Monthly Archives: March 2013

Saving money in the NHS

How it cost the NHS £300+ to save £1

Ministers pontificate about saving money in the NHS.  Anyone who has the back of a spare envelope to hand could easily scribble down areas where costs could be saved, but one gets the impression that David Nicholson is so busy trying to save his skin that he is letting through the weirdest ideas, and not bothering to think them through.   (Or too busy fending off the mounting criticism to spare the time?)

Latest money-saving idea is to dish out uncoated pills  This saves around a pound or so for a month’s supply of those pills that might upset our stomachs. Quite a saving when one thinks of the millions of pills we swallow each day.

BUT – that coating can be very important, protecting our insides from other drugs dancing around in our stomachs.

So when I needed to take quinine pills to ward off polio effects, I wondered why they tasted bitter – but swallowed never-the-less.  BIG MISTAKE.

Still don’t know quite what happened, but side effects were quite dramatic, and I ended up in an ambulance on my way to A & E.  Ambulance staff said I wasn’t first they had rescued recently with same problem.

I have complained – loudly – and been met with a shrug of the shoulders from my GP (who is supposed to be looking after my health).

But luckily my Pharmacist DOES care – and he has already alerted me to another change of coated tablets;  when I mention this to y GP, he changed the prescription without a murmur.     I have now been issued with coated pills – but at what cost to NHS – and me.

Sir David Nicholson

Sir David Nicholson (Photo credit: NHS Confederation)