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To be annoyed at how some people slag off the NHS?

(295 Posts)
snowtunesgirl Wed 28-Nov-12 16:45:55

No it's not perfect but I'm still grateful that we have a National Health Service where if you need an ambulance, they don't first check you for Health insurance.

A friend of mine wasn't feeling well and had a bad experience with his local GP where he's not registered and for some reason they wouldn't let him temporarily register as an emergency. Therefore, he had to go the Walk-In Centre which was about an hour away.

It turns out that he has an ear infection and tonsillitis so felt pretty rotten but he's making out that he was on death's door and is banging on about how the NHS is shit because the first doctor wouldn't see him. He's also saying that lots of people die on the NHS every day due to neglect. I'm not saying that this doesn't happen but surely it's more of a rarity than the norm?

I've had some shitty experiences with the NHS but on the whole a REALLY positive one. I think it's a shame that all the bad bits of the NHS gets reported in the papers and somehow all the good stories never do. sad

KarlosKKrinkelbeim Wed 28-Nov-12 19:36:33

But that is often the problem, Kate. Unless you are in acute situation, the people who are meant to focus on you aren't really bothered. And the result of this can be that an acute situation is created where there needn't have been one. Bad for patient, bad for public purse. And no-one ever seems to be required to carry the can for it.

Sirzy Wed 28-Nov-12 19:40:41

I think part of the problem is that it is such a postcode lottery, some of the problems people have in one area in the country are positives in other areas. People have mentioned about the poor treatment of chronic conditions whereas my experience with DS is the opposite.

He was diagnosed with asthma at 12 months and his consultant has since done everything he can to try to get him as stable as possible. Thinking 'outside the box' and prescribing drugs which aren't normally used for children his age. I feel very lucky that he is being cared for by a team who are dedicated to helping the children in their care, when he is ill I have full faith in the staff who treat him. Its just a shame that it would appear that for so many the NHS doesn't work that way.

Solopower1 Wed 28-Nov-12 19:40:49

Clearly some people have had truly awful experiences, and of course they should complain! More than that, they should name and shame, in order to make sure it doesn't happen again to someone else.

But I always worry when people criticise the NHS, because I think it just plays into the government's hands and they can't wait to tell us 'Well, the NHS isn't working, so let's privatise it'. It's all part of their plan, and it's what happened to the railways before they were privatised, too. Privatisation will never, not in a million years, make things better in the NHS imo.

But Desperate, I'm so sorry for what happened to you. Clearly that should never, ever be allowed to happen to anyone else.

purpleraindance Wed 28-Nov-12 19:43:52

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piglettsmummy Wed 28-Nov-12 19:45:08

I agree solarpower I am going to name and shame all that fucked up my daughters life I think naming and shaming is important as it leaves those few good people out of the picture smile

baublesandbaileys Wed 28-Nov-12 19:45:28

funky if your american friend had a relocation package with the job it may well include health insurance to tide her over until she is a normal resident. Non residents do get gp and emergency a&e care! so that does buy some time. It's the further down the road stuff that isn't free, which is the kind of stuff that ex-pats often travel back for thinking that it doesn't matter that they havent lived here for years so long as they have an English passport (i.e. they've already been diagnosed and "patched up" but been told they'll need an op)

piglettsmummy Wed 28-Nov-12 19:46:03

blushoops swear word was sensored there sorry blush

SchroSawMummyRidingSantaClaus Wed 28-Nov-12 19:46:29

I agree, to a point. The NHS is an amazing thing and obviously helps many with serious/lifelong conditions. Myself included.

I also think though, there is so much going on to save money that they are probably actually losing money. It took me 11 years to get a proper diagnosis of a condition that could have been diagnosed very quickly in the first place had I been sent to see the specialist. Because I was un-diagnosed, I was at the GP every week for years in agony because no proper investigation above blood tests was being done. The amount of NHS time I have taken up!

