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to think the NHS is a bit crap

(618 Posts)
eyebags63 Tue 03-Feb-15 09:51:02

And because it is treated almost as a kind of religion nobody is allowed to say anything negative about it at all. And actually just because it is "free" (a mere 110bn a year) doesn't mean we should be eternally grateful for bad treatment.

My experiences are of elderly relatives being mistreated in hospital, non-existent services in some areas, screw-ups, buck passing, treatment delays, being treated as a number with no dignity or privacy, a significant number of staff that appear not to care one little bit. I could go on.

In other health systems people can get referred and treated within days or weeks. Here we accept that waiting for months on end in pain is normal. We accept exhausted staff, lack of access, dirty hospitals, ambulances queuing outside hospitals and restricted treatment resources.

Yes it is "free at the point of use", but isn't that half of the problem? Walk into any GP surgery or A&E and you can witness so many abuses of the system. On the other hand genuine patients are often seem to be treated as a nuisance.

I'm not saying the NHS should be scrapped but surely it is about time we at least looked at different ways of doing things.

Heels99 Tue 03-Feb-15 09:53:10

Like what? What do you propose?

ourglass Tue 03-Feb-15 09:54:44

Pay privately then. We are very lucky to live in England.

meddie Tue 03-Feb-15 09:55:47

Each successive governement has insisted on 'looking at' the NHS in line with whatever their ideology is. Thats the majority of the problems its faces tbh.

bloodygorgeous Tue 03-Feb-15 09:56:00

YABU - NHS is bloody amazing, we should be hugely proud and grateful for it.

Maybe if the current government stopped making cuts and plotting to privatise it, the problems you cite above would be slightly alleviated don't you think?

ProfessorDent Tue 03-Feb-15 09:56:09

I'm inclined to agree, and mainly there seems to be an attitude that the NHS is a jewel, but suggest anyone might pay a bit for treatment and suddenly it's not worth it. I mean, depending on one's means and how serious it is.

Folk are quite happy to queue for hours to snaffle a flatscreen telly, must still be a few hundred quid. Yet a tenner for A&E and you'd have revolution.

That said, private is not the answer any more that it was with privatisation of the railways. When you combine business with altruism you end up with a very nasty, vindictive high-minded attitude - a bit like Tony Blair's New Labour. Sort of 'We're right and moral, and if you take issue we will then try to destroy you'.

JoanHickson Tue 03-Feb-15 09:58:08

People are imperfect and make mistakes. Combined with the type of personality likely to be in a position of power you end up with what we have.

letsplayscrabble Tue 03-Feb-15 10:00:06

I'm a GP. I've spent most of the last couple of months telling fit healthy adults that it's normal to have a cold in December and no, they're not going to get any antibiotics. I'm just about to speak to someone who has missed 3 appointments here and 5 at the hospital. The NHS is free at the point of abuse and until some sort of charges are introduced for everyone, even if low for those on benefits, the waste won't stop.

eyebags63 Tue 03-Feb-15 10:03:23

No I don't think the problems would be alleviated just by pumping in more cash. The privatisation remarks are a red herring because private services in the NHS are a tiny % and it isn't just the current government that used private services.

I find your comment "the NHS is bloody amazing" hard to understand. My experience and that of my family are anything but "bloody amazing". Yes it is better than no service but it is not on par with the best either. I really think people have not just come to accept second rate service as normal, but to actually praise it as 'amazing'. confused

And FWIW I have paid privately for some treatment and the difference is night and day. Maybe they should introduce a top-up fees system for people who want to get 'routine' stuff done quicker?

girliefriend Tue 03-Feb-15 10:03:51

YABU we are really fortunate to have healthcare that is free at the point that you need it. This is simply not the case for a lot of countries where you have to pay to see a GP and services like community nurses don't exist.

I do however wonder how much longer we will have it for, my guess is that in my lifetime we will go over to an insurance based health care.

SunnyBaudelaire Tue 03-Feb-15 10:05:29

You have no idea how lucky we are with our free prescriptions for children and others.
I have no complaints about the NHS at all.

Coffeethrowtrampbitch Tue 03-Feb-15 10:06:49


I've got a rare brain disease, and have been treated at one of the top neurology centres in the country.

Without the free help provided by the NHS, I'd be dead or severely disabled and in need of care for the rest of my life.

I don't care if I have to wait past appointment times or travel long distances for treatment, I am alive because of the NHS, and if you are ever really, truly, ill you would appreciate that the way I do.

goshhhhhh Tue 03-Feb-15 10:07:24

To be honest I'm not sure the mgs is that crap but it is at breaking point. We need to stop using it as a political football - the amount of energy , goodwill and money each successive govt uses up by changing structures is ridiculous and there is no evidence it makes a difference.
Also I think it is reflection of the wider society....we are not prepared to make difficult decision and say we can't afford certain treatments or that if you turn up at a&e for a splinter then it costs x ammount that won't go elsewhere....
So no I don't think the mgs is crap as a whole....tired, exhausted, disillusioned....
& by the way I don't work in the nhs.

