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AIBU to to really disheartened at how it seem most view the NHS

285 replies

Loubielouslonglegs · 30/10/2018 23:51

I'm a medical secretary to a breast/plastic surgery consult in the NHS. I've seen the decline of services in the last few years and absolutely disagree with it, yet understand budget.

I've been on a thread where a poster's parent could drive herself to hospital and was kicking up a stink because she wasn't 'taxied home'.

My consultant came back from clinic shocked that one of his patients started throwing chairs and hurling abuse because he wouldn't perfom surgery unless she'd seen a psychologist.

The only time I ever get any feedback is complaints - I've been offered a post in the private sector almost 2x my 23,000 nhs wage . Now finally thinking I should put myself first x

OP posts:
AndromedaPerseus · 31/10/2018 00:08

I agree with you there is a huge entitlement from some of the public towards the NHS. Treatment is free but some think the NHS should also fund everything else. We had a parent demand the NHS fund a nurse to escort their child on a flight for a holiday abroad and also pay cargo for their medical supplies. When we said we couldn’t do it and the should use the child’s DLA for the extra costs they put in a complaint about us.

Part of the problem is politicians will not allow a honest discussion with the public what the NHS can do so they go believing everything will be provided for free. At the moment I can not see the NHS surviving in its current form in the next 5 years we on the clinical side can see the massive demand for services but not the means to meet it. The public imo also don’t want to believe there aren’t infinte resources and kick off if we say no

BlingLoving · 31/10/2018 00:28

Coming from a country with no / v little state aided healthcare, I am dazzled by the nhs. I find it very upsetting that so many people in the UK seem to think it's this magic free thing and that they can make ridiculous demands. I pay for my long term medication myself because i can afford it and would rather let the nhs use it's funds for other things. While I don't expect everyone to do that, I don't understand the ridiculous sense of entitlement that comes with the nhs - e.g. the regular Facebook posts telling people they can get Calpol free on the nhs. That should only be taken up by people who are genuinely in dire financial straits, not middle class English families who are shopping at Ocado and getting through a few bottles of £10 wine every week.

Chouetted · 31/10/2018 00:43

I don't know - when my opthalmologist says come back in six months, I ring up for my appointment after a year or 18 months, because I know they don't have the resources to see me every six months. It's a bit galling to think I could be losing my sight on the waiting list, but have to put up with it because budgets. But maybe that's just my sense of entitlement speaking.

I will say that the NHS have done a lot for me that they didnt have to, and saved my life, but most of my feedback is complaints because that reflects the service I get. I even get told to complain by clinicians, because apparently it means more when it comes from the patients...?

JanetLovesJason · 31/10/2018 00:49

There are a lot of people who don’t make ridiculous demands on the NHS though, or kick up a fuss when things go wrong. There are entitled, rude, selfish people everywhere- including within the NHS.

OhTheRoses · 31/10/2018 01:07

But the OP on that thread wasn't kicking up a fuss because her mother wasn't taxied home. She was upset because during a pre-op assessment her mother developed a heart rate of 150 and was wheeled across a large hospital site, downhill to A&E because her heart rate caused concern. After two hours an old lady of 77 was discharged from A&E, disorientated re directions, and had to trudge up a steep hill to find her car. Her dd was naturally upset that nobody called her, although they had told her mother they had and there was no answer.

I think you need to be mindful of the extent to which people are messed around by the NHS. It is funded by the people for the people and that has been forgotten by most of the people who work in it. It has become an untouchable behemoth. It needs replacing with something that is more accountable, more efficient and which instils in its staff the fact they are providing a service that isn't free.

The alternative doesn't need to be a US system but should be run along Continental lines. The systems in France and Austria, Australia too, are much better.

And yes, the public needs to start kicking up an almighty fuss about poor service and sub optimal clinical standards.

The lady throwing chairs by the way had probably veen let down by woeful mental health services and frankly I think it's discriminatory to that sort of criticism in this way. Have you not done your E&D training.

It shouldn't take too long for this thread to go pop in any event as Mnet doesn't allow threads about threads.

ProudThrilledHappy · 31/10/2018 01:50

Ds recently missed a very important appointment because, despite confirming my correct address with the department we were referred to, they sent the appointment letter to a property that we haven’t lived in for 8 years.

When I called them to find out why I hadn’t received the appointment, they confirmed the address on file was my current one and couldnt explain why the appointment letter was sent to an old property.

