

Private hospitals are better on the admin side. There is also less waste, as something like a medical implant dropped on the floor is billed to the patient/insurance company.

The private sector also does little if any training. One thing I would do with the NHS is that staff who have their training paid for by the NHS such as nurses should have to work a number of years for the NHS before going abroad or working in the private sector. That if you do leave then you should have to pay back some of your training.

I also think they should do more to retain their staff. I became too disabled to do my job for the NHS, so went to a private hospital. I wasn't given any options of retraining or redeployment.

Theshriekingharpy Wed 27-Feb-13 12:58:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

meddie Wed 27-Feb-13 12:47:37

I,m actually on the fence regarding band surgery.
It seems wrong to offer something for a problem that on the whole is reversible with diet and exercise, BUT if someone is so big or had repeatedly failed at dieting they will cost the NHS more in chronic medical problems due to their obesity than the surgery would cost in the first place.
I dont think they should do skin removal though, unless it was impacting their mobility.

maybe we should look at charging for missed appointments. Dentists do this currently and no one is up in arms about it.
Did not attends cost the NHS a lot of money and also waste appointments that could be used by others. thus reducing waiting times.
I do feel that people take the NHS for granted. GP appointments for a cold or flu are pointless and I think if we had to co pay something towards it, it would reduce these.

shriekingharpy - confused

do you think the NHS should provide gastric band surgery?

On one side, consider the benefits- prevention of diabetes, joint problems, heart problems ... the list goes on.
But it's not just the operation there's the skin reduction after.

And what about the patients' responsibility?
This doesn't happen overnight.
And if someone has such poor health and mobility that they become obese then chances are surgery would be too much of a risk.

What I wouldn't provide on the NHS would include
tattoo removal - you have them done, you pay to have them removed
vasectomy reversal- again you choose to have it done (and go through the counselling before) you pay to reverse it
cosmetic surgery like varicose veins
and if someone goes off to a private clinic or abroad to have cosmetic surgery (often against medical advice) then why should the NHS pay to mop up . And alot of NHS cosmetic surgeons say the majority of their case load is repairing someones elses mistakes hmm

Theshriekingharpy Wed 27-Feb-13 09:22:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Theshriekingharpy Wed 27-Feb-13 09:19:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lhoom Patients are quite capable of organising appointments for themselves

As an NHS worker I have to disagree with this.

In our dept we recieve a GP referral.
Patients are not autonmatically sent an appointment by post as this lead to a very high non-attendance rate. (Either people not getting the letter/saying they didn't get the letter/ not wanting the appointment anyway but not bothering to cancel)

So they are sent an information letter, a "Please contact us by phone to arrange the appointment" letter and a CarePlan Form (their details) to fill in at home and bring in.

They phone and are booked a 40 minute appointment. The Call Centre double check with them that they know where they are going, date/time and bring the CarePlan Form.

So- why do so many turn up at the wrong place? Many times at the Main OfficeClinic because that's what on the letterhead?
So that's a wasted 40 minutes of NHS time (they have a longer appointment for new patients)
And the careplan? "Oh I didn't get one"
In the letter/
Oh, I didn't see that, it's not filled in confused

I don't assume that everyone is the same, but don't assume that everyone can do their own appointments.

KeatsiePie Wed 27-Feb-13 07:38:24

US spends 13.9%

Good grief! What the FUCK are we spending it on?! [goes to look up]

I don't know what's involved in reform, but cannot imagine that reform is not a better option than privatization.

Sirzy Wed 27-Feb-13 07:30:35

Part of the problem is things are so variable and that's what needs looking it. Some areas are doing it fantastically so why aren't others?

DS was in hdu at 8 weeks old, his care was outstanding, he was due to see a consultant for an unrelated issue so instead of rearranging the appointment the consultant came to us at the end of her clinic.

When he was reffered to a pediatric respiritory specialist he came to see us while we were still on the ward to get wheels in motion.

Its that sort of care that should be available everywhere. I'm not convinced that privatisation is the way to go, I do think top down reform is needed though

Ploom Wed 27-Feb-13 05:53:18

iliketea - I have no idea what happens to elderly people or people who struggle to organise their own care - I asked dh but he also didnt know. The GP is quite able to do a lot of care so maybe its him/her who organises the care.
Because of the competitive nature of medicine here there is always a choice of doctors to go to - we live very rurally but between 2 small towns & I probably had a choice of 10 orthopaedic doctors to go to.
I'm going to ask round about eldery care - someone must know.

So true the alternative would be very dire for those that cannot afford private care/insurance. I for one believe the NHS was made to benefit us all rich or poor, to change it would be to demonise the poor & working class.

orangeone Tue 26-Feb-13 20:07:17

I work in the NHS.

I believe in the NHS and I work very hard along with many of my colleagues.

Moreover I am saddened when people make sweeping criticisms of a massive system based on some areas that need careful rethinking and improvement.

I can promise you all that despite the problems of the NHS, the alternative is worse. Maybe not if you are rich but definetly for the average person on the street.

However, I fear that like most things people won't realise what they had until it is gone.

iliketea Tue 26-Feb-13 18:47:00

ploom in the system you describe (which sounds like a good one btw) - what happens to people who don't have the mental capacity to make a decision / ability to make the appointments etc, if they don't have someone to do it for them. Who makes the decision about where they go etc? And are there professionals who specialise in complex needs (like geriatricians who can visit at home etc). Is there always a choice, or are there some cases where there is only one specialist to see if you are unable to travel long distances? Who provides transport for those unable to get to an appointment themselves?

Yup, scary stuffsad

SnoogyWoo Tue 26-Feb-13 17:09:54

Something will happen. The UK government is £1 Trillion in debt and adding to that by about £100 Billion a year to pay for the current services.

Scary stuff.

maisiejoe123 Tue 26-Feb-13 15:50:23

And looking at all those people kicking off in A&E last year they are likely to have paid little into the system. They dont have to pay for it, others will do that, they then spoil it for others who are trying to queue and having screens up to protect the receptionists from attack - how vile.

I do think we need to go back to basics and not have people assuming that the good old NHS will fund it.

Ploom Tue 26-Feb-13 15:18:44

I'm now in one of those European countries with a better healthcare system after years of working in the NHS.

I've got a foot problem - I've been to my GP who tried to treat it with ultrasound which didnt work. He then gave me a referral to an orthopaedic doctor & its up to me to decide which one I go to. There is a website here where people can rate doctors so I chose one with a good rating - I phoned this morning & I've got an appointment tomorrow morning. Thats the good side of the system - it is free at the point of contact now (previously had to pay 10€ per quarter) but we obviously pay more from dh's salary than we paid in National Insurance in the UK.

The bad side is that doctor tomorrow will do every test under the sun whether its indicated or not because he can then charge the insurance company for it. Patients in Intensive Care are sometimes kept ventilated longer as the hospital can then charge a higher rate. Its so corrupt that corrupt has now become normal. And this all leads to higher costs for health insurance.

Part of the problem in the NHS is the shear bureucracy involved - a foot problem like mine would involve a letter going to a secretary, then to appointments, then to medical records all of which takes time & costs money. Patients are quite capable in organising appointments themselves if they are allowed but god forbid that would happen in the NHS - that would put half the admin staff out of a job.

I think there are good aspects of the NHS that could be combined with the good parts of private health insurance but this requires a massive shift in attitudes that I dont think people are ready for.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now