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So much chat about schools, why is no one looking at the NHS?

(148 Posts)
headachehenry Thu 14-May-20 17:32:29

So much ripping apart of the plans to get schools back with different measures, what education will look like from now on, etc - understandable. I'm really surprised that no one is asking questions about the NHS in a covid world.

I'm in therapies in a role where I need to touch and examine patients in order to assess, diagnose and treat patients. We've been told that we won't be allowed to offer face to face for 18 months and can only treat people over the phone or in virtual appointments - conditions can not get diagnosed this way. Colleagues are having to talk parents through doing procedures on themselves online, talk relatives through doing complex rehab over the phone, procedures we use for diagnostics are suspended long term, therapy assessments on small children being carried out remotely (challenging when they won't stay on camera). Many staff members told to plan to work from home (in unsuitable environments with lack of confidentiality with family members) indefinitely.

The NHS is not all about inpatient care (which remains) or elective surgery (which is all you ever hear about) - I'm really surprised that people aren't on here ripping NHS services to shreds. I'm embarrassed that it's clap night again because I feel ashamed at the service I'm able to offer from now on (I know it's not my fault, it's the covid NHS) and wish people would shout about it 😢

OP’s posts: |
Bigfishylittlefishy Thu 14-May-20 18:45:58

It’s bad isn’t it? My 4 year old has had all of his eye appointments cancelled for the next year. He was due to have an eye test as they were not sure he had the correct prescription. He could potentially be going around for the next year with poor vision and no patching? I am so worried he will not get up to driving standard. I know this age is absolutely crucial for his eye development.

Yankeedoodle123 Thu 14-May-20 19:29:29

I think a lot don’t dare criticise in the current situation, but it’s very sad the impact it’s having that i’ve read stories about... people waiting and waiting for diagnosis for suspected cancer that should be 2 weeks, but they aren’t getting appointments weeks later, other debilitating illnesses where people are getting worse due to not getting treatment. I was meant to have an appointment end of March for an ultrasound and was cancelled, who knows when i’ll get another. I hope they pick up the pace on the aspects that were delayed, but from what you say OP in some areas things won’t be ‘normal’ for a substantial amount of time, and the potential impact is very concerning.

IHateCoronavirus Thu 14-May-20 19:32:48

My treatments have been cancelled too sad

minipie Thu 14-May-20 19:34:28

Unfortunately at the moment everyone’s focus seems to be on Covid and Covid cases/deaths only. The long term effects of what you describe won’t be visible for much longer and it won’t be possible to count them as clearly (and they may not amount to death although will severely impact quality of life) so they’re not getting the attention.

That said, there is a horrifying thread on MN from a few weeks ago about the treatments that people are not currently getting and the long term damage they fear it will do. So it is being discussed - but so far not much in the press or by the government.

user1497207191 Thu 14-May-20 19:35:04

It's because the media have the attention span of a gnat and can't cope with two things at once. It's what they've done for years now. We get wall to wall obsessive coverage of the "latest fad" and then a few weeks later it's never mentioned again.

headachehenry Thu 14-May-20 19:37:59

@user1497207191 sorry, yes I meant on MN rather than the media. Hundreds and hundreds of posts talking about schools but virtually no one asking about the NHS. Both massive public sector areas and both facing complete change for the future.

OP’s posts: |
BovaryX Thu 14-May-20 19:43:58

OP,
I think this is a really important point. The oncologist Karl Sikora has been warning that up to 60,000 could die as a consequence of cancelled cancer treatment and diagnoses. One of the first responses to Covid in March was to remove vulnerable elderly patients from hospital to care homes. Why was the most vulnerable demographic decanted into care homes without considering the consequences? This is from the Times. I don't understand why there isn't more anger about this. Neither do I understand why anyone thinks hospitals running at a much reduced capacity is a sign of success or something to celebrate. Not if this is the upshot:

data on other NHS services has been published to the end of March. The overall NHS waiting list stood at 4.2 million, down from 4.4 million in the previous month . Analysts said this was likely to reflect the number of referrals dropping faster than treatments.Waiting times for treatment increased sharply, with the percentage on the waiting list waiting longer than the 18-week target up from 16.8 per cent to 20 per cent.There was a drop in the number of patients sent as “urgent” cancer referrals by GPs, to be seen by a consultant within a fortnight.In March there were 181,873 such patients, down from 188,740 the month before. Compared with 2019, the number was down 16,545 — a drop of about 8 per cent.Lynda Thomas, chief executive at Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “We raised the alarm about cancer waiting time results being at their worst and the acute impact of delays on patients long before the virus hit. Fears surrounding diagnosis and treatment have not gone away during the crisis, they have multiplied, and today’s results are the first indication of just how seriously cancer services could be impacted by coronavirus

user1497207191 Thu 14-May-20 19:44:18

sorry, yes I meant on MN rather than the media. Hundreds and hundreds of posts talking about schools but virtually no one asking about the NHS. Both massive public sector areas and both facing complete change for the future.

But MN is fed by what people see in the media isn't it? People see a news report or a twitter posting, and come onto MN to start a thread about it.

