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Do non NHS people realise how bad it is at the moment?

(690 Posts)
DoyouknowJo Thu 18-Jul-19 00:09:16

I had to justify to my managers manager why I needed to spend £7 on stationery. Stationery. Some biros, some staples and a box of envelopes.

One of my colleagues chairs broke and she was told to apply to charitable funds to get a new one.

Everything is held together with sticky tape and blu tac (literally and figuratively)

We have four members of admin staff bunched into a desk meant for two, because there is no money to pay IT to put a new port in on their desks.

Waste toner cartridges are on lockdown. If yours is full you should take a scalpel, cut the seal open, empty it and then stick it back together and put it back in the printer. Don't worry about all your printing then being covered in smudgy ink. We're broke ya know.

And some fucking idiot turned up to A&E today...because their arm has been hurting for two months and they are off on holiday tomorrow and could we sort it please.

I'm thinking of starting an anonymous instagram account to get all this crap out.

Anotherbloodyname123 Thu 18-Jul-19 00:12:58

Sounds like local government 8-10 years ago.

WolfhoundsofLove Thu 18-Jul-19 00:14:32

Why shouldn’t somebody go to A and E if they are in pain? Even if they’ve been in pain for two months? Presumably you don’t know all their circumstances?

Historydweeb Thu 18-Jul-19 00:17:41

That's bloody worrying.

DoyouknowJo Thu 18-Jul-19 00:20:24

If their arm has been hurting for two months it’s neither an accident or an emergency.

Namenic Thu 18-Jul-19 00:22:00

I agree OP. Have to not only click print on the computer but push 2 buttons on the physical printer every time there is a print job. Each click can take longer than 30s to process.

I expect social care is more starved and politicians have been putting off decisions for ages. Brexit is gonna cause staffing problems.

giggly Thu 18-Jul-19 00:22:53

Eh accident and emergency is for erm emergencies hmm not a bloody sore arm that’s what GP are for ffs. This is one of the biggest drains on the NHS total time wasters. And don’t start with the you don’t know all the facts any front line staff will tell you this is an every day occurrence for the stupid and self important amongst isangry

chzarind Thu 18-Jul-19 00:24:31

No, no people don't realise how bad it is. While I agree that a sore stem for 2 months is a GP issue and not an A&E one, I can't quite work out at all what is has to do with your issues.

Namenic Thu 18-Jul-19 00:24:53

OP - who would u prefer as next PM? Urgh - pains me to say Hunt would be better...

Rejectthetossers Thu 18-Jul-19 00:25:18

Think yourself lucky at least you can purchase stationary !
Our trust has stopped supplying biro's and we are expected to purchase our own (and whiteboard pens) What would save the nhs millions is clamping down on generous paid sick leave and 'emergency leave' Having previously worked in the private sector where sick pay was only ssp and emergency leave was unheard of I find it amazing just how many colleges have broken boilers or how much time some people take off sick !

DoyouknowJo Thu 18-Jul-19 00:25:20

Oh the fucking printer

Ours hasn’t had a staple cartridge for years. In fact nobody seems to remember if it ever did have a staple cartridge. So you can’t just send anything to the printer, you have to go over and press a lit button to reassure it that you know it still doesn’t have any staples, that it won’t be getting any staples and in fact you don’t even have any staples in your fucking stapler before the bastard will bloody print anything.

DoyouknowJo Thu 18-Jul-19 00:28:30

It costs £124 every time someone walks in the door of A&E.

Tell me how time wasters aren’t contributing to lack of funds?

DoyouknowJo Thu 18-Jul-19 00:32:19

Infected piercings - everyday occurrence
Minor head bumps on children - child running around playing with toys happy as Larry - I just wanted to get it checked
The “I don’t think it’s broken because it doesn’t really hurt and I can still walk on it but can you just check” people
The “why have I been waiting 4 hours my toe really hurts” wankers. Because there are actual people actually dying in the room next to you?

AlexaAmbidextra Thu 18-Jul-19 00:33:03

While I agree that a sore stem for 2 months is a GP issue and not an A&E one, I can't quite work out at all what is has to do with your issues.

Well let me help you. It demonstrates how money is wasted in the NHS by people abusing the system.

DinoEggz Thu 18-Jul-19 00:36:13

People don’t realise how bad it is everywhere. Everyone in a public sector job has similar tales of woe. If they even still have a job.

Namenic Thu 18-Jul-19 00:36:32

The link between the 2months sore arm (reflection of rising demand partly due to patients not wanting to wait due to their busy lives/health anxiety AND understaffed gps AND hospital beds not keeping pace with population) and crappy Equipment is that Both make it a bad environment to work in.

Add in understaffing due to early retirement of exhausted staff, pensions debacle causing consultants to be penalised for working more, attrition of juniors due to other more attractive opportunities (abroad and in non medical sectors)...

GreenTulips Thu 18-Jul-19 00:38:05

I agree with you totally.

They should list the charges each incident costs the tax payer. May make people think twice!!

wafflyversatile Thu 18-Jul-19 00:41:18

What would save the nhs millions is clamping down on generous paid sick leave and 'emergency leave' Having previously worked in the private sector where sick pay was only ssp and emergency leave was unheard of I find it amazing just how many colleges have broken boilers or how much time some people take off sick !
I dont see how the answer is to treat staff as badly as the least generous capitalism has to offer.

WorraLiberty Thu 18-Jul-19 00:42:24

People don’t realise how bad it is everywhere. Everyone in a public sector job has similar tales of woe. If they even still have a job.

Yep!

Spot on but frustrating all the same.

Northernlurker Thu 18-Jul-19 00:43:21

I've been buying my own pens for years. Currently fighting a running battle to avoid using charitable funds for a new toilet. Capital funding - to build and repair stuff has been slashed beyond bearing.

And that's not what scares me........

What scares me is the rumour I've seen on nhs management blogs that 1st July was the busiest day for ED attendances ever. Not busiest in the summer, busiest full stop. And it's getting worse. I don't know what this means for the winter but my whole family are getting flu jabs as soon as we can!

chzarind Thu 18-Jul-19 00:44:21

Well let me help you. It demonstrates how money is wasted in the NHS by people abusing the system.