They then refused to give a new appointment because we had failed to attend the first, and said I had to go back to the Gp to be re-referred. So because of one small admin mistake an important hospital appointment slot was wasted, we had to use up my GPs time all over again and DS has to wait an additional 3 months for a test that will determine whether he requires urgent medical treatment or not.

I agree the NHS is a valuable service and some people abuse it but there are some serious inefficiencies costing hospitals a lot as well, I really don’t agree it is just patients causing to to fail

JanetLovesJason · 31/10/2018 02:03

My mum used to receive letters informing her of the date/time for her next chemo appointment. Letters dated and postmarked the same date as the appointment.

When she phoned to reschedule, at best she’d get a lecture about wasting valuable NHS time by missing her appointment, at worst it would just ring and ring and ring. She was too terrified, as an elderly lady with great cancer, to point out the source of the error.

JanetLovesJason · 31/10/2018 02:03

Breast cancer

HelenaDove · 31/10/2018 02:48

@OhtheRoses So this is a TAAT posted by someone who saw what they wanted to see on another thread.

BlueBug45 · 31/10/2018 05:22

In my case and my friends' case the complaints are about resources being wasted e.g. doing blood tests twice in the same hospital because some HCP is ticking boxes, not taking a medical history so an appointment is wasted. Actually doing a test once but not informing the patient of adverse results in time risking or actually causing more expensive treat to be needed then a HCP having the cheek to try and tell you off for not acting on the results.

Oh the appointment through the post thing is a joke. I had to ask my local hospital - like many other people - not to send one through the post if the appointment is for the next day and you were given it in the clinic. It took 3 years and committee meetings before they saw it as an area to save money in.

jubbablub · 31/10/2018 06:09

My son almost died because of an incomplete midwife not doing her job. Then the Dr in charge of his care following referral never called us with the test results that we needed to get him the right treatment. The Dr wanted to arrange a clinic appointment to do this, further delaying my son’s care. However, at one of the largest children’s hospitals in the country, I was spun some rubbish about there not being any rooms for an appointment. Yesterday, this Drs PA put the phone down on me as there was nothing she could do. I rang the ward directly and a ward clerk physically went downstairs and asked the consultant for the results. Apparently they came back fine, yet as a first time parent I’ve been told they need “urgent review in clinic”. Surely this is an ineffective use of resources. It had got the point where the only way that the hospital thought we could get the results was to take my six week old son into a&e.

The NHS have ruined my first six weeks of my motherhood experience. From all of the above to a c section for which I was kept nil by mouth for 18 hours to losing a swab in the journey across the road from the hospital to the lab to check my son for infection, it’s a shambles.

The nurses are generally amazing, same for the midwives and junior doctors mostly. But the arrogance of the consultants and the ineptitude of the administration of the NHS is dreadful.

I’ve now taken out private medical insurance as I honestly don’t feel like the consultants in the NHS actually care about their patients. If you can, I’d encourage you to do the same.

jubbablub · 31/10/2018 06:09


toomuchtooold · 31/10/2018 06:15

I only ever sent in complaints about the NHS because my treatment was consistently piss poor across four hospitals and five years. I'm not going to go into the details as you'll find a reason why I'm wrong, OP, and I can't be bothered with that - all my complaints were upheld though. Now I live in Germany where it has proven possible to have socialised healthcare where patients don't get treated as a massive inconvenience. Every time I take the kids to the specialist paediatric GP and they can do a massive raft of blood tests, x-ray and ultrasound there and then in the surgery without an extra appointment I wish I could take my old NHS GP in and show him how they do it.

bellinisurge · 31/10/2018 06:18

I could give you a catalogue of shit , life changing-ly bad treatment interspersed with occasional good treatment. When bad stuff happened it was like blasphemy to criticise the "angels". Remember the North Korea esque display at the 2012 Olympics.
We are better at dealing with complaints now instead of requiring people to be grateful.
We need to look st alternatives that are not the US model.

JohnnyMcGrathSaysFuckOff · 31/10/2018 06:23


That first thread was about a confused lady of nearly 80 with a heart complaint who was left to walk up a hill rather than being given a wheelchair.

And your consultant is aghast because someone had a mental health breakdown? He should never be exposed to violence and it is not acceptable for people with MH issues to behave in a violent and threateninf manner. But to attribute her behaviour to entitlement is frankly obtuse. I am guessing he wasn't referring to MH services for a laugh.

