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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:
SnuggyBuggy · 03/11/2018 09:17

No I think it's absolutely ridiculous for a patient's often long awaited first appointment to be wasted because passing a sheet of paper round the hospital is the best they can do in the 21st century.

A lot of patients keep records of their own hospital letters and results because they have little faith in the hospitals ability to do so.

Many patients are pretty gobsmacked when upon enquiring what went wrong we explain the old fashioned way admin is done in the NHS. Maybe if more patients complain someone will start to listen, certainly no one listens to us.

givemesteel · 03/11/2018 10:50

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.

That may be a factor but its not the whole picture.

I think the care you get in NHS hospitals once cancer (for instance) is detected is as good as any you'd find in Europe or the rest of the world.

It's the detection and referrals where the NHS fails patients. GPs won't refer to specialists with ambiguous symptoms (eg symptoms of bowel cancer are very similar to ibs), so then the cancer is then not detected until it us in its late stages, which negatively impacts the survival rates in the UK.

OhTheRoses · 03/11/2018 11:00

UK patients also need to question harder and be less accepting of the brush off and perpetual whinge about resources.

With a smile, ok Dr, would you mind awfully recording in my notes that I have requested a diagnostic referral and you have said it isn't necessary. Our GP refused a diagnostic blood test for dd so I said fine, refer privately. No problem. Test was positive for a potentially life threatening but treatable disease. I didn't say a word formally but we were all transferred to the list of the senior partner after that.

citiesofbismuth · 03/11/2018 11:28

Our dcs have hfa and CAMHS tormented us for years with ds1. We were lied to, messed around, belittled, blamed, fobbed off etc. It was awful and ended up with him developing a serious life ruining phobia. The psychiatrist found out about his case by pure chance and saw him a week later. He was prescribed medication and was subsequently able to continue with his A levels. He's now at uni and doing well. This started around 16 years ago, so prior to the Tories taking over. I think there's a culture of dismissal and playing down problems in the NHS. "Everything's fine, you're imagining it, you look better now, nothing to see here" kind of attitude.

We've had to go private with ds2 because I can't cope with CAMHS as my area no longer recognise hfa and are very selective in which patients they'll deal with. No middle class, no parental IQ over 95 it seems. They prefer people they can easily deal with regardless of level of need.

I've forbidden dh from ever calling an ambulance for me, I have an advance directive to refuse treatment and I'd sooner die than end up in hospital as I know full well what'll happen to me due to my autism and people thinking I'm weird. If a damn paediatric physio can't even be civil to me before I've even opened my mouth or entered the consulting room, then I'm screwed. It must be the way I look, I don't know. I try very hard to appear normal.

People must be dying unnecessarily due to the way the NHS is operating.

ClenchQueen · 03/11/2018 11:39

I'm sure they are dying unnecessarily - I myself nearly have done twice, on both occasions being sent home and fobbed off. My experience of the NHS is poor quality care, dirty hospitals and administrative systems that just don't work. And it isn't free! I've been funding it through my taxes for thirty years now similar to most people my age. I don't think it's "entitled" to want decent healthcare when as a country we pour billions into funding the damn system every year.

OhTheRoses · 03/11/2018 11:53

Yes, CAMHS is a total disgrace. The biggest scandal is that becomes evident the minute one needs it and nobody is being warned before they know they do. GP's know. As soon as we knew we asked for a private referral or help with one. Our GP refused because they don'tnknow private outcomes and whilst reeling from the shock of finding out my 16 year old was anxious, depressed and self harming I was told to google the internet for therapists if I wanted to go private. There were 400 bacp registered therapists within a 20 mile radius of my home. Most therapists worth their salt will not accept an under 18 who is actively self harming.

When dd did have some CAMHS counselling a course of 8 mediocre sessions delivered late after a grossly mismanaged crisis her case was closed after delivery of the firat session. Tell me how that provides info' re outcomes? GPs and CCGs know the status quo and are commissioning crap services as cheaply as possible, presumably because they think that's ok. They expect people like us to seek private care but are doing nothing to support those pathways.

It is WRONG. People like GP's facilitate rubbish services and yet we the patients who fund this shocking service are expected to suck it up gracefully whilst GP's and other HCPs think they should be afforded ongoing respect. WHY? They are part of the system and could do far more from within to put it right than I can from outside the system.

