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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:
citiesofbismuth · 01/11/2018 13:53

I would gladly pay higher taxes and/or a fee to access proper healthcare. Like you do at the NHS dentists. I'd rather pay £10-20 for a GP consultation and have a positive outcome, instead of the laughable service I receive now.

They can treat you how they like because you're made to feel like a pauper receiving alms. This isn't a reasonable way to treat people. I'm not demanding, rude or unpleasant to staff. I only ask for help if I'm desperate and have exhausted all self care options.

Jux · 01/11/2018 17:08

MorbidlyObese, thanks for implying I don't have a modicum of intelligence! Grin

I don't recall saying that the NHS is the only way to deliver healthcare to everyone, rich or poor, that is free at the point of use and need. I'm sure it isn't, particularly as I have travelled in Europe and beyond, have many relatives living in places as far flung as NZ, the Caribbean, Hong Kong. If you inferred that I expected the UK to immediately descend into early 20th century squalor Then you've over-inferred.

My mum always complained about the layers of admin, the expensive offices, the carpets, the pot plants, the inflated salaries of Higher Level Management, the waste on wrong or inadequate equipment in her department. None of that has changed, has it?

Nevertheless, I do feel priviledged to have the NHS to help me manage the symptoms of MS and heart valve leak, as well as my thyroid problem.

Of course there are many many improvements which could be made, but I love and am grateful for those who work in the NHS and the NHS itself, as it is what we have right now.

Devilishpyjamas · 01/11/2018 17:29

There isn’t any such thing as ‘the NHS’now. It’s a bunch of different organisations. Ds1 has been in hospital far from home for over a year (that’s another issue - he has never needed to be in hospital - his care in the community costs approx 5k a week, in hospital it is 12k a week- the hospital he is in is private paid for by the NHS). The different organisations involved in funding various bits of his care are (1) local home CCG, (2), NHS England (3) local trust funded by local CCG, (4) he had an EEG and visited the GP recently so presumably that is funded by the CCG the hospital is in, although may be two different bits.

They all at various times argue about who is going to pay for what. When I have meetings about his care I sometimes have clinical meetings and sometimes have meetings with commissioners. The commissioner meetings are really important in getting him discharged (more than clinical as he’s never needed hospital and his presentation is fairly unchanging). There are different commissioners responsible for funding different bits.

I have seen people spend extra years in hospital because the various CCG’s can’t decide who is responsible for funding their community care. And meanwhile it’s costing 12k a week to keep them in hospital unnecessarily.

SnuggyBuggy · 01/11/2018 18:09

Another way of looking at this is to ask if these issues are exclusive to the NHS, bad management, poor practice, inefficient admin and disorganisation aren't limited to the NHS.

Amaaboutthis · 01/11/2018 18:44

It's a crap system. It's just propaganda we're being fed about it being the best system in the world.

Totally agree. I can’t help feeling that those who praise it have never experienced decent healthcare and have low expectations

Honeyroar · 01/11/2018 19:08

Or that they've perhaps never really had anyone with a serious illness. I don't think that I realised that there were so many failings until our parents got older and needed more care. I think the NHS will just about get them through their old age, but I dread what it will be like when I'm an OAP, especially as I've no children and won't have anyone to be watching out for me.

MorbidlyObese · 01/11/2018 20:40

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OllyBJolly · 01/11/2018 20:59

There isn’t any such thing as ‘the NHS’now. It’s a bunch of different organisations

Maybe that's why we don't have quite the same issues in Scotland. It's not perfect, but the fact there hasn't been this hiving off different bits and pieces and bringing in the outsourcers for the clinical areas has led to a more seamless service.

Devilishpyjamas · 01/11/2018 21:07

I think you may well be right Olly. So many problems caused by moving between different organisations. And it’s not transparent, so unless you follow the money & track back to who is paying for what it can be hard to work out why particular decisions are being made at times.

Snuggy I think the NHS is particularly bad. A close family member was a whistleblower (raised concerns about patient safety along with colleagues) and the way they were treated was really shocking.

Loubielouslonglegs · 01/11/2018 23:14

Admin in the main team that treats me is a real problem. Appointment letters dated the same day as the appointment. Phones never answered. Scans booked for all the wrong times. Loads of avoidable issues.