SoupDragon Tue 03-Feb-15 10:07:45

Maybe they should introduce a top-up fees system for people who want to get 'routine' stuff done quicker?

Or maybe people should just take out private medical insurance is that's what they want to do. Why should people who can't afford to pay be forced to wait to use NHS services by those who can pay to queue jump?

dingit Tue 03-Feb-15 10:08:01

I think they should fine people for missed appointments, like they used to at the dentist. Non payment means they are then struck off the list. There are not many excuses for missed appointments. I've never missed one.

eyebags63 Tue 03-Feb-15 10:08:48

Why do people repeat this kind of mantra "you have no idea how lucky we are..." etc. It is like the NHS is some kind of national cult and nobody can see the massive problems.

FluffyRedSocks Tue 03-Feb-15 10:09:52

I think the nhs is an amazing idea, but the money just isn't there to make it work.

I've been in hospital with my 6mo d's this weekend if I was expected to pay for that then we would have to have managed at home (which would have been life thretening) because we can't afford private healthcare, but equally, I felt the need to double check everything the nurses were doing as a few mistakes were nearly made- understaffed and overworked..

QueenInTheNorth Tue 03-Feb-15 10:10:12

YABU. If you're unhappy with it then pay for private healthcare. I will always be grateful, no matter the flaws and those that do sadly slip through the net, that I will never have to chose between my house and cancer treatment. That I will never have to remortgage my house to pay for treatment for a sick child, or chose between food and essential medication.

I would't be completely opposed to the idea of some type of payment at point of use for services such as A&E or walk in centres as it could reduce the amount of people using them for issues which would otherwise be dealt with by a GP or even a pharmacist. I can see the issues with in NHS, but I also think I would much rather live with a healthcare system as it is now, than go to say, an american system.

SunnyBaudelaire Tue 03-Feb-15 10:10:21

Because most people actually have no clue about how lucky we are with the NHS. Apart from those who have lived under systems where if your baby is ill, and it needs medicines, if you cannot pay, it dies.

treaclesoda Tue 03-Feb-15 10:12:00

I was ready to come on and say 'yabu, we dont know how lucky we are to have 'free' healthcare' . And then I stopped and thought about the details of your post and thought 'no, you're right actually'.

What I mean is, yes, I appreciate it, I really do, but I can also see that in some ways the whole system is really quite unmanageable. I was always under the impression that in other countries poor people can't access healthcare, and I thought it sas barbaric. And then I discovered that it's not necessarily true at all. I may be wrong here, but I understand that countries like Canada and France have fairly inclusive healthcare, just handled in a different way to how it's done in the UK?

There is a lot of abuse of the system in the NHS, eg not turning up for appointments. There is also a lot of inefficiency in the system - I posted a couple of months ago about how I attended an appointment, checked in at reception, but then the receptionist wrongly informed the doctor that I hadn't turned up. So that was a wasted appointment, but not through me abusing the system. Have also attended a clinic in the past where the admin staff had sent out double the number of appointments that were actually available, leaving some people waiting for hours and others not seen at all.

I don't know what the answer is though. I'd certainly prefer the creaking NHS to the ruthlessness of the American system for example.

Ludoole Tue 03-Feb-15 10:12:18

I made an appointment yesterday to see the gp. They can't get me in til the 20th.
Dp waits roughly 2 hours for every hospital appointment-even the ones when we are in the first batch of appointments.

Its frustrating and i do grumble to myself but i am grateful that we have a NHS. I just think it could be better organised.

Andro Tue 03-Feb-15 10:13:16

The NHS can be brilliant, but it would naive to suggest that all areas work to an acceptable standard.

Resus and intensive care are phenomenal, mental health support not so much (paediatric mh care can be especially bad).

SoftSheen Tue 03-Feb-15 10:14:20

YAB extremely U.

LurkingHusband Tue 03-Feb-15 10:14:42

A lot could be improved in the NHS if everybody realised it isn't "free".

Because MrsLH has ... complicated ... health, we spend quite a lot of time in various clinics, specialists, appointments etc. The never-less-than-20% Did Not Attends are galling in the extreme.

If we assume appointments account for 50% of the total NHS budget (simplistic and wrong, but demonstrates the principle) then writ large, it means there is effectively a 10% improvement waiting to be made just by getting people to attend the APPOINTMENTS THEY ARE GIVEN.

Start with a £25 deposit to register with a GP - that's your non-refundable deposit for your next appointment.

ahbollocks Tue 03-Feb-15 10:15:44

Yabu - I had a emc and a long stay in hospital then dd needed prescription milk due to crazy allergies.
In other countries (without insurance) this would have cost upwards of £70,000.
Two of my sisters are employed by the nhs, and mil and fil. They all love their work and are proud to be a part of the service.

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