SnuggyBuggy · 03/11/2018 13:07

When I did paeds my heart always sank whenever we had to do a referral for child mental health or behaviour. The organisations you wrote to were always claiming it wasn't their remit, it was someone else's, then the someone else would say it's not for us it's for the first organisation.

This would take several weeks and multiple letters. In the meantime the family is desperately waiting for an appointment and calling the office to try and find out what was going on. Sometimes I felt like being honest and saying, "Im sorry, we have tried referring your child but no one wants to know,"

Girlfrommars11 · 03/11/2018 13:34

I find that NHS try and block access to medical care. You have to get through so many barriers just to get seen, starting with the battleaxe receptionists.

If you go to the gp because you know there is somthing wrong, they don't want to refer you to the hospital or specialists or further tests. You have to fight for it. I think this is to weed out hypochondriacs and those who's symptoms go away. The gp is also trying to protect their budget. But this results in those that don't have the inclination to fight for treatment to just get left to suffer. It also means a waste of both the patients and the gps times. Pointless cheap tests like bloods and xrays also being done to placate.

Wouldn't it be better to just listen to the patient and refer them for the test they think they need. Even if a few hypochondriacs get tests they didn't need, it can't be more time and money consuming as the current system. That's not taking into consideration the cost of delayed diagnosis and law suits.

I worked briefly for a medical claims company. Most the errors were due to the patient not telling the whole story (probably because the doctor isn't probing and asking the right questions) or the doctor not listening to the patient/family.

citiesofbismuth · 03/11/2018 14:00

Anybody having difficulty accessing mental health for youngsters. I can recommend getting a private paediatric psychiatrist, especially if they're self harming or needing medication. It's a few hundred £s initially, but it's worth it.

The one we see wrote to the GP advising which med and dosage to prescribe and he's reviewed every six months. He's also friendly, polite and efficient and no jumping through hoops or weird Kafkaesque shit to deal with.

I think medical and psych problems can be affordable if you have an average income and not lots of outgoings, but I'd say you need health insurance for serious investigations or surgical intervention.

I can't afford a private psychiatric assessment atm because I have an older cat who has some health issues and I'm spending my money at the vets. I feel a bit resentful at paying tax, ni, whatever, for health care and having to choose between me and the cat's health. You fully expect to pay for private care for pets, but not for yourself unless you have insurance or lots of money. I priced up insurance and it was way too much with no cover for existing problems.

MorbidlyObese · 03/11/2018 14:10

This reply has been withdrawn

Message from MNHQ: This post has been withdrawn

ClenchQueen · 03/11/2018 14:57

Agree completely, morbidly. I'm really sorry about what you went through and thank goodness you survived. It's infantilising to have someone decide for you whether or not you need a referral to a specialist - all over the world grown adults get to make the decision themselves and healthcare systems do not collapse as a result of it. Plus the GP system just delays things - what's the use of having a two week pathway when you have to wait three weeks at least to get referred onto it?

ClenchQueen · 03/11/2018 14:58

I mean, when you have to wait three weeks for a GP appointment to get referred onto it.

Lifeisabeach09 · 03/11/2018 16:19

Reading some of these posts, you can see why the NHS is inundated. There are a lot of patients and family members who fail to take responsibility for themselves or their family members (when capable) and expect the NHS to do it for them.
A good example being the woman whose mother had a hip operation and needed a daily injection post-op. So easy to learn and administer. But she refused to do it and got the community nurses to come out instead. Why??
I recall being on a ward where a family member refused to feed his elderly mother insisting on a nurse or HCA to do it even though the six nurses and 2 HCAs, on the 35 bedded unit, were all busy with other patients. She didn't need a HCP to feed her.
Another example was the extremely obese patient who refused to change his diet and mobilise becoming bedbound, which ended up with nurses and carers having to do everything for him.
These I consider entitled and part of the NHS problem.
I, also, feel that for those moaning about NHS waiting times for non-urgent (or, indeed, some urgent) appointments if you can afford it, arrange a private consult. It's quicker and, often, not that costly, and they can refer back to the NHS for treatment after diagnosis.
I've done this myself--my income is low and I have no private medical insurance but I'm willing to use my credit card for some quicker answers.

