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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:

Blahblahblah111 · 31/10/2018 11:14

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WhirlyGigWhirlyGig · 31/10/2018 11:15

My daughter, at uni, really not very well and probably needs antibiotics. Soonest appointment is a week away, receptionist refused her to be seen any sooner. I know that there is a problem with not enough Gp's but to tell an unwell person to carry on with what appears to be a kidney infection for another week? I'm not going to be quiet about that!


mumsneedwine · 31/10/2018 11:25

The NHS is the most amazing institution that we must never take for granted. Just spent the last 6 months using it's totally free services with my dad. It has at all times been wonderful, staff kind and helpful and treatment given as needed. No need to worry about how to pay for it. Having fallen ill in America and been refused treatment at an ER as didn't have my insurance policy on me I know how wonderful it is to turn up at A&E and know I will be seen. Might be a wait as lots of people there for sore toes or coughs. We must protect the NHS and not misuse it.


NarcolepticOuchMouse · 31/10/2018 11:25

I've had huge issues with access to care and without going into details, I kicked off because I needed treatment. Me doing so has been used as evidence by the CCG to demand better access to care, for my whole county, from the government. The NHS is wonderful at best and utterly soul destroying at worst. If you have reasons to complain, do, you may save countless more people the stress from dealing with what you have to.


JohnnyMcGrathSaysFuckOff · 31/10/2018 11:54

The NHS is a wonderful idea, but it desperately needs proper funding. Saying it is free is a lie and unhelpful as it obscures honest debate about this. That's a rightwing tactic to make us all be "grateful" for whatever rubbish is doled out. And that included NHS staff btw, who put up with dreadful working conditions and who are also patients.

The NHS is not free. It is funded by the people, for the people. The people include its staff. We all need to pull together to save it.

But people repeatedly vote for govts that want to dismantle it and staff and patients are set against one another. Whilst we are bickering, it is being destroyed.

So back to the OP. Instead of blaming patients maybe ask why a vulnerable woman with MH issues was so upset?


mumsneedwine · 31/10/2018 12:13

It's free at point of entry. No one has ever said it's free as far as I know. Just that your means to pay does not limit your treatment.


teaandtoast · 31/10/2018 12:29

I find A&E staff, on the whole, indifferent. They have plenty of chat and laughs for their colleagues in sight of you, but when it comes to patients, nothing. It's like they're doing you a favour.

When a ward wanted to discharge my mother from hospital after she broke her hip, they told me I would have to inject her daily. I couldn't believe it! I'm not a nurse and I refused. Suddenly the District Nurse was able to do it instead.


Battenburg1978 · 31/10/2018 12:32

I've recently had more experience than ever with the NHS following an accident my DD had. In an emergency they are amazing and I can only assume the critical medical care is good. I am sure someone will correct me if in wrong but I don't believe there is a true private alternative to the NHS - current private medical provision and insurance is set up to be entirely co-dependent with NHS provision e.g. Emergency rooms, referrals still need to be made via and NHS GP etc. When my DD had the accident there was nothing relevant to our BUPA cover.

For me what lets the NHS down is appalling admin. For example to confirm the admission date for a procedure my DD required took 5 phone calls - including one to the consultant's secretary who would not even ask the consultant to confirm and would only give me a number to call for admissions. It took another 2 phone calls, an email direct to the consultant, and finally speaking to someone who would ask the consultant to confirm. Which the secretary could have done in half the time (this was noted by the person who eventually helped me). If I did the equivalent in my job I would be fired ASAP. It has just this morning taken 4 phone calls to pin down when I am meant to take her back to clinic. I can't wait for a letter because they arrive too late postmarked on with the date of the appointment. And in fact no appointment had been made! No doubt because the consultant forgot to tell anyone to make it. I think it is absolutely appropriate to expect better.


MrsStrowman · 31/10/2018 12:38

I think the complaints thing is common of every industry, even in retail etc it's about twenty times less likely to receive a customer compliment than complaint (formal or written rather than an off the cuff comment). People do take the NHS for granted too, I'm very much in favour of the NHS and think it deserves a lot more funding, however my antenatal experience has been really bad, list test results, false information, left with an untreated infection I wasn't told about for eight weeks, regularly cancelled appointments at the list minutes or even arriving to be told oh someone should have called you to cancel, glucose tolerance test cancelled three times and delayed by over a month even though I was high risk of GD (family factors and PCOS) and it turns out I do have it, so was left untreated for weeks when I should've been on medication. I haven't made a complaint because I know they're struggling and stretched but it hasn't given me anything positive to say about the process


justpaintit · 31/10/2018 12:40

If you are in an accident, have a heart attack, cancer or are needing intensive care for any reason then I think the chances of your receiving excellent treatment and care are incredibly high.

