Monday, 27 January 2014

The NHS- our findings over the last year

It seems to be these days that every time you open a newspaper or turn on the television news there is some sort of story involving the National Health Service and the vast majority of these would appear to be negative.

A survey of five hundred people was recently conducted on behalf of a First4Lawyers which shows people’s attitudes towards the NHS. It revealed that 65% of people think the NHS is wasting money and there are concerns over the quality of care being received.

So with this in mind I give you our story. As my regular followers to my blog will know my husband has not been overly well this last year and has undergone masses of tests to try and get to the bottom of it – this is his story. 

OH name band from his endoscopy. 

I have been given the opportunity to put forward my experiences of the NHS as I have found them to be. I have to state before beginning that for the last few decades I have always done my best to avoid going anywhere near doctors and avoiding any medical procedures so I can only give my opinion of the NHS as I have experienced over the last year.

My initial contact with their services was, as most people, with my local General Practitioner, a quick phone call to the surgery and an appointment made for the same day so no problems there. I have to say though after moving house just a few miles away and having to register with another practice this is not always the case in fact it is not always possible to get an appointment in the same town I live in. more often than not I have to go to a different town to see a doctor.

This brings me to another situation that in my opinion needs to be addressed and that is the fact that it is not always possible to see the same doctor, when I was a child you had a doctor who was your family doctor he knew you and all about your family and their history and was able to build a rapport with you, you felt comfortable going to see him as you knew him, these days it seems to be a different doctor each time you make an appointment. Each of the GP’s that I have seen in my opinion were more than competent, extremely courteous and helpful especially as I am not the easiest patient in the world and have had for many years a distrust of doctors and hospitals. I have in the last few months due to the skill and patience of the various doctors and nurses though not cured certainly have gotten much better.
OH getting a 24 hr blood monitor test 

Moving on to my referral to different hospital departments after being diagnosed with various problems the most disconcerting fact is that in some of the referrals there seemed to be a long time scale from being referred to seeing someone at the hospital.  This is a problem not unique to myself and really needs to be seriously addressed by those in charge of the service. Another rather annoying and occasionally inconvenient problem is that of having to visit different hospitals in different towns.  This is something that in my opinion needs to be addressed. Why cant our NHS have all the requirements of a geographical catchment area under one roof?

Having finally got the dates and location of each of the departments I had to visit for various procedures this is where I found the NHS comes into it’s own as regards to patient care and treatment.  As most of my appointments were scheduled the often talked about waiting times were minimal, on arrival to the departments I was seen almost immediately by a member of staff. I was always treated with courtesy and respect and put at ease especially when having to undergo some rather unpleasant procedures. At no time was there any doubt in my mind as to the professionalism and skill of the many different doctors and nurses who were involved in my treatment.

Everything was explained in detail and mostly in terms that I could understand, any questions I had were answered to my satisfaction and at no time did I leave feeling that I had somehow missed out on information I should have been given.

To summarise as I have said on my own experience of the NHS, yes in some respects it could be improved such as waiting times for hospital referrals and preferably being able to deal with one GP rather then many and not having to travel to various different towns and hospitals for different types of procedure.
How the above problems are to be solved I have no idea, they are in the hands of NHS officials and our various government departments though I would hazard an educated guess that far more funding is needed.
With the resources available to them I consider the NHS in all it’s different departments to have been adequate in dealing with the different medical problems I have and continue to have, yes it could be better in many respects but this is something that I am sure they are striving to achieve with limited resources and I for one am very pleased that we have such an organisation as the NHS available to us at any time we need it always ready to do their best for us and with no cost directly to us at the time of needing help.

This is a PR collaboration. 

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