NHS – DON’T complain , DO something

Free at the Point of delivery – should we


English: NHS logo

English: NHS logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Anyone talking about our health service repeats this tired old mantra.  But there is another saying – YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR.

Time we took control of NHS funding

Funding for NHS is decreasing when compared with inflation, etc. More and more people are so worried they now pay for private healthcare – myself included.

For some years financial gurus have warned that the NHS is in danger of going bankrupt.  Now, The Kings Fund shows that a quarter of NHS trusts are already in deficit.

GMB, the union for staff in the NHS, responded to the news that East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust have been reported to The Pensions Regulators because they have failed to pay both their own and employee contributions to their occupational pension schemes.

So expect things to get worse.

My Consultant had a look of relief on my face when, having just told me the bad news, “you need an operation”, I asked him “can I go privately”?

He kindly tried to point out that this would be expensive, and “you can get it on the NHS”.  But, friends have been waiting 6 months or more for “urgent” operations – heaven knows how long I would have to wait for a non-urgent procedure. Ever since my medical insurance had found a clause which meant they could ‘chop’ me, I had seen what was happening to the NHS, so sold my flat, and downsized so that I could have a ‘sinking fund’ to pay for healthcare. Last time I had been in our local Foundation Hospital I had a painful shoulder;  my surgeon sent me off immediately for a pre-assessment op – and alarm bells rang out loud and clear. Pre-assment Nurse was looking at her screen, and took no notice of me, or

  • Polio – very important as I would be having a General anaesthetic, and Anaesthetist would need to know details to give me correct dosage.  Nurse brushed aside my concerns:  “you’ll see the Anaethetist before you go in to theatre”.  Really reassuring.
  • Anaemia – I had count of 8.5 or whatever – very low
  • Heart problems – after 7-hour op for Aortic Valve replacement etc. I would always need ECG – she didn’t mention this, even though I risked a glare as I tried to point this out.

What next

The experience so worried me I used up some of my precious ‘down-sizing’ cash to pay for the op. privately. Then wrote to Foundation hospital. Upshot was a very polite letter from one of top people asking me to come in at my convenience.  During our hour plus long meeting she was taking copious notes, so I hope somebody got their knuckles rapped. But another friend who had the same shoulder op as me, almost the same day, still has bad pain and limited mobility.  She had to wait two months for physio after the op., and only had four sessions compared to my 12.  My shoulder is fine. Hence for my next op., my nerves won’t stand a repeat, so I a going back to the hospital where top consultants of the Foundation work privately. So where is our tax and National Insurance going?  And do we want more of a say what happens to it?  My local Councillor is going to get some questions before the elections in May. verite@greenbee.net

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