It’s the patients with the chronic conditions that no one is going to die of that seem to receive the worst practice, cuts to services etc. After 5 years of terrible care at the urology department of my local hospital I recently paid to see an expert in my condition privately. He diagnosed the problem within a few minute of looking at a slide under a microscope and started me off on treatment. Nothing he has done or prescribed is beyond the ability of any urologist anywhere, but it appears very few people within the NHS care about changing the diagnostic and treatment procedures for those with chronic UTIs. I’ve probably cost the NHS a fair bit in useless procedures and endless, unproductive GP consultations. I’m grateful we have the NHS for life threatening illnesses and injuries but it is getting steadily worse due to cuts and lack of staff morale and recruitment issues.


OhTheRoses · 31/10/2018 12:54

Let's get the politics in perspective shall we. Bliar introduced PCTs in 1997 adding a very expensive layer of bureacracy stuffed with managers (a ceo on £50k I recall who was sent on a business mgt course because he couldn't read a balance sheet); oh and all the upgraded establishments funded by PFI's which have led to huge debts which have to be serviced and funded from NHS budgets. This was all embraced by the NHS. The NHS and the public are suffering due to years of mismanagement under the BlIAr years but the NHS is so full of left wing activists it is never recognised the oresent state of the NHS is never recognised as the legacy of the left.

I have often gone to an outpatient desk after a 90 minute wait to politely inquire to be told "clinic started late". If one responds to ask why the response is often "it's the NHS, it's free" I was once sent an 8.30 apt and was not seen until 9.25. I arrived in an empty room at 8.20 my letter was very clear that patients were expected to be on time and if they were late their apt might not be honoured. It slowly filled until there were no seats left. At 9.15 I asked why there was a delay and was told the consultant was delayed. At 9.15 some nurses arrives and started getting trollies ready. When I saw a consultant I was told the clinic never started before 9.15 because the nurses didn't start until 9. So why send an 8.30 apt then. After waiting in a hospital gown with 12 other women for 2.5 hours after a mammogram (the room was very disgruntled). The women were treated like cattle and totally dehumanised. I was told I would be next and three women then went in before me. I then heard the nurses debating when they were having lunch. I asked what arrangements were being made for the waiting women who had been separated from partners and supporters to wait braless in a hospital gown. I was looked at like shite for having the audacity to point out that if nurses had the opportunity for lunch so should the waiting women. Guess what "this is the NHS you know". When I ventured it wasn't good enough I was told it was free. I asked to speak to a manager who arrived in 15 minutes. The women were then told they could get dressed and have lunch but be back for 1.45. When they got back the manager said they didn't need to put the gowns back on because the ulttrasonographer had enough time for women to quickly dress and undress in the room. When I was called into the ultrsonographer my notes were slammed on the desk by the nurse on charge with a look of vitriol. At 4pm I went back into the main waiting room again to see the consultant. One of the women was there crying. She had had a biopsy and bad news. She had just been shoved back in that room to wait to see the consultant. She was a senior NHS Manager. She said she had never seen anything like it and thanked me for making a fuss. I looked after her until her friend arrived. There were nurses standing around watching and doing fa. Eventually saw the consultant for some aspirations at 4.40pm. Got out at 5pm to a £30 parking ticket. You can only P&D for six hours and I had forgotten about the car. That's when I made a very sharp call to the CEO's office - she had gone home. I got a call the following day from the service manager. She asked me not to call her luv and darlin. I did it on purpose and asked her to reflect how it made patients feel and asked why her staff spoke to patients like that if she personally found it rude.

It was disgraceful. I hear they have now changed their procedures. I got an apology of sorts but no clarity about the start time of the clinic and why I was told it didn't start until after 9. Evidently it was supposed to start at 8.30 but the lead consultant was stuck in theatre. They would not confirm if it was their NHS theatre.


tierraJ · 31/10/2018 12:58

I'm actually quite pleased with my local Epilepsy service, the nurses are very knowledgeable & you can email them. They have also set up a local support group which I will try out.

My uncle has Parkinson's & is pleased with his care & treatment so far, the consultant & specialist nurse are again, very knowledgeable & helpful.

However the nhs can definitely improve in some areas.
2 years ago during a hospital admission it was found that my late nan had dementia but we her family weren't told for a whole year during which she became very mentally unwell. Once she was sectioned the EMI unit were brilliant with her but if we'd known she'd had dementia things may have been different. Anyway it's too late now as she's died.

My dad had prostate cancer & had to wait months for his operation- they found the cancer had spread slightly when they operated.
His post op treatment & care were very good but he was unlucky with the waiting time.


Biologifemini · 31/10/2018 13:33

The nhs is great but there are other equally good social care models across Europe.

Admin and layers upon layers of middle management are strangling it’s function.

We can keep the nhs while running it much more efficiently.


Sirzy · 31/10/2018 13:37

I think the public on the whole are responsible for a lot of the issues with regards to front line Nhs because we (as a whole) have lost the ability to take responsibility for ourselves running to the GP at the first sign of illness meaning that they are overstretched which means more people end up at A and e because they can’t get into the GP.

