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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:

W0rriedMum · 31/10/2018 07:10

I needed a GP appointment for my daughter and received an appointment for 4 weeks later. I think that's a pretty terrible service, frankly.

So I used one of those "online doctors" that health insurance companies offer. As there is a need for blood tests, she regrettably told me I had to wait it out for the NHS GP to refer me. Which is a 4 week wait even to see a GP.

At least in London, the NHS GP system is completely broken.


W0rriedMum · 31/10/2018 07:14

@SnuggyBuggy - i agree. My friend is a specialised care liaison nurse who says vulnerable patients are so grateful if you chase up their results or call them at home to make their next appointment. But this type of holistic care is rare and only available for cancer treatment etc.


Micke · 31/10/2018 07:18

Yes, I think that the NHS, whilst a wonderful idea, and National Health is clearly the right thing for a civilised country, could do better.

I've lived in other countries with National Health care, and there are things that are just more sensible, done better.

In the single payer system in Canada for instance, there are multiple service providers, and you pick one, and it's paid for buy the government - so I found a midwife practise, when I needed blood tests I just popped to an office near my house which ran blood tests, it was all very efficient and convenient and excellent service. I was visited at home for a couple of weeks, then went back to that midwife practise who all knew me, for my 6 week check. When my baby then needed his jabs, there were weekly clinics in a local public building and you got invited to one when jabs were due. At these clinics he was weighed, measured, and both he and I were definitely being assessed to make sure we were getting on OK (just from the questions, and how they'd turn around and check the baby while they carried him to be weighed). In the UK, within a week I was expected to drive (I'd had a c-section, so actually my partner had to) my baby to a different clinic once a week until they signed us off, and then to another clinic for hearing and jabs, and I could take him to yet another once a week to be weighed (but not measured, and not checked over) - it was ABSOLUTELY MAD and so inefficient for everyone involved.

In other, poorer countries, the waits or facilities have been a bit basic, but they triaged well - my partner was checked for double vision with a scan all on the same day for example.


bellinisurge · 31/10/2018 07:21

I was politely on the phone pretty much every day for my late mother. If I hadn't been she would have been at the mercy of patchy care and even neglect.
I was the politest tiger imaginable.
She had been a hospital nurse herself and was horrified by what she saw. She refused to let anyone know she'd been a nurse. I pulled out that "big gun" only once.


SnuggyBuggy · 31/10/2018 07:32

@W0rriedMum, its very worrying. We did what we could for patients we knew were vulnerable but because we were so time pressed it never felt like enough and of course other departments they were with wouldn't necessarily know their situation.

To be fair some of this is a social care issue. I know this isn't PC but I am amazed at how so many high needs people are expected to live independently and manage their affairs with little help. I don't think it's liberating if they aren't capable of managing alone.


AnElderlyLadyOfMediumHeight · 31/10/2018 07:32

'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.'

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

'Now I live in Germany where it has proven possible to have socialised healthcare where patients don't get treated as a massive inconvenience.'

All of these. I pay a fair bit in compulsory insurance but it is proportionate to income (and about to come down for me after changes in the rules for self-employed people) and if I couldn't pay the state would cover it. And I've more often encountered issues with over-thorough or over-zealous treatment rather than the reverse, which going by threads on here seems woefully par for the course in the NHS.

Responsive, humane, compassionate healthcare is a right and not an outrageous demand. There's a real attitude on here that because it's 'free' (which, for most people, it isn't), people should doff their caps and be grateful.


TwistinMyMelon · 31/10/2018 07:44

France DO NOT have a better system! My exp who was French and living in France cane over to see me once and he was half dead from a chest infection. He hadn't managed to get to see a dr as there was no out of hours service and even if he'd have got a prescription no chemist would be open. I managed to get him seen at out of hours within a couple of hours of him landing and collect a prescription from the midnight pharmacy.

People really have no idea how lucky they are in this country. I did my elective in India which is supposed to be a state funded healthcare system but relies heavily on NGOs and has massive inequalities/inequities in healthcare provision especially in rural areas. I haven't got time to go into everything I experienced and witnessed there, but trust me, the NHS is a massive privilege that people in this country really do not appreciate, and I have not seen a system in any other country that rivals it or is as fair/ethical in its approach.


OhTheRoses · 31/10/2018 07:50

But Twist in France he'd have seen a dr in hours on the same day (chest infections don't happen overnight) and he clearly felt himself well enough to travel.

Please don't compare what the UK should have for all with what is available in India for all.


bananasandwicheseveryday · 31/10/2018 08:20

People can only describe their experience. As a family, we have had some amazing care from the nhs. But we have also experienced poor care, in impotence and in one case, outright lies at every level up to and including a consultant surgeon. I have the utmost respect for people who work in the system - I know a fair number of them and hear how under pressure they are. But that does not excuse a lack of care. A previous poster spoke about how she had to go to the back of the queue for an appointment after a nhs admin error. That's not right or fair. Neither is it fair that so called 'aftercare'following an operation consists of an appointment at a local clinic for a wound check several days later than the hospital said it should be, due to a lack of availability , only to arrive and find the clinic all locked up because the nurse hasn't arrived and the only alternative is to go and wait at the walk-in where the waiting time is around five hours. That is just not suitable for a patient who is in discomfort following an operation and who should be at home resting. This has happened twice in our family alone. So yes, people do get frustrated and although not ideal, I think you can understand why people react in a more extreme way because of the stress they have due to illness and the way they are treated.


Onlyhappywhenitrains1 · 31/10/2018 08:29

I have a lot of dealings with the NHS due to a disabled child.

I'm never demanding or entitled and I have to be honest, I do get walked all over a bit.

