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To wonder if we should expect anything of the NHS?

(59 Posts)
HickDead Thu 09-Nov-17 12:56:24

I don't mean this to be a goody post but I seriously am wondering if I ABU to expect anything but basic lifesaving treatment from the NHS and if I should maybe invest in better private cover.

I have been suffering from pain for at least the past year and I haven't even been called for any diagnostic scans yet. The pain is so bad now that I've been signed off work but still no urgency seems to be attached to my referral. I hear similar complaints from others and wonder if I'm genuinely being too demanding and should just pay myself for better private health cover.

Just wondering what others' thoughts and experiences were?

HickDead Thu 09-Nov-17 12:56:52

Sorry goady post!

Cracklesfire Thu 09-Nov-17 13:16:43

Can't comment on urgency without relevant info but have you confirmed with the hospital the referrals have actually been made (I'm assuming by your GP?) & spoken to appointments about being available for a cancellation? They'll be able to give you a rough idea of waiting times too.

I work for a crisis team and often people think they've been waiting months for an appointment and there's no referral to be found on the system. It's frustrating as hell for everybody involved.

HickDead Thu 09-Nov-17 13:23:34

Yes I have checked all this. I was referred initially as routine and then changed to the Rapid access clinic, that was downgraded to routine and nobody told me until I rang. Have asked to be considered for cancellations but as I'm quite far down the list I don't think I'm eligible for that yet either.

LostMyMojoSomewhere Thu 09-Nov-17 13:24:16

My personal view - no you shouldn't. It's a shambles. Get private cover (or pay for the scan) if you possibly can.

The number of lost referrals seems so high that I suspect it's part of a plan to ration care - set fire to every third referral and deny all knowledge.

Ageing population and lack of funding doesn't help. This thread will no doubt shortly be filled with Jezza's handmaidens wringing their hands about the evil Tories, but I was treated in a fucking terrible hospital under the last Labour government (mixed ward, actual shit everywhere, nurses straight out of a Daily Mail reader's worst nightmare). The NHS' problems are not new. Have since moved area and the NHS is passable here and mostly works despite the supposed austerity. Even taking money out of the equation, some bits of the NHS are just really badly managed (but why improve when you can just blame the Tories eh?)

Lasvegas Thu 09-Nov-17 13:46:30

we have family private healthcare it costs pa the equivalent to a 2 week holiday abroad but I would sooner spend my money on health insurance rather than anything else.

HelenaDove Thu 09-Nov-17 13:50:23

Ttbb Thu 09-Nov-17 13:56:40

Welfare systems like the NHS are supposed to cover the shortfall and provide a safety net for the most vulnerable members of our society. Anyone who can afford private healthcare but uses the NHS instead is an entitled CF and are directly to blame for the completely terrible quality of healthcare that the NHS provides. Please be socially responsible and pay your way if you can afford it.

Chinesenumber45 Thu 09-Nov-17 14:03:29

It's not a shambles, but it is under pressure and I do understand your frustrations. But Sometimes I find people that are not happy with the NHS have often not had to use it in a life or death basis, of which I think they really shine!!

The NHS saved my daughters life, without it she wouldn't be here, the care she received was second to none and all the medical staff involved deserve every penny they earn... and more! And unlike many other countries I did not pay a single penny.

Spare a thought for all the lives that have been saved, and all the families that have been kept together all because of our wonderful NHS

nNina22 Thu 09-Nov-17 14:04:55

Ttbb I totally disagree that 'welfare systems like the NHS are supposed to cover the shortfall and provide a safety net for the most vulnerable members of our society'. If so I must have missed the memo

LostMyMojoSomewhere Thu 09-Nov-17 14:07:44

I find people that are not happy with the NHS have often not had to use it in a life or death basis

I have - missed cancer diagnosis. Left to suffer for a year and the only "treatment" offered was a psych referral (which got lost). Sued for medical negligence (and won).

And unlike many other countries I did not pay a single penny.

If you have ever paid tax or had a job, then yes you have.

Chinesenumber45 Thu 09-Nov-17 14:11:21

Yes I pay tax for many things, not just the NHS. What I meant by my statement was I was not presented with a £20k bill as i took my daughter out of the hospital ward.

She as as child has never paid tax and still received free, yes free treatment.

Auburn2001 Thu 09-Nov-17 14:12:49

I must have missed that memo as well. The NHS is not Medicaid.

HickDead Thu 09-Nov-17 14:16:25

The NHS have saved my life in the past and I am very grateful to them. This isn't an NHS bashing thread at all, more of a what kind of care should you expect from it. I realise times have changed and they can't give the same level of care you would have expected 20 years ago.

I can afford very basic cover which is more like a money back system for services you have gone private for.

LostMyMojoSomewhere Thu 09-Nov-17 15:02:56

Most health systems cover children for free Chinese - that is not a NHS thing.