The admin side certainly let them down, as someone who has a child under multiple services the front line care is generally outstanding but at times I am like his full time PA just chasing people up to do things they have promised or finding out why follow up appointments haven’t been made or have been changed by months.


Pickupthephone · 31/10/2018 13:49

I hate it when people say the NHS is free. It is free AT THE POINT OF USE but it’s far from free. If you think £110 billion per year is free I really don’t want to know what you think is pricey.

I also hate the moronic idea that there are two ways of structuring a healthcare system - our way or the American way. Most of Europe works on hybrid systems which is neither one nor the other. We and the US sit at two opposite - and extreme - ends of a spectrum. And most European countries have superior healthcare outcomes, particularly in obstetrics. We’ve got the highest stillbirth rate in the developed world, so something’s clearly not good enough.


HildegardCrowe · 31/10/2018 13:49

Another medical secretary here. I feel the same as you do OP. I deal with people all day long who have a huge sense of entitlement and no idea how lucky they are to live in a country with a totally free health service. The only one of its kind in the whole frigging world (correct me if I'm wrong). I'm fed up with people telling me that they "pay their taxes" and expect to be seen and treated immediately.

If you're feeling stressed and can't see the situation improving, I would go for the private job. I go home every night now feeling utterly drained. I love the job (or did), but it's changed so much due to people's unrealistic expectations. Good luck for the future.


Schuyler · 31/10/2018 13:53

I think the OP is BU but some of the problems described are not solved by a different system. Private clinics can run very late. Some consultants are crap at time keeping, whether they be NHS or private. Some consultants are absolute cockwombles, whether they be NHS or private. Some consultants are incompetent, whether they be NHS or private.


HildegardCrowe · 31/10/2018 13:57

I hope if you ever have to see a consultant Schuyler that they come up to your exacting standards.


WhirlyGigWhirlyGig · 31/10/2018 14:01

Schulyer is right though, it's the same in any profession. There are some consultants who should not be practising with their attitudes, poor bedside manner and lack of up to date knowledge.
I've seen some excellent, extremely knowledgable consultants and I've seen some dire ones. Just because they are a doctor does not mean they are all equal.


Schuyler · 31/10/2018 14:03

Hildegard what was that comment for? Confused I think you misunderstood. I see consultants repeatedly and have lots of medical input due to my health issues, thanks very much! On the whole, I have a very positive experience with the NHS. I didn’t say all consultants are late or useless but if they are those things (and they’re only human, so not everyone is competent) then it doesn’t matter if you pay nothing or £200.


nokidshere · 31/10/2018 14:09

I have been part on the nhs since birth. I have a chronic lifelong disease for which I have spent many years of my life in hospital, as an adult I have had fertility treatments and ops, I'm having ongoing treatment for RA and PSA. I've had my tonsils out, my appendix out and I've spent more time than I care to remember in a+e with elderly mil and my children.

I have nothing bad to say about the nhs. I have never put in a complaint, nor have I been treated by anyone that needed complaining about. I've spent many hours in waiting rooms and I've been the reason other people have had to wait longer. This morning I rang my Drs at 8:30 because I felt unwell and I was seen at 9:15.

We only hear the bad things. But there are many people like me who rely on the nhs and are very grateful for everything they do.


Racecardriver · 31/10/2018 14:12

I decided to drop medicine because I didn’t want to work for the NHS. The staff is over worked and underpaid. The patients are entitled. And the quality of cars us unacceptably poor. I didn’t want any part of that.


MorbidlyObese · 31/10/2018 14:21

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OhTheRoses · 31/10/2018 14:22

HildegardeCrowe what an ignorant statement. How can you possibly think the NHS is free if you work for it It is FREE at the point of delivery - it is not free. Does your tax statement not have the little breakdown on the back telling you what you pay towards the various services.

The NHS is funded by the people, including you. The people are ENTITLED to much higher standards of service. My NHS slice last year was £6,500. Goodness knows what DH's was. Do you know something for that I expect polite staff, efficient clinics and optimal care. And I expect our contributions to go towards excellent standards for others.

My employer pays 1200 pa for me to PPP AXA. I had a procedure yesterday. Polite staff, efficient, on time, clean, excellent care. Same hospital subcontacts NHS patients from the NHS. All the nurses are clean and tidy, receptionists are polite, waiting room for NHS patients is clean and calm. Compare and contrast to the local NHS hospital up the road where I've seen nurses triage chewing gum and where the receptionists are extremely heavy handed. Neither service is FREE to NHS patients the staff at the private hospital are just governed by a different ethos informed by Mr Manners.


JacquesHammer · 31/10/2018 15:10

I'm fed up with people telling me that they "pay their taxes" and expect to be seen and treated immediately

I’ve been trying to be treated for my issue since 2013. If you think that’s entitled to expect some level of care then maybe you’re a bit naive.

At my surgery there’s a 6 week wait time for appointments unless it’s urgent, you’re an OAP or a child. That’s pretty poor.

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