My husband then has to call up and "make demands" so that we get the service that our son needs and is entitled too.

Unfortunately, the NHS is set up so that those that shout the loudest get the best service when it comes to non emgregency services. If you just go with the flo you get 18 month waiting lists, no treatment at all or treatment at failing hospitals that are miles away from your home.


Neshoma · 31/10/2018 08:31

The NHS is struggling dueto the fact we all think we should have 24 hours access to a GP, admin should have a crystal ball to know we have moved, and we neglect our bodies and health and expect the NHS to fix it.

There are problems with the NHS but patients can be equally (ir)responsible.


Unicornandbows · 31/10/2018 08:43

I am a student nurse and I don't believe the NHS is a world class system. The whole place is shambles.. Yes there are some positives, however the negatives outweigh them.

It's crumbling the demand is higher - lower amount of staff there is no balance.
I would much prefer the French system


VioletCharlotte · 31/10/2018 09:27

I work for the NHS. Saying 'the NHS is marvellous and everyone should be grateful we have it' is too simplistic. Yes, we should be grateful for free healthcare, of course we should. But people should still expect a high standard of care and to be treated with dignity and respect. I've met some amazing people who work for the NHS. And also many who are totally incompetent and wouldn't last five minutes in the private sector.

The NHS is outdated and creaking at the seams. Money is being haemorrhaged on IT systems that are not fit for purpose. Staff wellbeing and engagement is paid lip service to, but not invested in, so theres a problem retaining staff. Poor performance and behaviour is tolerated. I can totally see why patients become frustrated.


OhTheRoses · 31/10/2018 10:14

Neshoma GP's used to provide on call care 24 hours a day. It was part of the contract agreed when Bevan stuffed their mouths with gold. Not many people abused it. We now have 111 and chaotic A&Es although there are attempts to extend hours where I live and quite rightly so. Therapies are stuck in the 50s with a ludicrous 9-5 approach which is hopeless for working people.

As far as admin goes I expect NHS depts to note my change of address when they are notified in writing. When DH was a baby he had a nebuliser. I telephoned when we no longer needed it. Nothing. I wrote when we moved house. Six months later a community paed nurse rang and said they needed it and cd she come in half an hour. Of course I said. She arrived an hour later absolutely fuming and yelled at me for wasting her time and not returning the equipment and not telling people I had moved. That was in the halcyon days 22 years ago and the comm paed team weren't too helpful even back then. Similar has been rinsed and repeated several times since.

If Mr Manners were to find his way back into the training colleges and NHS I'm sure a virtuous circle could be created but it has to start with the paid staff and it has to be underpinned by an ethos that acknowledges it isn't a free service.


SnuggyBuggy · 31/10/2018 10:28

@OhTheRoses, sometimes hospital doctors go months at a time before reading their letters so in this situation it's important to write directly to the secretary or admin team.


OhTheRoses · 31/10/2018 10:33

I wrote to the community paed nursing team directly snuggybuggy. Months to read a letter is not good enough. I would be dismissed for that if it impacted a client.


SnuggyBuggy · 31/10/2018 10:36

I agree it's shit. We have so many problems stemming from doctors not reading letters, we try to bring anything obviously urgent to their attention but we aren't medically trained to read letters and triage them ourselves.


OhTheRoses · 31/10/2018 10:40

Surely nobody has to be medically trained to act on:

Child's name, dob, nhs number
Please find attached change of address card for your records. Perhaps somebody just filed it because there wasn't an explicit instruction to update the computer and file.


OhTheRoses · 31/10/2018 10:42

In any event nothing excused the cobby attitude I received but it very much seemed to prevail amongst community staff (madwives, hv's, comm paed teams) which seemed to comprise "right on" young women in their late 20s, with very vocal left wing views in Wandsworth in the mid 90s.


SnuggyBuggy · 31/10/2018 10:43

Hopefully a sharp eyed secretary would just pick that out but in a lot of departments it's a case of open pile of letters, date stamp, pass to doctor.

Also IT systems aren't geared up for paediatric patients. We had a bug which meant the child's address was changed but not the next of kin (who the letter goes to) which naturally caused chaos.


Andromeida59 · 31/10/2018 10:46

I spent over three years in and out of hospital. I saw numerous consultants who gave me various explanations for my condition. I had numerous investigative surgeries which I then developed complications from. I was told by one consultant that "sometimes people are just in pain" and that was the answer.
Once again, I went back to the GP. Saw a new GP, she examined me, referred for a scan. My "complicated" illness that no consultant could diagnose was a slipped disc.
Consultants seem to think they are gods. The NHS is a mess, the admin systems are farcical and the waiting times are ridiculous. I had to go in to hospital in August as I had suspected Cauda Equina. Was told I did not have CE but that they couldn't give me my results. I'm getting my results tomorrow.

I believe firmly in the NHS but refusing to resolve the problems will only exacerbate issues. Their incompetence nearly destroyed me. I had to give up a job I loved. Almost completely destroyed my relationship and I've been ill for a ridiculous amount of time.


OhTheRoses · 31/10/2018 10:47

Well then if the systems are shit perhaps the nurses could adopt a better attitude. If I've done everything right I don't expect to be told off by a cobby little madam for her own department's mistakes.


JacquesHammer · 31/10/2018 10:48

Recent experience of A&E and subsequent aftercare, excellent.

Ongoing experience with GP’s surgery - utterly woeful and shambolic.


OhTheRoses · 31/10/2018 10:50

You just can't polish a turd to make it shiny enough for the crap to stop mattering.


SnuggyBuggy · 31/10/2018 11:06

What gets me with the admin side is how it seems no one expects better

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