Well no need to be so rude.

My point was whether they went to A&E or the GP they would still be costing the NHS money.

But yes I do agree A&E was wrong for the situation.

Namenic Thu 18-Jul-19 00:47:59

I do have sympathy for people who would like things checked. Eg the child head injury - not everyone knows the red flag symptoms and what constitutes dangerous mechanism of injury - often child has not actually been witnessed. But it should be clear that is due to something acute not ongoing at the same level for a year/month.

I took my 2 year old in after possibly swallowing some room aroma liquid - I knew he was fine but wanted to know his ecg was ok and didn’t have access to toxbase.

If this is a big issue, I think public health should investigate and design a campaign for how to triage this type of problem and manage it in the community.

TheBouquets Thu 18-Jul-19 00:53:40

OH dear, this is not the kind of thing I want to hear from a person who chose to work in NHS.
Your language and comments are not encouraging that care is the top of your agenda

Anotherbloodyname123 Thu 18-Jul-19 00:53:54

The NHS has been relatively well insulated against cuts compared to the rest of the public sector until now. But yes it's shit.

I'm eight months into investigating a health issue and still waiting for more tests. Follow ups with my consultant are OVER A YEAR away because they are short staffed.

It's shit but people have kept voting for this government. What did they expect?

BlackCatSleeping Thu 18-Jul-19 00:53:56

I feel sorry for the staff, but I feel sorry for the patients too. I don't think a parent should feel bad about getting a head injury looked at.

It's obvious that the NHS isn't working. It needs a massive reform.

WorraLiberty Thu 18-Jul-19 00:54:05

The trouble is it's so bloody hard to get a GP appointment in lots of busy areas, or to even find an NHS surgery with spaces available to join.

So many walk-in centres have closed down (in my area anyway) too.

The local councils are selling off land left, right and center for 'affordable housing' to be built and my goodness is it being built everywhere you look.

This is putting a massive strain on local GP surgeries, NHS dentists, schools etc.

This is why a lot of people turn to A&E when it's neither an accident or an emergency.

They literally feel they have nowhere else to go.

Anotherbloodyname123 Thu 18-Jul-19 00:56:15

And I'm not sure cuts are to blame for how massively disorganised everything is, are they? It's always a complete shambles.

If local government could survive swinging cuts why can't the NHS transform its delivery.

Bloodybridget Thu 18-Jul-19 00:57:34

TheBouquets sanctimonious and patronising - as someone working in the NHS and experiencing first-hand the effects of extreme budgetary restrictions, the OP has a perfect right to be indignant about members of the public misusing the system.

WorraLiberty Thu 18-Jul-19 00:58:43

I don't think a parent should feel bad about getting a head injury looked at.

Nor do I to be honest, or an infection of any kind if your GP surgery is telling you there's a 2 week wait for an appointment and your local walk-in centre closed months ago.

In all honesty those people's first thoughts aren't going to be lack of Biro pens and staplers are they?

SDTGisAnEvilWolefGenius Thu 18-Jul-19 00:59:28

The average cost of a GP appointment is £22.60 - you can get roughly 5 GP visits for the cost of 1 A&E visit.

But the flip side is that it can be well-nigh impossible to get a GP visit in some areas - there is a thread on here at the moment where the OP needs to have a follow up visit with her GP in a specific time frame, and she simply can’t get it.

madroid Thu 18-Jul-19 01:00:02

Not supplying pens is pure mismanagement.

The real worry to me is the unsafe inadequate staffing of wards. Why would a govt introduce fees to train nurses in a context of a 40,000 nurse shortage in the UK?

You can understand those who think the NHS is being deliberately run down to persuade people that it needs privatising.

It's desperate and my heart goes out to newly diagnosed cancer sufferers forced to wait months for treatment. That's an unbearable delay for them and their families. 1 in 2 will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives so it really is everyone's problem.

TheBouquets Thu 18-Jul-19 01:01:13

@bloodbridget As someone who has worked in the NHS and if other types of organisations I could say a lot about wastage in NHS but I dont have the time to list them all.
The wastage in NHS is astronomical and private business would never tolerate or financial endure those wastages

WorraLiberty Thu 18-Jul-19 01:02:25

Exactly SDTGisAnEvilWolefGenius and I'm surprised the OP doesn't understand that when they're calling patients 'wankers'.

Floote Thu 18-Jul-19 01:03:38

Get a new job if you don’t like it there .

GibbonLover Thu 18-Jul-19 01:03:52

OH dear, this is not the kind of thing I want to hear from a person who chose to work in NHS

I beg to differ. I'm glad that NHS employees care about the service they deliver. I'm always happy to listen to someone who is frustrated with the lack of funding. The more people drawing attention to this means that maybe, just maybe, others may become more mindful about how they use the service.

LadyLibre Thu 18-Jul-19 01:04:04

Sounds very similar to when I was a team assistant in Social Services. Particularly the printer, we had to provide our own stationary.

wafflyversatile Thu 18-Jul-19 01:07:59

If local government could survive swinging cuts why can't the NHS transform its delivery.

They are not surviving them and neither are the people they are meant to serve.

Why do some people look at two bad situations and think the answer is to make the least bad worse.

TheseThingsAreFunAndFunIsGood Thu 18-Jul-19 01:10:07

....and on the other end of the same you have such terrible staffing shortages hospitals are being forced to take on agency nurses at a cost of £48(!!!)p/hr, or so I'm told by a nursing mum friend today.... shock
How can this be sustainable??!

Fuma Thu 18-Jul-19 01:12:08

Ah, the glories of our wonderful NHS, where patients are "wankers" and the greatest and most pressing problem that staff can identify is "lack of pens". Value for money in action.

GibbonLover Thu 18-Jul-19 01:17:42

the greatest and most pressing problem that staff can identify is "lack of pens"

I don't mean to sound rude but it's not about the shortage of pens. It's about the fact that the NHS is strapped for cash, in part due to wasted funds.