I would send in a complaint - as a secretary I don't book the appointments just request them. Out of my control.

I will always try and help a patient who is anxious to the point of looking up their results and saying 'nothing suspicious' - negating those who think secretaries are medically trained etc - I've been in my job for nearly 15 years - If I can reassure a patient and stop them waiting a weekend for their results I will.

When I said I don't get any feedback other than negative I meant negative - i.e. from management.

Copious amounts of chocolates and sweets etc from most patients who appreciate the care they've received x

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SnuggyBuggy · 02/11/2018 04:07

The different organizations thing makes it a horrible mess in lots of ways. For example it provides more opportunities for communication problems and for the different organizations to fob patients off to each other.

SnuggyBuggy · 02/11/2018 04:09

Devilish, I agree that the NHS is particularly bad at these things but I don't see why it has to be inevitable.

fatbrows · 02/11/2018 04:50

Husband has a nasal polyp. Hasn't breathed through his nose for months and constantly stops breathing throughout the night. He can't smell and is suffering a lot.

Despite this we've been struggling to get an ENT specialist to even see him. It can take around 8 months before the hospital will see him. I don't I feel like we have a right to be upset and frustrated about it 🤷🏽‍♀️

Ceilingrose · 03/11/2018 00:41

This hasn't been my experience of the NHS at all. 80/20 to the good/excellent, IME.

HelenaDove · 03/11/2018 01:05

@fatbrows Wow 8 months . My 82 year old DM is also waiting to see the ENT specialist. Five month wait........................thats if the surgery has remembered to refer her.

When the CQC did an inspection of the surgery they found a load of paperwork that hadnt been sent on

OhTheRoses · 03/11/2018 04:07

But as I tried to illustrate earlier the problems aren't new. Both my dc had dreadful ear infections (think 10 months of suffering) and it was impossible to get them referred and grommetted in 96 and 2000. DS had a condition that if left untreated could have led to permanent deafness (choleastasis??) - a grommet to straighten the eardrum at 8 resolved repeat burst eardrums which each time would have caused a little bone to build up eventually leading to a bigger op to prevent said deafness.

Compare and contrast burst eardrum in UK (ooh, ear left to run, anti-biotics refused, small boy in pain, two gp visits and told to suck it up) to burst ear drum in Austria. Immediate referral to ENT specialist, ear toiletted, ab's prescribed, follow up to check progress three days later.

Two burst eardrums in quick succession. Austrian response = proactive; NHS response (2004 ish) = leave it. Private referral in UK - problem identified and dealt with in a cpl of weeks.

SnuggyBuggy · 03/11/2018 07:49

@OhTheRoses, obviously I wouldn't wish to comment on the case you outlined but in some other healthcare systems patients undergo a lot of unnecessary treatment and testing which can also be harmful. I think this is quite common in the US.

givemesteel · 03/11/2018 08:11

So many people on this thread are fed up of NHS waste, incompetence and lack of service.

Ultimately some of us, or our kids, or our parents will die of illnesses that wouldn't have happened in another developed country. The statistics (cancer survival rates etc) are there.

Yet it is treated as a sacred cow that no political party will touch for fear of being accused of privatising it.

And yet it has been shown elsewhere that you can have Healthcare for all in society without it being substandard. The choices aren't just NHS or the American system.

We need to demonstrate to politicians as voter that we want proper reform, and that we are actually willing to pay for more stuff (eg prescriptions, physio, fertility treatment, minor gp procedures like removing a mole or putting a coil in / out, being charged for missed appointments etc).

svalentine60 · 03/11/2018 08:11

YANBU. However, having said that i have also seen rudeness, arrogance, laziness and a sense of entitlement and condescending attitudes on the part of nurses, admin staff etc many many times. So it's swings and roundabouts really. Individuals can be rude and obnoxious and that goes for patients AND staff.

CherryPavlova · 03/11/2018 08:21

People going back twenty years to find something to moan about beggars belief.
No propaganda- NHS compares very, very well to most healthcare systems. It’s underresourced. Staff are finding alternative employment.

People have become very demanding and rude - which makes doctors and nurses feel they no longer want to do those jobs. It’s not nice being pinched, vomited on or spat at in the course of your 14.5 hour shift (without a break) in an emergency department. No wonder they occasionally get compassion fatigue.

