To be disappointed in the NHS?

(15 Posts)
sniffle12 Sun 23-Oct-16 10:57:56

Disclaimer before I start: I love the NHS. I completely support universal free healthcare. I know the system is under unbelievable pressures and have always happily put up with the compromises that have to be made for that e.g. waiting 2 weeks for a routine GP appointment, seeing a different GP every time and having to explain my whole back story, calling up at 8am to compete for that day's emergency appointments...

However six months ago I saw a consultant and was referred to another department for diagnosis of a suspected condition. That department took 3 months to reply saying they didn't have a consultant specialising in that condition and I'd need to be referred out of area. After a month passed and nothing happened I chased up to find that neither my GP or the hospital thought it was their responsibility to make that referral, and moreover wouldn't even talk to each other, each just telling me to call the other. Only after a further month passed and I complained did the referral finally get made. After another month passed and nothing was heard, I chased up with the out of area hospital to find they had received nothing: referral had been incorrectly addressed. Again I had to call the original hospital and chase up (the out of area service didn't offer to call themselves) and get it resent. Although I've had confirmation the referral has finally been received, I am still waiting for an appointment.

Six months down the line of being referred for a diagnosis I don't even have an appointment. It's only because I intervened myself several times and acted as liaison between various departments of the NHS who wouldn't talk to each other that it's not longer. Nobody at any point even said a simple 'sorry'. I was promised at various stages that I'd be called back and the calls never came. This isn't even about treatment or services, this is basic admin and processes.

AIBU to be disappointed in a system I've always tried my best to believe in?

I'm at the stage where if a 1-2% increase to income tax was proposed that would go entirely to the NHS, I'd say do it. Surely a national health service is only worth having if you can actually access the services when you need them.

PinkSwimGoggles Sun 23-Oct-16 11:00:07

yanbu
the system is shit.
no continious care at all.

Monkendrunky Sun 23-Oct-16 11:03:04

flowers for you and I completely understand your frustrations. I had a very sick baby, we were told she wouldn't survive birth, needed a lot of care, surgery etc. Her bill, without the NHS, would be approaching the millions. She's alive, perfect, and 20 months old now so I can't fault the NHS at all. I know it has its faults but I wouldn't have my daughter without it.
I completely agree they need more funding, at the grass roots where it's needed not at directorial levels, and would be happy to contribute if you could trust where it was going. But they you get people taking nhs paracetamol when it's 30p in Tesco, swings both ways I suppose, it isn't abused as a service sadly.
Really hope you get the help you need soon!x

Matchingbluesocks Sun 23-Oct-16 11:04:45

In privatised systems you often have to do the admin yourself, and I don't think people realise how stressful and involved that is. It sounds like it's gone wrong in your case- I don't see how this is a resource/ money issue, more a failure of admin. I think you're right to be disappointed but your one experience is hardly representative of the whole NHS.

hatgirl Sun 23-Oct-16 11:06:38

This is why we should always be very wary of governments who insist that 'frontline services' won't be cut.

No point having the frontline services if there is no one in the back offices keeping the whole show on the road. Hence the recent unison campaign.

bubblemcgubble Sun 23-Oct-16 11:17:08

Unfortunately YANBU. The NHS at the most critical time is phenomenal. My child had a stroke, within an hour he was taken to a major trauma centre and in a CT scan.

However, when on the ward and since, we have struggled to receive support. The after support has been extremely limited. My worry is he is still a child and unless he receives adequate support now he will be left with a lifelong deficit.

I am a lifelong supporter of the NHS. Essentially it needs us all to put more cash in.

OdinsLoveChild Sun 23-Oct-16 11:20:14

I feel your pain. I have been chasing too. I was referred to a specialist clinic for a priority appointment way back in March. After not hearing from them after 4 months I went back to my gp I was referred a second time but now I'm on a waiting list to be seen because they had already filled every appointment for the next 3 months. It didn't really help when their admin officer commented how quiet they had been all year and now it's packed. angry

My ds is still waiting for the eczema clinic to provide an appointment. He has also been back several times as paperwork wasn't sent completed correctly amongst other things hmm

I did read a while back that if the entire country paid 1% more in NI then it could fix everything (NHS, schools, police etc) and leave money left over but it would affect wages and inflation etc. I think it also stated the first government to increase NI would be seen as suicidal. I would pay 1% more for a more efficient service but I can't quite stretch to private health care.