BovaryX Thu 14-May-20 19:45:13

www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/coronavirus-a-amp-e-visits-plunge-to-lowest-on-record-962hhb3rc

ProfYaffle Thu 14-May-20 19:50:45

I'm also shocked at how invisible the NHS business-as-usual seems to be in the national conversation. We're told when pubs 'might' open but not when health care will be restored.

Dh's brain scan has been postponed for 'at least' 3 months and dd1's orthodontic appointments just cancelled outright with no indication of when they might start again.

Crimsonnightlotus Thu 14-May-20 19:51:35

Why would I be unhappy about NHS? I am totally happy about it. Before lockdown, they made sure my ds got enough meds. We had phone apps. We can contact them if we need to. Regular 3/4 monthly apps been cancelled, but still I am quite happy with what we got under the circumstances.

TempsPerdu Thu 14-May-20 19:54:29

Yes, I’m surprised this is flying under the radar too. Just in my own friendship circle I know two children whose serious degenerative conditions aren’t being treated properly due to Covid, and someone who is having to do their own physio using YouTube videos. I’m sure this is the tip of the iceberg. Sadly by the time the scale of the problem is revealed the news agenda is likely to have moved on.

KeepWashingThoseHands Thu 14-May-20 19:55:53

YANBU

Thank you for starting the thread. I hope lots of people email their MP about these sorts of issues.

SpeedofaSloth Thu 14-May-20 19:56:00

I think the teaching unions have been very visible in the media, whereas the NHS stories have been very different in focus.

David Blunkett on Today programme this morning was critical of those unions for targeting parents' fearfulness.

NHS coverage has focused on PPE or positive stories/ heroes and angels/ charities sewing, baking etc.

The difference is striking, now you mention it.

SpeedofaSloth Thu 14-May-20 19:57:34

I could really do with a dental hygienist appointment though, if I'm honest.

Molly333 Thu 14-May-20 19:59:14

Out of interest what role do you do ? Im working out of the nhs but am intetested in applying for roles ?

MrsSpenserGregson Thu 14-May-20 20:00:42

I know a specialist cancer consultant who has been redeployed to the Covid ward. She is a life-saving pioneer in her field. Hasn’t seen a cancer patient for 2 months, and we live in an area where the Covid ward has never been at more than 40% capacity. Yes, I’m furious. I can’t believe more people aren’t.

Not to mention all the day-to-day stuff that has been cancelled - smear tests, orthodontist appointments, routine blood pressure checks, vaccinations (I’m thinking of the in-school vaccine programmes such as HPV which my daughter had been due to have on March 23rd if the schools hadn’t closed on March 20th). The backlog is going to be massive, and all the undetected problems are going to add up to one very big ticking time bomb.

And right now there are people clapping and cheering on my street. And letting off fireworks. Ffs.

Sootybear Thu 14-May-20 20:01:56

My DD has crohns and she's been left on a liquid diet which is fine but she's been on it for a long time now and any appointments concerning possible surgery have been put on hold. She is so upset that surgery has been delayed indefinitely as she can't eat much at all. She's had phone appointments but she's upset as she doesn't know what to do. I'm not blaming the NHS and I realize that lots of people are in the same situation, but it's hard for her.

tilder Thu 14-May-20 20:02:06

Dh says they are trying to work out how to do it safely. Keeping clean areas and covid areas and a waiting bit for unknowns.

There are issues with some procedures because of aerosols. Certain rooms required or adapted. Ppe makes things a lot slower. Hours instead of minutes for some procedures.

Lots of people have been reassigned. Lots of stuff cancelled, equally a lot of people don't want to come in.

I think they adapted for the covid surge, now they are working out how to return to normal but with covid precautions. Aware that they may need to return to covid land if there is another surge.

It's all a bit shit. Lots of uncertainty. Learning and adapting all the time. They all want to get things normal, but don't want to be a covid hub.

LilacTree1 Thu 14-May-20 20:02:21

“ I'm in therapies in a role where I need to touch and examine patients in order to assess, diagnose and treat patients. We've been told that we won't be allowed to offer face to face for 18 months”

That’s shocking. I was very pro NHS before....

missyB1 Thu 14-May-20 20:03:22

Our local healthcare Trust are using the current situation to close our A&E. They’ve been trying to do it for years but locals kept up the pressure to stop them. Now the chief exec thinks she can do it without anyone noticing angry

And yes getting cancer diagnostic services back up and running is proving a logistical nightmare. Dh works in Endoscopy normally and is desperate to get back there.

tilder Thu 14-May-20 20:06:29

This is the unintended death issue talked about. The concern that lockdown would result in people not getting treatment. Getting a covid normal system in place will not happen over night.

KaleJuicer Thu 14-May-20 20:06:55

18 months is extraordinary. Would you be prepared to don ICU level PPE to do your role? I’m just so so glad that my children, who needed extensive, hands-on, therapy in their early years are now teenagers.

MintyMabel Thu 14-May-20 20:13:43

DD is having physio over video call, we had an ortho follow up by phone. They said she could have her surgery now if we wanted but we’re not happy with the process happening at the moment so we’re waiting. Her wee friend is having Ortho surgery at the moment. I’ve had my appointments by phone. The GP has also called to follow up some stuff.

For us, the NHS isn’t an issue. I expect the reason there are more threads about schools is because that’s the issue that will be affecting most people on a parenting website.

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