GreenEggsHamandChips · 31/10/2018 06:37

Yes the NHS is a phenomenal achievement but it being destroyed by small thinking, arrogance and inefficiency, not the patients at all

DD 's referral turned down without even being seen by local service because she "doesn't meet the treatment criteria". Now being seen by the national centre of excellence at considerable extra cost (not to mention my transport costs on top).

Diagnosis made by private Dr because NHS fail to review decision, referral back into NHS with suggestion specific tests prove diagnosis. NHS still support original diagnosis despite increasing evidence something's wrong refuse tests (as a waste of resources) and threaten with munchausen if mum gets them done. After multiple ambulance, referral to an already very overstretched CAMHs, four years of arguing with the NHS and a second private referral the test gets done. Original diagnosis overturned correct diagnosis proved

After all that a 6 month delay in the urgent referral to the right department because admin stuffed it up.

Twirlbites1 · 31/10/2018 06:42

You’ll see many comments which cover this on another active thread about how to save the nhs.

I’m a senior dr in the nhs. The problem is that patients are expected to be grateful for a shit free service. And it is shit a lot of time, and for many (ie tax payers) it isn’t free. If you have a genuine life threatening emergency you won’t find better in the world. Anything else, good luck. Yes there are entitled patients, yes there are some lazy nhs staff. But the whole system is broken.

jabbablub please don’t be fooled into thinking that because youve taken out private healthcare you’ve solved the problem, the situation you describe would not have been covered by your private healthcare. Private health doesn’t deal with any form of emergency- you’ll automatically be shipped to the nhs - and outside central London private in-patient facilities for obstetrics and paediatrics and elderly care are like hens teeth/don’t exist most places.....there are none south of the m4 outside London (I cant comment about northern regions). The private system in the UK isn’t sufficiently set up to deal with the masses, or even a tiny % of the masses. It only deals with elective cases in essentially well less than 5% of in-patients on any given day.

Suttree · 31/10/2018 06:43

There's a lot of entitilists who are emboldened on mumsnet

JohnnyMcGrathSaysFuckOff · 31/10/2018 06:44

Actually this post has really pissed me off. I also work for a public sector institution. We have a 95% satisfaction rate. If all the feedback you get is complaints have you ever considered there might be something wrong with the service you offer?

Talk about entitlement.

People depend on the NHS for their health and their children's health. They are going to upset when there is underfunding, delays, lack of services. That isn't your fault OP but blaming patients who are ill and worried is really off.

gamerwidow · 31/10/2018 06:45

I’ve worked the NHS pretty much all my life but I think it’s OK for people to complain. Services have been cut to the bone and it is affecting patient care. I don’t expect people to put up and shut up. When people complain it’s not usually because they think you’ve done a bad job it’s because they are ill and frustrated. We’ve been lucky enough as a family to benefit from some amazing life saving treatment by the NHS but we’ve also had other instances where delays to treatment and poor admin have made the route to getting that care unnecessarily stressful and painful. We ARE grateful but things could still be better and it’s right to complain when things aren’t working.

bellinisurge · 31/10/2018 06:47

@Suttree - if you think complaining about the NHS after poor treatment makes you an "entitlist" you need to look harder.
I haven't seen any posts saying "I was pissed, fell over and bashed my elbow and some old git with a dodgy heart was given priority over me at a&e". That would be "entitlist"

CherryPavlova · 31/10/2018 06:52

You are right. People don’t realise what they have in the NHS - world class healthcare that is free at the point of delivery to all. If we continue to believe Daily Mail and government about the ‘failings’ then we will, sure as eggs are eggs, lose it.

It remains atop the performance and efficiency tables across the world. We spend less than most of Europe but get more services.

There are chronic funding problems (particularly in care pathways for frail elderly and adult social care) but if you’re seriously ill you are generally seen swiftly and treated well.


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cheesefield · 31/10/2018 06:57

Where is the original thread?

ThroughThickAndThin01 · 31/10/2018 07:00

I’m newly working in an NHS hospital. I agree that in some areas it’s poor, but I think mainly brilliant.

My small points- What I can’t get over is the amount of patients who don’t turn up to their appointments. It’s a phenomenal waste of money for the NHS.

SnuggyBuggy · 31/10/2018 07:08

Working in this area myself I do see a mix of unreasonable entitled service users and reasonable people who have been treated poorly.

Vulnerable service users (frail elderly, SN, mental health issues, dementia) are generally left to manage their own health admin and many simply can't cope. I temped in a care of the elderly department with no receptionist and it was common to find lone patients who had been left in the waiting room with no idea why they were there.

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