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Fed up with the NHS

(128 Posts)
AliGrylls Fri 18-Sep-09 16:42:06

I am wondering if I am the only one who feels that the NHS is bleeding this country dry and is absolutely useless at the job it is supposed to do.

I had, what I thought was, a bad experience on the NHS when I was in hospital being induced in that I had to wait 2 hours for a saline drip during which time I threw up almost constantly and then had to wait a further 2 hours for an epidural when the pain following an amniotomy was excruciating. Eventually I had a c-section that went smoothly.

This however, appears to be nothing in comparison to what some people experience.

Friends have told me much worse. In particular I have heard that in St Georges (local teaching hospital which is the size of heathrow) in Tooting you can expect to wait up to 4 hours for an epidural. Also, one of my friends told me of a girl from her antenatal class who was in labour for 14 hours, who apparently had to give birth in the labour ward because there were no delivery suites available. She was not offered any pain relief - not even gas and air because in the labour ward they don't have the equipment available.

AIBU for thinking the healthcare system in this country is shocking (I guess I am thinking in relation to childbirth but generally as well). If not, please tell me your positive story to help me from going crazy on this subject.

LuluMamaaaaarrrrr Fri 18-Sep-09 16:45:24

i would still rather we had the NHS , albeit with its faults, where you can walk into any hospital in the country and get emergecny treatment without paying more.

whoisasking Fri 18-Sep-09 16:45:57


"NHS is bleeding this country dry" This is a strange comment. Please explain.

Alambil Fri 18-Sep-09 16:46:59

I disagree - DS has at times, been very poorly since birth and has had many a trip to a GP or hospital, without one of which he wouldn't be here today as he had severe pneumonia that was diagnosed by our GP over one Christmas time (I think it was)

I wouldn't be able to take him to the doctor so frequently when his asthma renders him breathless for days on end if I had to pay for his treatment constantly.

I love the NHS

Justwantout Fri 18-Sep-09 16:47:48

This is what happens when every single person wants everything handed to them on a plate regardless of what they contribute.

The NHS has it's good points but mostly is shocking. The staffing levels are sick. It would take me hours and hours to get to all my patients and that was with working 14 hour days without breaks.

Trying to give everything to everyone always backfires.

CommonNortherner Fri 18-Sep-09 16:48:54

I don't think it's intellectually rigorous to extrapolate that the whole NHS is "bleeding this country dry" and "absolutely useless" from one part of your own experience in it and one hospital which obviously needs improvement.

slug Fri 18-Sep-09 16:55:17

YABU. The NHS may not be perfect, but the alternatives are worse. I suspect a lot of what is "bleeding us dry" via the NHS is the scores of people who don't really need to access it but feel it's their right to have their every ache and pain administered to immediately. Ask any GP about the patients who block appointments with trivial complaints.

Northernlurker Fri 18-Sep-09 16:55:29

Oh ok then. We'll just close all nhs services - all ambulances, A&E, maternity, diabetes care, dialysis, ICU, dentistry, physio etc etc and you can find a private provider and pay per treatment at the point of care. Oh yes that will be much better for the nation. hmm

Your post is idiotic. If you are not happy with the care you receive then complain and your feedback will be used to improve circumstances. Throwing up in labour is horrible, as is waiting for an epidural but you need to think about why you had to wait - it's because somebody else needed those staff more. Just get a grip and get down on your knees and be thankful. Do you even know what your birth would have cost in a private sysytem?

BethNoire Fri 18-Sep-09 16:58:47

They'vesaved my life and ds's (eclampsia); ben great over my boy's autism diagnoses and provided SALT that my son needs to talk.

DS1's birth was bad in manyw ays but on the whole baalnce we have an awfullot to be thankful for. My nephew in NICU for 4 weeks unharmed, for a start.

The people who would miss out if it didnt exist are almost always the ones who need it most- the poorest sectors of our society are littered with carers, the disabled, mentally ill, those with low level Sn that was neever picked up buthas always been a barrier- these are the very same ones who need the services the most.

Besides, very few people overall never ocontribute- post redundancy DH pays almost nothing in stamp (self employed start up) yet for many, many years he worked and paid in, as indeed he should have done.

ALso- I always think when we talk about things like 'Trying to give everything to everyone always backfires.'- very, very few of us are immune to life, one car accident or stroke is all it takes for them to be us..... and very few have enough money for every care we may need: care for a severly disabled person can top out at £200k a year in some cases- and how many of us could sustain that for very long? yet how many of us are guaranteed to be healthy tomorrow? Or even at a more likely level, have a job tomorrow?

