Ok it’s been a while…. It’s not that have had nothing to say, rather the contrary, too much to think about and reluctant to put my feeling on paper.
We are looking forward to a little release on restrictions and having had on vaccination I feel a little more confident about going out and meeting people again. It’s not easy being stuck…
Here is an article I wrote recently, it is long and I am sure you understand why if you can manage to read it all….
My view of the NHS
I was born in 1944, at the time there was no heath service, you paid the doctor for everything. My parents were members of a small health insurance, called the Saturday Fund and paid in each week; no doubt they got out more than they paid in as I was a sickly child, and our doctor came to visit often. I would think Mum was very grateful for The National Health Service, which started on 5th July 1948 as that changed to all care, Free at the Point of Delivery, including dentist, opticians and hearing.
At one time my mother was ill and after her short hospitalisation, went to a lovely place called a Convalescent Home, where nurses and care assistants got her fit and ready for discharge back home.
My first baby, born in 1966, was in Maternity Home and I recall being there for about ten days, learning how to breastfeed, bath and care for my little son.
In all areas of the United Kingdom, we had local or ‘cottage’ hospitals; they were staffed with all the relevant doctors and nurses, physios and some treatment specialists and only if you had to have major surgery or a bad accident would you to the ‘General Infirmary’. Most small injuries were dealt with by the GP or local Cottage Hospitals, so they were local and relevant to the population.
In the 1970’s I worked part-time in a council-funded Care Home for the Elderly, it was run well and catered for all who needed it. Residents Old Age Pensions were used to fund the system and each resident was left a small amount of money each week to spend as they wished.
There was an increase at that time in private care facilities, but now that is all we are left with. Profits are required so fees are high.
I understand the financial need for large multi-disciplinary hospitals, but in recent years this seems to have got totally out of control. The large institutions are unfriendly, too big to comprehend, with limited and costly parking, and the original goal of ‘joined up’ care is failing badly.
For instance, at one time a local GP would make the major decisions on our care, now we are shunted off to specialists who will only deal with one bit of us. Holistic care is non-existent, yet we are whole people, needing whole-person care.
Mostly this seems to be because of litigation; yes, people sue their FREE doctors. I find this issue difficult to understand; mistakes happen, they have always happened and will continue to happen. That is life.
Even our local Genera Practices are large, many doctors and nurses, covering far too many patients in a substantial geographical area. Maybe scaling back would be helpful, it would certainly be better for patients!
Maybe in smaller hospital clinics, things would not be missed so often, doctors in small units would have less pressure, more accountability and more all-round support; we the patients would be able to travel more often to local facilities to have our vaccinations, blood work, blood pressure, scans etc. done locally.
Take this for instance; an elderly lady, who has difficulty walking, was dropped by taxi at the steps of the General Hospital, many miles from her home. Eventually, a wheelchair was brought for her. After several attempts to find the clinic she was supposed to attend, she was informed she had ‘missed her slot’ and to rebook for another day. That was bad enough, but she had a further appointment and fortunately, a kind porter pushed her chair for twenty minutes to the DEXA bone scan unit on the outside of the main building and left her there. She waited for a while but became desperate to use the bathroom, so she called on the nurses to take her into the cubicle. Eventually, one care assistant took pity on her and sorted it out, in the meantime, her scan had been cancelled as a NO SHOW.
Tell me that this is right! and I am sure there are many more stories like that. Big is not always better so maybe it’s time for a re-think.
During this Covid-19 crisis, many intensive care beds have been taken up to the detriment of planned operations, cancer care, heart clinics and the rest. I realise that we have limited capacity, but a recovering patient is taking up a bed that could be used for a new and critical patient…if only we had convalescent homes…!
A place for recovery is just that; the crisis is past, but care and treatments are required for some time before discharge home. This also solves the problem of sending, still sick people into Private Care Homes and running the risks of infection to all residents.
At the outset of this pandemic, money spent on PPE (personal protective equipment) for NHS staff when through the roof, with procurement agencies, the government, individual Hospital Trusts all getting in a tis-was over what, where and how to get the ‘regulation’ kit. In the end, there was not enough, no forethought or joined-up thinking. You could not run a business like that, so why does the NHS not have real, skilled and astute management. The Managers get paid enough but fail to deliver time and time again.
Fortunately, the NHS has managed the roll-out of Covid vaccinations extremely well…better than any government it would seem.
Mental Health is another and particularly important issue to discuss. Years ago, anyone who had problems with life, or got pregnant out of wedlock was incarcerated in Institutions often termed The Mad House.
Thank God we have better information and more compassion these days. But still, we fail, depression is on the increase and no one looks for the cause, chemicals and drugs are the quick solution and counselling is scarce. Mental Health is still institutionalised, in some severe cases quite rightly, but for the majority of people, better housing and regular income would be great start. Prevention rather than cure should be the mantra to save lives.
The fundamentals of illness lie in poverty and poor education; we need to teach children what to eat and drink for good health so that the next generation will not require so much help from the NHS. We make ourselves sick in many cases, it is those with genetic, inherent illnesses or accidents who are the ones who need care.
Doctors sign an oath when they qualify, we would know it as ‘First do no Harm’. The oath dictates the obligations of the physician to students of medicine and the duties of pupil to teacher. In the oath, the physician pledges to prescribe only beneficial treatments, according to his abilities and judgment; to refrain from causing harm or hurt; and to live an exemplary personal and professional life.
So much to most of the medicine now given as treatments is chemical-based and though might do the trick in the first instance, the long-term effects may not show up for many years. The progression away from natural health, as in herbal and traditional remedies has been driven by money.
Doctors are not taught much about food, vitamins and minerals, just what prescriptions they can write; some medications are even funded by the pharmaceutical industries and pushed by governments. In many cases, this leads to dependence and addiction and I am sure you are aware GPs get extra fund for each ‘flu’ vaccination given, even though they are not considered efficacious as each year the virus changes.
It is a mess and is costing us, the taxpayer millions of pounds every year, and as a 76 years old woman I feel I have little to offer, only a word of warning….it will get worse.
Well done…you go to the end, thank you and blessings yo you and yours.