SnuggyBuggy · 03/11/2018 17:13

I wouldn't feel confident injecting someone else to be honest

ThroughThickAndThin01 · 03/11/2018 17:29

Agree Life people could do more, but don’t want to.

HelenaDove · 03/11/2018 17:37

"People going back twenty years to find something to moan about beggars belief"

Maybe thats because what happened has left them with long term health problems.

Jesus wept.

HelenaDove · 03/11/2018 17:46

Id be happy to do an injection if the NHS were willing to sign a waiver absolving untrained me of any blame if anything was to go wrong.

AndromedaPerseus · 03/11/2018 18:09

The reason why the NHS still relies so much on on paper rather than electronics for its admin is because most of it’s IT systems are so unreliable and easy to hack into that it would breach much of its own information governance policies

citiesofbismuth · 03/11/2018 18:21

I developed an eye infection the other week. I have dry eye syndrome and know how to treat infections should they occur - about twice a year. I asked the Tesco pharmacist for some chloramphenicol drops as I react to Brolene. He said no, because my eyes weren't running with green pus. Well, no, that's because I've been bathing them in saline and using blepharitis wipes to keep them clean. They're still infected though because I've had this problem before and I can't risk Brolene because I have a damaged cornea and irritation risks a break down of it. He refused, told me to phone 111 or go to the eye hospital 🙄 I'm nearly 50, don't come across as an idiot (perhaps I do, so must try harder).

Drove round the corner to Boots, sent dh in with instructions on what to say. Five minutes later, he returned with eye drops and 24 hours later eyes much improved and infection now gone.

Even attempts to help yourself don't work if said health care professional treats you as though you're five.

Amaaboutthis · 03/11/2018 18:40

I think the care you get in NHS hospitals once cancer (for instance) is detected is as good as any you'd find in Europe or the rest of the world.

I just don’t think it is. Whilst the treatment for common cancers is pretty standard e.g breast, prostate, bowel and if it’s caught early enough then the NHS treatment is fine. As soon as you’re dealing with advanced or less common cancers the NHS is pretty rubbish unless you’re on a trial. In my experience the NHS doesn’t scan enough, the follow ups after scans are too slow, access to drugs which actually might work is limited due to cost and waits for appointments are far too long.

My husband has advanced cancer and I am thankful every day that he’s a private patient. He deals directly with his oncologist, the one we found and chose because he specialised in the particular cancer and is a world expert. He emails the oncologist and gets an immediate response. Every time he feels new symptoms he’s scanned to check, he never waits more than 2 days for scan results. He has had extensive testing on the tumour which has opened up all sorts of treatment avenues, the NHS simply won’t do the testing he has had and he has already been treated successfully on drugs which are approved for other cancers and are used for his cancer in the US but not approved by NICE here so unavailable on the NHS.

That is what cancer care should be and it’s not what the NHS offers. Will he be cured? Almost certainly not but a year after the NHS shrugged their shoulders and said “nothing we can do” he’s currently downstairs drilling something into a wall having been out for dinner last night, lunch today and looking forward to seeing friends tomorrow. If we had listened to the NHS I have no doubt that he wouldn’t be here today.

Schuyler · 03/11/2018 18:52

I do wonder if we would really solve that many problems with a different system. One example; in my area, it’s a year to wait for an initial consultation with a neurologist. Shock That’s just the initial appointment. There is a national shortage of neurologists. A different system wouldn’t change that.

OhTheRoses · 04/11/2018 00:09

Actually going back 20 years to demonstrate that many of the problems existed in the period 1997-2010. You know when Blair and Brown were in charge. The pdovkenms didn't miraculously Ppear when Cameron was elected.

HelenaDove · 04/11/2018 00:16

I DID take responsibility.................by losing a fuckton of weight. So perhaps try reading the thread Life.

oh and at the age of 45 i have still NEVER EVER been drunk.

im teetotal and dont drink at all.

NeverStopExploring · 04/11/2018 01:01

Everyone who complains about the waiting times should really think about the strain the services are under. The services are FREE and well and truly used and abused. It is not the NHS fault that people book appointments and don’t attend, or there is an emergency that means the doctor due to see you had to save someone’s life instead. We are incredibly priviledge to have free round the clock healthcare. It is not an entitlement! It’s not perfect but there is always private as an alternative

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