TheseThingsAreFunAndFunIsGood Thu 18-Jul-19 01:18:59

Equipment problems also reminds me of a few years ago when I went in to have DS and spent the best part of the day in a huge high ceiling waiting room that was roasting hot as the heating system was broken but broken "on" - ie ot couldn't be turned down; the accepted "solution" apparently was to have all the windows permanently open..... confused I literally was there from 8am til gone 5 like this, it was like watching tenners being lobbed out of the window.

JumpingJaneFlash Thu 18-Jul-19 01:31:01

I’m sure NHS staff are committed and work hard to deliver an excellent service. But there is a lot of wastage in the bureaucracy (non clinical staff usually).

caringcarer Thu 18-Jul-19 01:32:11

If the NHS stopped treating international citizens who are health tourist without payment up front or valid travel insurance like other countries do they would not be broke. In France I had to pay up front to see a doctor when i had an emergency allergic reaction and then pay again for needing adrenaline shot. In UK we treat everyone regardless of whether they are UK citizens or paid in NICs. Many woman come to UK for a safe delivery of their baby and it cost NHS billions of pounds every year. It should be stopped.

ContactLight Thu 18-Jul-19 01:32:51

I had to justify to my managers manager...

Perhaps if they got rid of a management level it would save a whole heap of money.

The last time I had to go to my local hospital (to collect dh after a procedure) I noticed that there were far more management types walking importantly around the corridors with clipboards than there were medical staff, porters etc.

Balula Thu 18-Jul-19 01:37:40

Not the point of the thread but I wanted to say, I've spent 5 days in hospital last week, I came through a&e and have since been under neurology team, no diagnosis but I've been treated fantastically by all staff. I hate to think how much the MRI/MRA/CT x 2 and lumbar puncture x 2 have cost though. You're all amazing and I'm sorry it's so hard at the moment.

ladybird69 Thu 18-Jul-19 01:39:06

I’ve had numerous friends that have had treatment abroad for varies things in the past couple of years. Each one of them have come back after fantastic up to date treatment, operations and general care. I don’t think that we actually realise how far up shit street the NHS actually is.
I agree with @ContactLight above post

Namenic Thu 18-Jul-19 01:40:34

OP demonstrates the frustration many of us feel about the working conditions. I bet OP treated sore arm patient politely even if he/she complained about the wait and even if the visit was inappropriate. I bet OP has done overtime trying to help patients and got complaints in return.

For the people who say just leave or get another job, I hope you have a plan for replacing the staff? Wait - was that tens of thousands of vacancies?

ladybird69 Thu 18-Jul-19 01:43:36

@Thesethings that reminds me of when I went into have my 20 week scan, heavily pregnant woman after drinking litres and litres of water! Got to the waiting room and the roof had a leak, so they had a bucket in the middle of the room with the water drip drip dripping into the bloody bucket. That was pure torture.

Maybesunshineafterall Thu 18-Jul-19 01:52:11

In my experience there is MASSIVE wastage in the NHS which no-one seems to care about. When I emptied out a distant relatives house there were 14 zimmer frames - each discharge had given her a new one. No one ever checked. & why is it they just say to throw perfectly good used crutches away? I'm agog at the wastage.

groundanchochillipowder Thu 18-Jul-19 01:52:35

Anyone who's had to deal with trying to obtain mental health/psychiatric services for their child or adolescent knows how bad it is now sad.

Namenic Thu 18-Jul-19 01:58:23

@caringcarer - think of all the staff who have to be employed to track the tiny amount of people ineligible for healthcare down... in reality the amount of money that can be recovered is v small.

Fuma Thu 18-Jul-19 02:06:30

Anyone who has had the misfortune to use the NHS at all knows how poor the standard of care is, not just for MH but everywhere. But we all put up with it and talk about staff as saints and angels and how much better it is than the (unspecified) alternative while they're bitching about pens and calling patients wankers.

HerRoyalNotness Thu 18-Jul-19 02:08:44

There is a certain company at the moment assisting the UK MOD to “help create more effective project management, project controls, and supply chain management processes for the defence equipment and support function” and are looking to maximise public investment.

They need to be called in to the NHS and slash and burn. I know someone who hit their head and had bad headaches for 2 weeks (and counting) that had to wait 6mths for an MRI. They could be dead by then. It’s disgusting what you have to put up with

BillyJowel Thu 18-Jul-19 02:11:46

And yet procurement rules mean you can’t buy cheap resources on amazon, instead you must go through preferred suppliers that are sometimes 7x the cost of sourcing the same item on Amazon!

Oliversmumsarmy Thu 18-Jul-19 02:13:07

I think the problems have been a long time coming.

Saving a few pounds here and there on stationary isn’t going to cut it when as a patient you can see so much wastage just on diagnosing someone.

As a relatively small example Dd spent 3 days in hospital having every test under the sun.

I knew what she had wrong with her as I had the same symptoms when I was in my 20s. The dr told her to tell me to stop using dr google.

Finally after 3 days they did the test and diagnosed her immediately with what I had said in the first place.
A simple prescription and she was on her way.
In the ward there was 5 other women who had told there doctor what they had wrong but it had taken them many tests and in some cases many months before finally testing for what they had been told in the first place.

I probably cost the NHS £60-70,000 over 7 years on irrelevant tests and treatments, physio, consultants etc whilst they tried to guess what was wrong with me. They refused to send me for a £300 MRI scan to diagnose me properly as it cost too much.

Dp has cost them at least £3-400,000 more for not diagnosing what Dp had asked to be tested for in the first place. Ultimately it has cost Dp his life.

Until you get the bigger issues with the NHS diagnosing and treatments sorted then you can bring in as many time and motion studies as you want to save a few pence here and there whilst thousands are marching out the door.