The overwhelming majority of people get very good care. Most rate the care the get as excellent and nationally something like 92% of patients would recommend their hospital service tomfriends and family. MN must have an exceptional bunch of whingers.

CherryPavlova · 03/11/2018 08:36

So this whole cancer care is worse belief is rumour based on misunderstood information and misreporting.

The studies are quite clear that the difference is likely to be due to lifestyle. Your average German is a whole lot healthier than your average British person. People in the U.K. are fatter and drink more than in many other countries and those are factors most likely to lead to poor outcomes in the treatment and recurrence rates of cancers.

In many KPIs the U.K. performs better. There are far lower percentages of people lost to follow up in U.K. than in either France or Germany.
The five year survival rate is better in U.K. if you have prostate or lymphoma. It’s not such a poor picture as is painted and if people stopped drinking, smoking and eating so much processed food, it might be a whole lot better.

OhTheRoses · 03/11/2018 08:39

Trouble is it's again and again and again snuggy.

Failure to diagnose graves disease fir two years. Eventually diagnosed orivately when so severe there were concerns it was affecting my heart.

I had a procedure this week to identify what was causing faecal incontinence - a birth injury from DS's botched birth over 23 years ago - I had flashbacks for years. It's a whole other story. But let's not forget the failure THREE times to monitor my TSH in that pg despite me saying it was essential and noting I consented to blood being taken only on that basis.

Incompetent HV's.

The shambles of advice and support for DS's bronchiolitis and the rudeness if staff.

The DC's ears.

Failure to review DS's broken arm for two weeks - left in a too shirt half cast for two long so had to be rebroken and manipulated.

DD's smashed leg and the disorganised shambles where people were being shouted at in outpatients and people with broken limbs had standing room only.

An ERPC where I was asked "did you want it"

My father who went to the GP 6 times in 8 months with a cough and was prescribed ab's for a chest infection - he collapsed on holiday and was immediately diagnosed with AML and died 10 months later.

My mother's septicaemia where three requests for a gp visit were made and declined. She did recover in a filthy third world environment for 10 days.

Do not get me on the subject of adolescent MH and the failure to provide care, the condescention, parent blaming culture and clouded misinformation behind which they hide and the impossibility of seeing a qualified dr rather than a nurse. Add in the gp refusal to help with private referrals pointing parentsto the internet. My dd recovered because her family could pay many thousands for private care. She had a neuro developmental disability whichva CAMHS nurse said she was too old at 17 to have.

Funnily enough things go significantly better in the private sector; things get diagnosed and dealt with in an efficient and kind way and staff are signifucantly more polite.

I've just mentioned the worst but my experiences persuade me that theNHS is a shanbles and needs to go and go in a managed way that acknowledges its failings rather than through privatisation creep.

Devilishpyjamas · 03/11/2018 08:47

It’s already privatised. My son’s care, paid for by the NHS, is costing 12k a week. That goes straight to a private hospital. He’s been there over a year. He doesn’t need to be there, has never needed to be there & actually being there is probably breaching his human rights (right to a family life in particular as it’s the other end of the country). He’s there because pretty much the whole care system is now privatised.

SnuggyBuggy · 03/11/2018 08:55

I don't doubt your experiences at all OhTheRoses, I think there does need to be a serious overhaul in most areas of the NHS. There doesn't seem to be much drive to do this.

I don't know how to say this without being offensive but with the increased retirement age I think there are a lot of people in the NHS who have been in their jobs for too long and are very resistant to change or new technology. There is also a lot of financial short term thinking and tightness.

One example I can think of is when I worked in a department where management were too tight to provide us with scanners, when we received a new referral letter there was a system involving it being passed to 6 people in 4 different departments before it being filed in the patients notes.

Obviously a lot would go missing and the patient would come for their appointment and the doctor would have no information on why they were referred. It would mean one of us either trying to get through to the GP surgery to get another one faxed or running around like a blue arsed fly trying to find it instead of simply just printing out another copy in less than a minute.

OhTheRoses · 03/11/2018 09:06

And in those circumstances snuggy do you think it's appropriate for patients to be passive because the service fails to respect their rights to adequate standards of service.

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