I don't think it's healthy to suggest that "our NHS" is beyond reproach because it's free. Amongst other things, referring to "our NHS" is a gross oversimplification because it's not even a single, consistent entity - it's a patchwork of care, some great, some piss poor - and that goes across geography and specialisms. (Try needing geriatric or MH care in a deprived area before gushing too much).

As I mentioned, I am pretty happy with the care where I live now (despite the supposed cuts). A few years ago (during record NHS public satisfaction allegedly!) in a different area, it was a dire experience and a very different beast.

Theworldisfullofidiots Thu 09-Nov-17 15:17:52

The NHS isn't a 'welfare system' it's a health service.

kinkajoukid Thu 09-Nov-17 17:33:19

I agree, for diagnostics I would just pay if you can and save your mental health from taking a hit.

You can't now do the 'pay to see a consultant privately once, then get brought in under the NHS' to jump the queue a bit, but scans and simple things I would now just pay if I could and know the result sooner.
I'm sure the NHS often has a policy of making you come back over and over to see if you are serious - which just makes genuine people suffer needlessly.

TracyBeakerSoYeah Thu 09-Nov-17 17:42:42

Hick have you been back to your GP to chase the referrals up?
As unfortunately things can get "lost" in the system due to human or IT outages.
FWIW the care my family & I have received has been excellent 98% of the time.
The thought of living in the USA with their shambles of a health insurance fills me with dread.

Popstoat Thu 09-Nov-17 17:47:28

Also missed that memo Ttbb.

The principle underlying the NHS is free healthcare to ALL at the point of delivery. It's funded by primarily by taxation, so we pay for our healthcare as part of our taxes, according to our means.
As an old socialist I am so proud of our NHS & the principles that under pin it - I think it is a measure of the decency of our society & values.
As an NHS employee & user I agree that we are facing serious challenges in the NHS.

Floralnomad Thu 09-Nov-17 17:50:22

You can't now do the 'pay to see a consultant privately once, then get brought in under the NHS' to jump the queue
You can if you , are seriously ill . I’ve just done it , 2 consultant appts , a shed load of private blood tests and now I’m back under the same consultant on the NHS . My GP has also been very helpful throughout with writing prescriptions . That said I did have 3 referrals in ( normal / expediated and another NHS consultant) the NHS system before we went private . We just couldn’t wait any longer because I was likely to end up back in hospital .

Ljlsmum Thu 09-Nov-17 17:56:17

Lostmymojo- Mixed ward? Mixed sex or mixed specialty?
If it's mixed sex then you're unreasonable to expect whole wards to waste time moving patient's around each time there's a majority of the other sex and that's within a ward. Even mixed bays I couldn't care less about as long as I'm being treated well.
Mixed specialty I can understand as nursing staff have more knowledge in one area and mixing them up wastes time with the nurses having to check and double check what they're doing.

AJPTaylor Thu 09-Nov-17 17:56:17

Its tricky.
I have had 2 ops in the last 4 years on the nhs. One was a hysterectomy. Referred as a 2ww and then fast tracked for surgery. Surgery was fine. After care poor.including being fed when i should have been nil by mouth. Second op wrist surgery. Took 15 months from referral to surgery. Poot aftercare again. Not given the sheet of instructions after surgery so compromised recovery.
If i had the funds i would go private tbh.

Afternooncatnap Thu 09-Nov-17 17:59:25

You are wrong to not expect more than life saving treatment from the NHS because they offer more. It's not like they are an emergency only service but people expect them to provide routine health care. They proffess to provide all levels of health care. It is on that basis that we pay our ni taxes and we should therefore expect a reasonable level of care for all aspects of their service.

Fairylea Thu 09-Nov-17 18:00:04

What kind of pain / where is the pain? I ask because I have had chronic back pain for a year now and have only just been referred for a scan after I basically pleaded with the gp. I have been on Gabapentin, amitryptiline, diazepam etc and had physio. I was told that basically for back problems they don’t tend to give scans etc unless you have incontinence issues as there isn’t much they can do even if they do see something confused So I’m not sure about it all really.

On the other hand, I do have Addison’s disease and asthma and thyroid issues, all of which have been dealt with amazingly by all on the nhs and I couldn’t have asked for better treatment / information etc.

Mrscog Thu 09-Nov-17 18:01:28

I think we should change our expectations of the NHS, and we need a frank discussion about whether it's the right place for lots of elderly people to die. By that I mean, if I'm 95 with my 10th chest infection of the winter, is a hospital really the best place, or is it time to move to palliative home based care.

I don't actually know the answer, but with a rapidly aging population it's a conversation we need to have. I think I would personally rather bow out at home, than be on a hospital ward having IV antibiotics which will work for a bit but then just get another chest infection anyway, all the while getting frailer and frailer with a poorer quality of life

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