Oldsu Thu 18-Jul-19 02:13:22

giggly you can fuck right off with your comments I went to A&E after 3 weeks of passing brown water and not eating, I had been to my GP to be told it was a side affect of antibiotics one week and the next week was told I had a virus, I was dehydrated, in pain and confused and yes bloody scared only to be treated by the triage nurse as a time waster and accused of trying to see a specialist by the back door because my DH stupidly asked if a gastroenterologist could see me, I didn't even see a doctor, was told to go back to my GP luckily I got an emergency appointment the next day, 24 hours after being dismissed and given no help by A&E I was back, sent there by my GP who could actually see how very ill I was

I was in Hospital for 11 days 10 of which were in Isolation because I had SEPSIS yes that's right sepsis I could have died, in fact not so long ago I read about a young mother who did die of sepsis after like me being dismissed by A&E and then misdiagnosed by her GP

I have every respect for NHS staff, I was treated so well and felt so safe whilst I was in hospital but judging by your comments it seems that SOME NHS staff have no respect for patients

Fuma Thu 18-Jul-19 02:14:03

Sounds about right, herroyalnotness. My most recent dealing with the NHS I had to wait two hours to get into a ward I was supposed to have open access to, having been blue lighted there, where I was then diagnosed with a urinary tract infection rather than the life threatening complication of a condition I actually had which was on my notes that I took in with me. Still, I only waited another four hours until someone listened to me and I was admitted for emergency surgery. Which dangerously incompetent treatment isn't half as much of an issue as not having a fucking pen ofc.

HerRoyalNotness Thu 18-Jul-19 02:14:41

They’re talking about pens to highlight just how dire it is!

Imagine having to fill out a requisition to buy a small amount of stationary, which then gets reviewed by your manager and pushed up to their manager for review and sent over to procurement. WhAt a waste of hours and money.

BillyJowel Thu 18-Jul-19 02:18:30

E for envelope, everyone grin

ChocoholicsAsylum Thu 18-Jul-19 02:18:49

Its not that the OP doesnt care, only people who havent worked in the NHS would say this! Its tiring and frustrating. There are forever clear advice posters/notes on social media about what to do and where is appropriate to go with a problem, be it your local pharmacy, gp, out of hours or A&E and people are STILL ignoring this and causing hours of waiting in A&E!
The other week 2 families came in with children at 2am with HAYFEVER!!!! Then had the cheek to moan about a doctor not hurrying up to see them so they could get medicine then go home... I gave them the truth that they could easily get treatment and it really wasnt the place! Off they went when they realized they were not getting free tabs! There is a minor ailments for this stuff or 50p for a box of antihistamines!

Constant time wasters is absolutely infuriating... also not being able to work with appropriate equipment is true... cant even get so much as a bloody bedside lamp to work usually! Ugh! Yet they will pay shitty 2 faced backstabbing managers 50k a year to not manage!!!! No wonder I am leaving it.

Fuma Thu 18-Jul-19 02:21:34

It's a symptomatic attitude though. I'm sure that the incompetent fuck who told me to go home and drink more water also thought I was a wanker and then bitched about how hard his job was, much the same as the OP. He would be right of course as I am a wanker; however I was also a wanker who was very close to dying and because we've got a shit healthcare system we've got shit doctors like him who fail to spot such things even when people (eventually, after two hours of waiting to get in a ward) pitch up with their diagnosis written on the fucking notes they bring in with them.

ChocoholicsAsylum Thu 18-Jul-19 02:22:05

And it is ashame because I do have kindness and compassion for people who really are ill x

managedmis Thu 18-Jul-19 02:22:54

It costs £124 every time someone walks in the door of A&E.

Tell me how time wasters aren’t contributing to lack of funds?

^

I reckon 70% of the people in A and E are time-wasting.

If the NHS stopped treating international citizens who are health tourist without payment up front or valid travel insurance like other countries do they would not be broke

^

Same in Canada. First question - Where's your health insurance card?

managedmis Thu 18-Jul-19 02:24:55

I don't mean to sound rude but it's not about the shortage of pens. It's about the fact that the NHS is strapped for cash, in part due to wasted funds.

^^

Pens reflect the greater picture though eh. Some posters are too dense to see the wood for the trees.

managedmis Thu 18-Jul-19 02:26:29

OH dear, this is not the kind of thing I want to hear from a person who chose to work in NHS.
Your language and comments are not encouraging that care is the top of your agenda

^^

Yes. Let's not get too flustered, eh?

Fuma Thu 18-Jul-19 02:28:52

Christ, it takes them five hours to sign off a prescription. Can you imagine how long it would take to check residency and then fill in five million forms, four million of which can only be signed off by Gladys, but she doesn't work on Tuesday, and the other million can only be dealt with by Steve, but he's on his break between now and Billericay and he doesn't do that job on days when there isn't a werewolf in the corridor, and anyway most of it is outside the scope of his duties and he doesn't have the necessary health and safety photocopier training.

AuchAyeTheNo Thu 18-Jul-19 02:38:37

It’s horrific OP and the general public aren’t seeing the severity and they won’t realise until it’s too late sadly.

I was bank a&e last week and we had someone wanting a routine eye test believe it or not!

We need a public campaign to help people understand where to go and what to do for simple care. I seriously think we should be bringing self care lessons into primary schools, small things like cuts/grazes and cold symptoms

Passthecherrycoke Thu 18-Jul-19 02:56:55

What’s happened to the stationary budget though? Didn’t you have one or was it spent on something else?

It doesn’t really work that you stop buying stationary that’s needed and spend the money elsewhere, that’s poor budgeting.

GlamGiraffe Thu 18-Jul-19 03:03:56

I've never been to hospital except in an emergency- unfortunately there have been quite a lot. DS fell from a height as a small baby and cut his head to the bone, crashed into railings age 6 and knocked himself out cold and had googling eyes thereafter and face pouringcwith blood. Another time the little sod mountaineered 6 fert for a botyle a cakpol and hekped himself ( consultant friend calculated dose said he needed hospirsl treatment urgently) DD stopped breathing. DH had suspected heart attack. On al these occasions we've taken ourselves there no ambulances or fuss but when my son had a serious head injury and my baby daughter wasn't breathing we had to try yo get through queues of tourists demanding a doctor. Once it was due to a sore throat anther time dhe to a splinter.
I have very severe epilepsy and a joint disorder. I Un fortunately wake up in hospital from time to time. I broke my neck. I waited4 hours for help the paramedics were so apolgeticand explainedthey have t spend so log dealing with trip nonsene they cant do their jobs. Unfortunately I don't think the message was properly transcibed as the exactly what had helped maybe.
I have attended I believe for legitimate reasons where I needed real help and it really annyosme thrnuber of drinks and groups of there seemingly for a day out and people who could just go to a primacy or go. I pay medical insurance. I be treatment when I want it but It means I don't have to pile on pressure to a crazy system. The NHS is amazing for A&E If it's used properly but stringent assesments need to be applied to get rid of the time wasters and was on the message not to come back for minor ailments like splinters. It would better all round. It would free up time and space and ultimately fine the system a squirrel a tiny bit more leeway.