EldonAve Fri 18-Sep-09 17:02:56

The NHS is a huge beast of an organisation

I don't believe we get good value for money but reform will be very difficult

LuluMamaaaaarrrrr Fri 18-Sep-09 17:03:09

waiting 4 hours for an epidural is most likely because one aneasthatist is in theatre attending a crash section nd the other will be attending someone else who is in greater need.. there are not unlmited numbers of medical staff and emergencies come first

re no gas & air on the AN ward.. there should be cylinders on little wheels that can be moved around ,and you should be given pain releif if you aer in pain
that is definitely a complaint that should be raised with that paritucalr ward

need to get central government and PCTs to sort out pay freezes, redundancies, employment freezes and the fact it can take two years to perusade a trust that more staff are needed

Sassybeast Fri 18-Sep-09 17:04:14


beaniesinthebucketagain Fri 18-Sep-09 17:04:35

i personally couldnt fault the nhs, i do however agree in some areas it is lacking, sad but true, its fantastic here, although my old gp surgery just 10mins from my new was awful, dont blame the nhs blame the individuals responsible, without the nhs wed have to pay huge amounts and my csection which saved my sons life would have left me worrying about a HUGE bill while caring for a new baby! Although occasionally lacking ID never complain!

smallwhitecat Fri 18-Sep-09 17:08:13

Message withdrawn

EldonAve Fri 18-Sep-09 17:11:10

I think people tend to think of it as free whereas our tax and NI is paying for it

Northernlurker Fri 18-Sep-09 17:11:33

So in what way is the NHS not fit for purpose?

AliGrylls Fri 18-Sep-09 17:12:27

Maybe I was being a bit dramatic about the bleeding the country dry but as a nation we do pay a lot for it through taxes.

Don't get me wrong - conceptually I love the NHS where everything is free at the point of delivery. For a real emergency an NHS hospital is the best place to be.

However, I do expect that if there is a system that it works efficiently. The hospitals in my area are notorious for losing referrals, being really slow at dealing with everything and for being grungey generally.

Last week they lost a referral for my son who is 3 months old and whose weight has now dropped below 1st centile. I know this is not an imminent medical emergency but the thing that got me was firstly, the attitude when I called up to chase which was "you expect to get an appointment that quickly". Secondly, by the time it has taken to sort the whole thing out it could potentially create an emergency if my DS got sick.

cory Fri 18-Sep-09 17:14:10

it does seem like you want to have your cake and eat it:

on the one hand, the NHS is "bleeding the country dry" so presumably costing too much

on the other hand, you wanted better service

the other alternative, private hospital care that you pay for, is available and you could have taken that up

but don't expect everybody else to want that, because the vast majority either don't want it or can't afford it

BethNoire Fri 18-Sep-09 17:14:14

'Trying to give everything to everyone always backfires.'

SWC hoew is that quote supportive of a universal health care system even if not the NHS model?

OrmIrian Fri 18-Sep-09 17:14:36

AIBU for thinking that the healthcare system in this country is pretty good (I guess I am thinking in relation to childbirth but generally as well). Well, IME and in that of the majority of people I know. Which is the level of 'evidence' you present.

NHS undoubtedly needs reform but how to do that I don't know. Meanwhile, I am quite happy to trust to the NHS for healthcare for me and mine.

cory Fri 18-Sep-09 17:15:35

sorry, x-post

your recent post made it clearer what you are actually complaining about

and yes, there are certainly areas where it could do better

charis Fri 18-Sep-09 17:16:10

I have had dreadful experiences with the NHS. I have been dangerously misdiagnosed, given the wrong drugs to the extent of liver damage and generally become the owner of no less than three letters of apology for poor treatment.

I used to think the NHS was a marvellous thing and the envy of the rest of the world. Now I think that we are being conned into accepting third rate medical care for top dollar prices. I wouldn't do without my BUPA cover now unless I couldn't afford food.

LeonieSoSleepy Fri 18-Sep-09 17:17:04

Message withdrawn

EvilEdnasTwinSister Fri 18-Sep-09 17:17:26

Ok, here is my (mostly) positive experience of the NHS.

They have saved my life (complications after childbirth led to my bowel splitting) and the lives of my DTs who were born 7 weeks early - they spent a month in SCBU, and one of them subsequently spent weeks in hospital culminating in a week in St Georges PICU due to pneumonia which had involved an ambulance coming to our local hospital in the middle of the night to transport her.

Mainly tho I am thankful for the care my eldest DD has received since she was diagnosed with T1 Diabetes. Her consultant and the nurses who care for her are really good and when I think of the amount of money it would cost us to pay privately for the appointments to see them, the equipment we use, insulin, testing strips, etc etc I do not see how we could sustain it.

Itsjustafleshwound Fri 18-Sep-09 17:18:07

Payment for a service i.e. going private doesn't guarantee that there will be better service ... some of my friends have had the most awful care and on top of this were huge and doctor bills..

Everyone has views on the NHS - I hate the fact that there is a postcode lottery wrt various treatments and medicines, the closing of local hospitals to make way for super-hospitals, the hoops you need to jump through to get treatment , but all in all it is one of the good things that I like about living in the UK..

I come from a country where private medical aid is a necessity - my MIL was having a major heart attack in the parking lot of a hospital and they refused treatment until my SIL could provide proof that my MIL had medical aid ...

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