Also, tonsillitus can actually leave you "at deaths door".

baublesandbaileys Wed 28-Nov-12 19:46:58

what has speaking English got to do with it? there are some people with poor english who are normal residents, and its easier to learn English once you are in an English speaking country - so what?

baublesandbaileys Wed 28-Nov-12 19:51:20

yes schro too many false economies!

lots of false economies

and cleggy-weg wants to demonstrate that spectacularly with getting rid of bank staff!

for those of you who don't know what banks staff are, hospitals used to spend a fortune on agency staff, they cost the hospitals about 3 times what the agency staff memeber was actually paid!
So hospitals set up their own in house "agencies" called "staff banks" or "nurse banks" so they could have a list of back up/stand in staff to call on instead of agencies, thus cutting out the massive agency fees!

but some twat has looked at the sums and said "wow you spend a lot on banks staff there, why not just not have em?"
err because you would then have to go back to using agancy you utter twat-head! and it'll cost the hospitals 3 times as much as they are spending on bank staff!

Solopower1 Wed 28-Nov-12 19:53:52

I don't like discussions about who should or shouldn't get treatment - it's so mean. As soon as someone has a medical condition, they should get treated, whatever language they speak, however long they've been living here.

And, fwiw, the people who come over here to live also pay taxes. People on temporary visas are often students who will be the next generation of doctors. You can't have a service that discriminates against certain sections of the population.

BurnedTheToastAgain Wed 28-Nov-12 19:56:37

Oblomov, the US insurance system is a total nightmare. One main problem is, the insurance is tied in with your job. When you change jobs, your whole life/future is in the balance. You get bridge insurance, but it's difficult and an already anxious time (redundancy, being fired, etc) is made worse by the fact that your family's entire healthcare is also at risk! A good friend of mine cancelled maternity insurance after 1st baby (one's all they wanted). Then she got pg accidentally, while waiting for periods to re-establish after bf 1st child and just before her coil appt. She and her husband were not just facing an unexpected pregnancy, but an approx $16,000 C-section bill (medically necessary c-section). Almost ruined their marriage, the stress about money. Charges in US are ruinous (a friend was in shock and trauma for years after his emergency appendectomy bills started arriving!) and the pre-existing conditions get-out clause for insurance companies is obscene.

purpleraindance Wed 28-Nov-12 20:00:59

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Oblomov Wed 28-Nov-12 20:02:12

sorry, i was refering to a much more simplistic episode, not re an american gettingn health cover, but simply as a british tourist getting medical insurance for pre-existing diabetes,for a holdiay to Florida and then needing treatment whilst there, and it all being plain sailing, before, during and after.

MissVerinder Wed 28-Nov-12 20:03:10

My DP has type 1 Diabetes, dx at 2yo, and he would probably be dead but definitely blind without the NHS.

Tinymrscollings Wed 28-Nov-12 20:03:20

I wasn't trying to be controversial, Baubles. I just mean that if I was, for instance, an Urdu speaker who had no need to use English in my day to day life and therefore I didn't speak it confidently I'd find it much more difficult to just pick up the phone and make sure that my notes hadn't fallen down the back of the Nurses Station. As the mother of a sick child I can tell you that you need to be able to be proactive, and as someone who lives in a very diverse community I can also tell you that there are plenty of people who would find that difficult.

babydude Wed 28-Nov-12 20:05:46

I am very greatful for the NHS. Thinking about the amount of health care my family and I have had to access over the last 6 years, we would have been royally fucked if we didn't have free health care.

From maternity services, DS's stay in the SCBU, my hospital admission, a scalding and burns treatments, psychology services for DS's SN and for me as well, the NHS has comee through.

I just wish it wasn't being so undermined and cut to pieces.

marriedinwhite Wed 28-Nov-12 20:06:18

Nope. I have encountered the rudest people in my life in the NHS, doctors, nurses, midwives, health visitors, admin staff. Personally I think if it wasn't free at the point of service and depended on payment from patients it would improve dramatically. The staff employed within it would have adopt basic standards of good manners and courtesy let alone effective clinical practices.