StitchingMoss Thu 18-Jul-19 03:04:53

@caringcarer I’m guessing you get your facts from the Daily Mail hmm.

The ACTUAL cost of so-called health tourism is a small fraction of the NHS budget and in no way the reason we are in this mess.

We are in this mess because this current government is actively privatising the NHS and running it down at the same time. If it continues as it is now it’ll be unrecognisable in a generation.

The abuse of the service and the “it’s my rights brigade” are also a very real problem sad.

MrsKHB Thu 18-Jul-19 03:57:34

I left 6 months ago after 15 years service, the last 12 years as patient admin. I loved my job but I was so frustrated with the system.

One example, the patients on my ward had the choice of a cooked breakfast. I would volunteer to go to the restaurant and collect it (otherwise it would mean taking a nurse off the ward and away from patient care) so I hand over my signed form to say Joe Blogs requests a cooked breakfast and i tell them he wants eggs on toast. So when they dish up a plate of sausage, bacon, egg, mushrooms , beans, tomatoes and toast I think they must have misheard me...no, they heard me perfectly fine But, they tell me they HAVE to issue a full cooked breakfast and for me to tell the patient he can leave whatever he doesn't want or I can plate up the eggs and toast in our patient kitchen and bin the rest!

A quick scan of the restaurant at 9.30am and I see it's awash of navy blues, thoses would be the matrons, specialist nurses and ward managers.
Shocking!

Graphista Thu 18-Jul-19 03:57:44

I agree that things are bad, but I think predominantly directing the blame at patients is wrong.

Yes some patients are time wasters and piss takers - but you'll always get that to a degree as no system is perfect.

However on a larger scale the underfunding of the Nhs I absolutely believe is a deliberate and calculated ploy to persuade the population that abolishing the Nhs and moving to an American style system is remotely acceptable.

There are patients going to Ooh and even a&e for matters that really should be dealt with by primary care not always because they're ignorant and entitled (though I accept this does happen) but also increasingly because it's so difficult to get a primary care appointment in some areas and they then reach a point where they can no longer bear the pain/distress of the ailment and head to Ooh/a&e.

Where I live we are massively poorly resourced for primary care, there's no Ooh service and at one point a "rejigging" of GP boundaries for catchment areas was subject to a massive cock up which meant one local postcode area (by which I don't mean one street but first part of postcode eh all of NW1) were forgotten in the recalculation and none of the gp surgeries would take any of those residents on as they weren't sure whether they'd get the funding for them! It can be murder getting a primary care appointment even with direct referrals to certain services (physio, Chiropody, primary care mental health, addiction services) as there simply aren't enough employees.

In addition in the last 5 years we've we've lost our local maternity & paediatrics depts altogether (nearest 90 mins away and the area actually covered by these services used to cover areas up to a further hour away from the hospital now covering. The hospital now covering has received no additional funding to cover the extra work), the a&e and sexual health clinics are now only open certain hours and we've also lost several local dentists and opticians which has also had an impact.

Graphista Thu 18-Jul-19 03:59:36

Transport to the hospital now supposedly covering lost services is woefully inadequate and constantly reducing. Only available leaving my areas approx 9am and returning around 7pm.

So there are sometimes people with agonising toothache, bleeding in pregnancy, mental health crises etc going to a&e as they're unable to access other support.

"It's shit but people have kept voting for this government. What did they expect?"
I'm not convinced those most affected and suffering as a result DID vote for this govt - I certainly didn't!

I'm having real problems with my mh currently, I've been discharged from the Cmht key worker "service" (an absolute debacle which I am debating making a formal complaint about how it's been handled) been referred to the psychology dept (which consists of one psychologist covering 2 counties and therefore has a long waiting list) so I'm currently somehow existing via minimal support from my GP (who is lovely but very overstretched and not confident on mh side of things when they're as bad as I'm dealing with, plus I'm on meds she's not familiar with).

It's completely unacceptable - for patients and employees.

Graphista Thu 18-Jul-19 04:00:06

m an ex nurse myself and still have friends working in the Nhs and so am definitely hearing quite regularly how bad it's getting, but I have to agree with pp that op's attitude isn't the best. My friends still working in Nhs very much feel
it's mostly the underfunding - across the board, from recruiting and training to primary care to acute hospital services, and yes to basics like stationery! - that is the problem.

And no I don't believe the money isn't available either, it's certainly available for what the govt WANTS to spend money on, to prop up minority election results, to fund wars, tax breaks for the already wealthy, to fund the almighty fuck up that is their LACK of handling brexit, to fund unnecessary 2nd homes and outrageous expenses for mps, to fund Chris graylings & others constant cock ups, repeated leadership elections etc etc etc

If there's anything we need to abolish its parliament! Get rid of all the greedy mps (of all parties) who are not actually interested in serving the people and particularly the most vulnerable in society, but who have become mps for the power, prestige and profit!

Yes profit!

Because while MPs salaries are supposedly low compared to equivalent private company roles, they're hardly nmw! Plus there are 2nd homes which MPs "flip" ridiculous expenses claims AND most profitable but indirect is the ability to make laws and vote in parliament to make certain industries that they have vested interests in more profitable.

The main ones are housing (seriously go and look at just how many mps are landlords, property developers etc and then look at those MPs voting records on housing matters!), banking and... Healthcare!

Personally I'd make it that while someone is serving as an MP they are not allowed to have shares or other interests in commercial companies! Unfortunately we can't eliminate the issue of their families having these interests but I do think this would improve things at least a little!

Graphista Thu 18-Jul-19 04:00:35

"Why would a govt introduce fees to train nurses in a context of a 40,000 nurse shortage in the UK?" You answered your own question
"You can understand those who think the NHS is being deliberately run down to persuade people that it needs privatising."!