SmilingButClueless Sun 23-Oct-16 11:31:55

I agree about the not-being-joined up.

However, I'm not convinced the answer is to simply throw more cash at the NHS - at least not without a complete review of what it provides and how services are delivered. Then, when that's decided, look at how much funding is needed to run the agreed services properly - which may be more or less funding than now.

For instance, I get free prescriptions because of a specific medical condition. That means I can get all my prescriptions free of charge, even the ones that aren't needed for that condition. That doesn't seem to make much sense to me.

But that would be a difficult and unpopular conversation, so I can't think any politician would want to do that. It seems as though governments simply cut back / provide funding as applicable without looking too much at what's going on underneath.

PinkSwimGoggles Sun 23-Oct-16 11:31:58

I dread to think what happens to people who can't follow up.
I'm convinced that we wouldn't have received any referral had we not chased up. which is pretty scary when the big C is one of the avenues explored.

Morporkia Sun 23-Oct-16 11:36:26

Have you tried getting in touch with your trust's Patient Liaison Service (PALS) or perhaps call your consultant's secretary and advise her of the prob? I've found this route MOST effective in the past. I really hope you get something sorted soon x flowers

holeinmyheart Sun 23-Oct-16 11:45:21

I think you need to be proactive when it comes to your own health as we have the system we have.
I have some friends who live in France and I thought what they were saying about their treatment was great. Then they told me what they paid a year. They pay a serious amount more money than we do, and so then I became less enthusiastic.
Then last week I was on holiday with a chap from Canada and he told me that in his area all Doctors are paid according to each patients visit. They therefore want you to visit them often and he has been called in for tests frequently. Mmm that didn't seem ideal either.

Three of my DCs are Doctors and they don't want people to pay. They don't want to collect money and decide who gets treatment. They don't want to start reading insurance forms with someone writhing in front of them.

I think it should be free but somehow we need to stop using it as a counselling and reassurance facility. My lot say that 75% of the patients who waste their time, are the worried well.
How do you stop the drunks clogging up A&E at the weekend?
Everyone agrees we need a new more efficient NHS but replaced with what?
Meanwhile you are on your own. I just hope my lot will be proactive when I am too old and frail to stick up for myself.

Davros Sun 23-Oct-16 11:49:49

Sadly I have had a LOT of experience of the NHS over the last 20 years in various areas. The admin and organisation has always been a problem and I agree that more funding is not necessarily the answer. Once you're in the system, it gets better although you always have to keep your wits about you. During my last stay in hospital (3 weeks ago) DH said it would be good to have a Key Worker to join everything up and I said that I do have one, it is ME, ditto for disabled DS. I would rather keep it that way as I trust myself more than them but gawd knows how people manage who can't do it. The medical care is second to none - usually - but it can be such hard work

BestMammyEver Sun 23-Oct-16 11:50:59

I am very pro NHS, my son had a bone marrow transplant last year so I'm biased.

However, I would be happy paying extra towards it because I have a few friends I've met at hospital with children with neuroblastoma, which the NHS doesn't have a relapse protocol for and the relapse rates are very high.

What I really want though is for cancer treatments and other treatments to be cheaper, this would save a lot of money. That's just me day dreaming though, it'll never happen.

IreallyKNOWiamright Sun 23-Oct-16 15:43:29

I think the money we use for paying for parking should be funded to the hospital. I think people who are idiots and don't turn up for an apt should be charged £100; and that should also be used for nhs funding. I think the government should stop going to wars that aren't to do with us and spend the money on the hospitals. But unless you are constantly Ill yourself or know someone going through it, no one will understand the daily frustration of not seeing your own gp and waiting up to half an hour in the morning to get an apt. No one In government cares about people with on going issues. As long as they get their fancy second house and posh lift to house of commons it seems the nhs will continue to struggle until it crumbles.

lalalalyra Sun 23-Oct-16 15:50:17

The NHS is amazing in a crisis. It's the cuts to back staff and a lack of admin organisation that is the downfall of it.

My relative had terminal cancer and whilst her actual treatment has been amazing the constant need to keep on top of referrals and lack of conversation between departments makes me fear for anyone who doesn't have support from someone well who can keep on top of everything on their behalf.

Her husband ended up buying her a wheelchair just to get off the merry-go-round of "we need a referral before we can order" and "we've already made the referral".

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