Also, I don't think non essential treatments should be provided by the NHS.

baublesandbaileys Wed 28-Nov-12 20:06:47

"how can people who dont speak english have intentions to come here to work?"

really? you really need this spelt out?
so say you are a professional, with poor English, who wants to work and live in England, you can't just go into your profession as English is essential so you work in a non front line job while you learn through emersion!

DH and I talk about moving abroad, I can only learn languages through emersion, he can get quite far with lessons or CDs/DVDs, so if we moved, he could go straight into his normal profession and manage, but I would either take a few months to just concentrate on learning the language, or do a non front line job (chambermaid, nanny for someone who wanted me to speak to their children in English etc) until I became more fluent

It's often grandparents who are "normal residents" without speaking English well, the provide a vital role by providing childcare for the rest of the family who work and pay into the country. Their adult children may speak English very well as they are out working, and the children speak English at school etc, but through the parent's choice the native language is spoken in the home

LDNmummy Wed 28-Nov-12 20:08:40


My home country have nothing like an NHS and everything is private. My mum sends money every month to her mother for basic medicines. My grandmother was involved in a minor car related incident during the summer and we had to send money back to pay for her healthcare because even though we have arranged some health insurance for her, it wasn't valid at the hospital she was seen in because it was outside the district covered by her insurance. She had traveled to the next town over for church when the accident happened.

When we visit next we are going to have to pay lots more fees and sort out a better level of health insurance.

baublesandbaileys Wed 28-Nov-12 20:09:08

"Personally I think if it wasn't free at the point of service and depended on payment from patients it would improve dramatically"

yeah that would be nice, but my experience of living abroad where it wasn't free was the opposite! real doctors are gods attitude and you just sit there like a good little wommin patient and don't question the -messiah- doctor! Oh and the nurses mustn't question them either!

BurnedTheToastAgain Wed 28-Nov-12 20:09:37

Agree BabyDude and others who really value the NHS (whilst recognising that it is not (nor is any system ever 100%) perfect). Have had excellent treatment (including a hospital appt today). Surgeries, babies, etc. All 99% superb care (except one pesky nurse, who (of course) was supply, not staff!).

expansivegirth Wed 28-Nov-12 20:11:29

I wouldn't slag off the NHS. I believe it ought to be here, and I have always trusted NHS care (so that when I looked for a private doctor I made sure that it was someone taking time out of a consultant job at an NHS hospital... NHS feeling like a stamp of quality).

But it's getting harder to feel proud. Not because there is anything inherently wrong with the NHS, but because the effect of cut-backs is showing. If anyone is to be slagged off, it is the policy makers who are allowing the NHS to be diminished.

CaseyShraeger Wed 28-Nov-12 20:13:46

Any contact anyone under 60 in my family has had with the NHS has been overall fantastic - yes, there have been a few minor cock-ups, inefficiencies and annoyances but it's been great value for money.

However, when it comes to older family members that becomes the exception rather than the rule - or perhaps it's just that "minor" cock-ups are harder to shake off when you're more vulnerable to begin with. If I had to guess I'd predict that it will be substandard NHS care that will finish off my father within the next five years or so.

CaptainVonTrapp Wed 28-Nov-12 20:14:41


People get some really bad treatment from the NHS (as we've seen from this thread). Its not ocassional, its all the time. I hate seeing that belittled by suggesting that complaints are about things like a 20 minute wait for the GP.

By the way, tonsillitis can land you in hospital and people do actually die from it.

Using the US system as a comparison is not a good benchmark. Many European countries have excellent healthcare systems. Much better than the US or our own.

Many of the excellent staff within the NHS are demoralised by the 'system' and the fact that they cannot provide the level of care they would like to due to the constraints of the system/ lack of money. I've had some great experiences too but have also been let down in a way I will never forget.

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