One of my friends that is still nursing is a mentor for trainees. She and I both agree that the increasing focus on academic ability of recruits (rather than aptitude, the right personality type and a practical approach) then the additional issue of removing the bursary means that people who would be well suited to nursing are facing impossible barriers to entering the profession. A local fairly new friend, who currently works as an hca and is an excellent & valued employee who has been told she'd make an excellent nurse has said to me they'd love to do it but can't afford it and they're also not confident on the academic side (she'd be find its genuinely just a confidence issue). I genuinely believe we're missing out on recruiting good even excellent hcps because of these and other issues.

Whereas my mentor friend is increasingly frustrated at dealing with trainees who think certain fundamental tasks are "beneath them" and who have snobby attitudes towards certain patients!

Graphista Thu 18-Jul-19 04:01:08

TheBouquets - agree, the issues around wastage and dodgy procurement practice needs addressed too.

There's also a lot of "false economies" which I saw starting just before I left. The one that immediately springs to mind is outsourcing cleaning - which within a matter of months led to increase in hospital acquired infection which is a huge pita and very expensive to deal with! That tiny saving on cleaning cost the Nhs millions I'm sure and also cost patients their health even lives!

I still bristle whenever visiting family/friends in hospital and seeing filthy wards, scruffy even dirty hcp uniforms, poor infection control practice...

I also wonder what's going on with training when I see things like poor obs practices, poor note taking etc

@HerRoyalNotness - did you see that tv show that was made a few years back where a business expert of some kind was brought into an Nhs environment to see his assessment of how things could be improved?

Iirc he was shocked and angered at things like well equipped op theatres lying vacant 2-3 days a week because consultant surgeons were off playing golf on full time salaries, at the extortionate amount of money being spent on agency staff yet they were saying they couldn't afford to recruit permanent staff, even though permanent staff were far cheaper, at certain equipment being replaced/upgraded while it was still in perfect working order, usually because of consultants personal preferences and not there actually being a need to...

Graphista Thu 18-Jul-19 04:01:28

@oliversmumsarmy - I think you and I may well have discussed before the wastage incurred as a result of hcps plain NOT LISTENING to patients! If gp's had listened to me - and if referrals weren't financially disincentivised - my endo would have likely been DX within 2-3 years rather than 14! This would not only have saved money on at least 8-10 primary care appointments per year for treatment of symptoms and me trying to get a DX, but despite me asking hcps directly on here and trying to find out myself also the cost of treating the 2 mc and twisted ovary that were likely due to the condition. The twisted ovary and 2nd mc both required surgery and the mc a lengthy hospital stay!

Ditto dds disability which we didn't get a DX for 12 years despite 3 clear and unusual symptoms/indicators at birth, repeated visits to gp surgery and a&e for further multiple symptoms (I swear we were on first name terms with X-Ray dept at one point!).

Even now she has her DX the GP surgery STILL don't listen when either her or I say "yes she's prone to X condition/infection because of her disability so we've been TOLD by the consultant at the first hint of Y symptoms she's supposed to see a GP NOT a nurse as she'll more than likely need z prescriptions ASAP to treat and your practice nurse can't prescribe that" we get "told off" for seeing GP rather than nurse (unless it's one particular GP who DOES listen and understands the condition, but is unfortunately part time), denied the treatment - only to have to use up ANOTHER appointment days later as the issues HAS AS WE PREDICTED worsened and requires more aggressive treatment. This can and does include stronger prescriptions, longer prescriptions and additional prescriptions - which MUST be more expensive than if they had LISTENED in the first place!

"There are forever clear advice posters/notes on social media about what to do and where is appropriate to go with a problem" that's all well and good IF patients can access the primary care practitioners in a reasonable time frame, but that is becoming increasingly more difficult!!

Education/public info is definitely one factor, I'm in Scotland where our local tv and radio seems to do this loads! Plus there are posters in pharmacies, dentists and opticians saying basically "did you know we can deal with X y z health issues?" In very clear easy to understand language.

But where certain services are cut to the bone and hard to access, knowing you SHOULD be seeing a dentist/GP but you can't get an appointment - perhaps can't even get registered! Then desperate, anxious and in pain patients will end up in places like a&e.

One county I lived in there were for several years NO dentists taking on Nhs patients, this was quite a while ago now, when a new dentist opened a surgery and was willing to take on Nhs patients people were queuing for over 24 hours to get registered - it was on the news!

And that was over 10 years ago and I hear the situation is now much worse - but it's so common now it's no longer newsworthy!

Sandybval Thu 18-Jul-19 04:05:55

The procurement function needs centralising and upskilling, there is also an element of patients needing educating on what is the most appropriate service to utilise; this would probably require extra investment in GPs etc, but honestly, sorting out the procurement function could save a lot. Stationary should be a lot cheaper on a framework than available on Amazon etc, but they seem to run on ineffective ones which are too skewed to the suppliers benefit.

Sandybval Thu 18-Jul-19 04:18:51

@HerRoyalNotness I'm all for spending to save in the long run, but I don't think many people would be a fan of the NHS spending £250 million for a company to come in and try and make efficiencies. Some of the improvements are glaringly obvious, and there are other public sector departments who could help. Even the learning from that exercise could be applied, there seems to be a real taste for private companies getting paid ridiculous amounts which could be invested in staff training, more staff or retaining highly skilled staff who leave to become contractors.

Graphista Thu 18-Jul-19 04:28:56

Honestly I think that kinda thing is largely down to corruption!

Too many backhanders and similar going on! Contracts being awarded due to nepotistic type practices, or in order to get preferential treatment for another contract.

Gingernaut Thu 18-Jul-19 04:47:23

District nurses do house visits for patients who are housebound.

They keep missing some patients as they are out shopping.

If you can go shopping, you can visit the practice nurse to get your dressings changed.

You don't need to see a doctor for that and calling out the out of hours GP, because you've neglected yourself for nearly two weeks isn't a good use of NHS resources either.

Bellasblankexpression Thu 18-Jul-19 04:57:56

I wonder if some regions are worse than others? My mum works for the nhs and doesn’t have any problem getting stationery etc - she works in the cardio dept of a hospital.
That sounds truly awful.
I have to agree it’s not just cuts and funding that are the problem, the nhs seems to be severely mismanaged all the way down - in our experience we’ve been given appointments that were a total waste of time (to where the consultant has SAID basically why are you here? And it’s because a box needs to be ticked so we can get onto the next stage, this has happened many times and it’s an utterly ridiculous waste of time and resources).
I also have to agree with previous posters about people wanting to get things like kids head injuries checked - half the time if you can’t get a gp appointment, you phone 111 and they tell you to go to A&E immediately - you’re not going to ignore this advice when your kids health could be at stake, and you’re definitely not going to be thinking about post it’s and staplers/printer cartridges either unfortunately.

It must be such a frustrating environment to work in.

We’ve recently looked at a private healthcare plan because we just don’t believe that if one of us got sick the nhs could offer us the adequate care within a speedy timeframe if needed (despite the pathways that have been brought it).

Namenic Thu 18-Jul-19 05:26:48

Ok - health tourism is a very small proportion of nhs budget. I would guess people would tend to be younger and require shorter hospital stays. Money spent chasing this money would also eat into the money recovered (some people would not be able to pay etc).

MRI after head injury is unlikely to be because of suspected acute bleeding. CTs can be done at any time of day if that is suspected but have the drawback of higher radiation (not a problem for a one-off scan but enough to make you do risk/benefit calculation), and being less detailed for certain things. Sometimes if people do not know the alternative diagnoses being considered and the relative probabilities of these, treatment and investigation can seem baffling. I’m very sorry for people who have had wrong diagnoses. Sometimes symptom progression helps give important clues - diagnosis is much more like trial and error rather than House.

For wastage cutting: STOP PFI.
Basically it is where a private company injects some capital cash into building a new hospital and then gets to charge £20 for changing a lightbulb and maintaining a hospital for years afterwards. Contracting for cleaning, maintenance has to go through them and they make oodles in profit. Basically govt shove the cost onto future Better to wait while govt builds up funds or takes on some debt (interest would probably be less than pfi).

PriestessModwena Thu 18-Jul-19 05:35:45

I see that the NHS is struggling, when you have 3/4 staff on a ward of 40+ patients. It can take just 1 patient having an issue, staff running around, then 1 person is left to look after the other patients with varying needs.

A&E though is tricky, as I have chronic issues, one time they said this really isn't for A&E, I spent a couple of hours really struggling, till a Dr saw me and admitted me, for what ended up being a 6 week stay. It's not always black and white.

A bit like when you're at the Dr's and you see kids tearing around, they're the patient. Something made a parent want to see a GP it's not for me to judge.

YoungEurope Thu 18-Jul-19 05:38:09

Two years ago whilst in Spain my leg started to swell up and I couldn't walk on it so paid to see a private GP who wanted to rule out DVT so referred me to the nearest hospital (state run.) I had to take my passport and EHIC card in order to be seen. Luckily it wasn't a DVT and I was in and out within an hour, this included triage, seeing an A&E doctor, leg scan, and being prescribed tablets and discharged.

If other countries can do this, why can't we?
Agree with others comments re health tourism, it's not that time consuming to check if someone's entitled to free treatment.

Graphista Thu 18-Jul-19 05:41:56

"Sometimes if people do not know the alternative diagnoses being considered and the relative probabilities of these, treatment and investigation can seem baffling. I’m very sorry for people who have had wrong diagnoses. Sometimes symptom progression helps give important clues - diagnosis is much more like trial and error rather than House."

Patronising much?

I for one am not talking about just misdx, I'm talking about NO "alternative DX being considered" NO investigations NO diagnostic testing NO appreciation of the pain Abc suffering caused - not only physical but mental also, sometimes even being denied pain relief!

"Symptom progression helps give important clues" - well yea IF hcps actually bloody listened! I've a ton of scar tissue I didn't need to develop which cause me ongoing issues, dd has very reduced sight as a result of treatment being delayed. She also has joint erosion AT THE AGE OF 18 because of the delay in accessing a DX and treatment - that's the consultants assessment not mine!

Textbook symptoms of endo which were COMPLETELY dismissed as me "overreacting" and "exaggerating" for 14 years.

Dd with textbook symptoms of her condition ALSO being COMPLETELY dismissed - and in her case that included VISIBLE bruising, extreme swelling, skin discolouration etc

Outright REFUSALS to refer to specialists, which certainly my endo symptoms clearly indicated that a referral to gynae was necessary -

And it's STILL happening to current sufferers which really infuriates me! Not least because it proves GP's are even ignoring NICE guidelines on such matters.

In what way is any of that REMOTELY acceptable? And given the ongoing health issues caused how has it saved money?!

PriestessModwena Thu 18-Jul-19 05:46:10

Last time I used A&E, they had a super triage system, run by nurse practitioners, I got told off for leaving it 2 days with a broken foot. Yet most people, well I'd like to this, put off going for as long as they can.

A great example, dearly departed friend, who became ill, it looked like they were drunk in every way. It turned out to be a stroke, as a complication from an undiagnosed brain tumour, they needed an imminent transfer elsewhere.

I won't even mention psychiatric provisions, crisis MH team unavailability, which sees patients in A&E get fed up at how they're treated, as they're deemed to be a risk the police end up escorting them back to hospital, to make sure proper help is instigated.

Nautiloid Thu 18-Jul-19 06:02:01

Some people realise.
A lot of people don't have a clue, and don't want to listen.

ChessIsASport Thu 18-Jul-19 06:08:37

They should put boxes for voluntary contributions in all the waiting rooms. My children’s schools ask for voluntary contributions now so why shouldn’t the NHS?

Kez200 Thu 18-Jul-19 06:17:54

The arm thing, though, has been around since time in memorial. Sadly, always will be as everyone assesses their situation differently. Its wrong and a burden but its not really their fault everything is so bad. It distracts from the true source - the inability of our Government to take action to fund correctly.

KitKat1985 Thu 18-Jul-19 06:21:10

I work in the NHS. Everything is in meltdown. The standard wait for a serious but non-life threatening call is 3-4 hours in my experience. A colleagues of mine had an accident a few months ago: tripped and broke her hip. In absolute screaming agony as you can imagine, and needed a specialist team to move her safely as she was completely immobile. 4 hours it took for her to get an ambulance and proper pain relief, because there aren't enough ambulances and they keep getting diverted to life threatening calls meaning that people that need urgent help (but aren't in immediate danger) can wait many hours. This is standard now.

timeforakinderworld Thu 18-Jul-19 06:28:05

it's not that time consuming to check if someone's entitled to free treatment.

But it is extremely time consuming to then follow up on those who don't seem to be entitled. Should they be treated anyway? What if they are not treated and then get worse/die? What if the NHS is sued for negligence etc etc

The NHS has been chronically underfunded and understaffed under this government so it is not surprising that it is on its knees (and yes, there were problems before but not to this extent). If Brexit goes through there will be even fewer staff, greater staff recruitment problems and less money so expect it to get a lot worse.

1fluffydoodle Thu 18-Jul-19 06:34:47

Stationary really seems to be the area that's been cut back across the whole NHS, within our department we're having to buy our own elastic bands and poly pockets now, staples are rationed too.

Amibeingdaft81 Thu 18-Jul-19 06:40:09

Precisely why I have purchased private health Insurance.

It was a real moral dilemma, but ultimately it was the right decision for my children and I.

I actually went with a company founded by an NHS consultant general surgeon. It’s basic, it’s cheap, and it has been the best purchase I ever made.

rosedream Thu 18-Jul-19 06:44:10

The money NHS wastes on procurement. It would save a fortune if we didn't have to buy supplies from one source. Items are double the price that you could buy else where.

Then the cost for maintenance. Put a shelf up we already have £250.

Yes we are on our knees but there are massive savings that could be made. It wouldn't sort the problem out but it would make a difference.

CherryPavlova Thu 18-Jul-19 06:48:29

The 2018 inpatient survey showed that
Most respondents (80%) felt they had “always” been treated with dignity and respect during their hospital stay (82% in 2017) and only 2% said they were not given enough privacy when being examined (unchanged since 2017).
Of those who had an operation while in hospital, 80% said that staff answered their questions in a way they could understand “completely”. While this remains high, it has dropped slightly from 81% who said this in 2017.
More than two thirds of those surveyed (69%) said they “always” had confidence in the decisions made about their condition or treatment, a decrease from 71% in 2017.

The proportion of those satisfied with the time they had to wait to get a bed has decreased since last year (63% in 2017, down to 61% in 2018).
Of the 41% of people who said that their discharge from hospital was delayed, over a quarter (26%) said they were delayed for longer than four hours.

It’s not all bad and majority of 750,000 who responded were very positive about their experience. Most people get very good care in very difficult circumstances.

There is chronic underfunding and estates in many area (particularly some of the London teaching trusts) are not fit for purpose with collapsing ceilings and broken lifts as well as potholes in corridors. Trusts have to decide whether to patch up the flooding wall or buy pens.They are overloaded but then fined if they don’t meet targets.

Brexit has seen a huge loss of qualified nurses and fewer recruits.We aren’t training enough to meet demand and many who graduate don’t enter nursing.

People waste what we have and have lost common sense/awareness of how to manage common complaints and don’t respect the experience of the previous generation as they did. Collective wisdom has been loss.
Can you imagine turning up to a GP to ask if it’s OK for your child to do judo and swimming during the school week, or will they be too tired? Or going along because your child has chickenpox?
People call ambulances because they’ve a tiny burn from a kettle or have fainted, having been standing for a long time. We’ve become neurotic and afraid to cope. Far too many wasted trips to GP and hospital.
Far too many drugs given out that can be purchased from Boots. Painkillers to manage side effects of not exercising and loneliness are never going to be effective but cost NHS £445 million annually. That’s about poverty usually, with more affluent areas in the south (Richmond) spending £3.4 per capita compared to say Middlesbrough with £14.8 per capita. We need to address poverty not dump the effects of poverty on the NHS.
Immigration has a net benefit. Hospitals could not run without foreign nationals generously giving us their skills and time.
Health tourism is minimal and costs to recuperate spending high.
We spend much less per person and much less as percentage of GDP than most of the developed world. We have fewer beds per person than most of Europe.

NHS is actually very, efficient and effective but suffers from ridiculously high expectations on ridiculously low funding.

sunshinedaisydo Thu 18-Jul-19 06:53:19

In my hospital, the heating has to stay on all year because the heating system is so old, if they turn it off, it likely won't turn back on for the winter and there isn't funds to fix it.

We have toilet waste coming through the ceiling of our admin teams office from the ward above. Patch up only as there's no funds to fix it. No one to clear up so clinical staff regularly have to stop seeing patients and run round with towels etc.

IT systems are so old and slow that for every 10 mins on the computer, 5 mins is looking at a whirring circle.

We've never had stationary, all has to be purchased ourselves (except photocopier paper and franked envelopes)

No cleaning budget for the clinical areas and patient toilets.

No training budget so all staff gradually becoming deskilled (in my clinical area I mean. I'm not allowed to keep the skills up of nurses in my non nursing specialisms for example which directly affects patient care)

I love my job, my patients and the nhs, I just wish it hadn't got this bad and we could actually do the job properly.

EnthusiasmIsDisturbed Thu 18-Jul-19 06:55:38

I agree

But then I think we need to look at other parts of Europe and how they manage healthcare

Do you work for the NHS Cherry?

Efficient I fail how to see that at work what it relies on is many of the staff working ridiculously hard to just about hold things together and often that isn’t happening (and sadly a number who don’t but that public sector work culture)

Nautiloid Thu 18-Jul-19 06:58:30

I would agree with that. Every year, we work harder to make up for short staffing and to patch cuts.
The trouble is, that can only go on for so long. Morale is incredibly low.

Tingface Thu 18-Jul-19 06:58:35

Senior managers getting involved in biro purchasing are your problem OP. Not patients presenting to be seen. You’re angry at the wrong people.

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