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OFSO
19th Apr 2012, 18:26
This is the way the NHS runs. Names changed of course, but otherwise.....(and I'm not making this up !)
 
A relative of mine in London has been referred by her GP to a specialist clinic. After months, no reply, GP didn't follow it up, nothing heard.

This morning a very useful and sensible member of my family calls GP's practice to ask what's going on, their receptionist says "we sent them a referral but we just haven't heard from them".

My family member calls the specialist clinic, receptionist says "we don't do that care here any more, it's been transferred months ago to xxx some distance away: we did inform all doctors in writing."

My family member says do you have the referral for my relative ? "yes, we have it here, there's a great pile of them, no we don't forward them to the new place, that's not the way it works, we send them back to the GP".

My family member asks wouldn't it just be easier to send the referrals over to the new clinic ? "That's not the way it works".

My family member calls the new clinic, nice lady says "yes we do that care here...and I am furious the former place didn't forward the referral to us".

My family member calls the old clinic, different receptionist is now there, other receptionist has 'gone home': Can you please send the referral to the new place ? Secretary says "No, it has to go to the Dr R again to make a new referral".

Would you ask him to do it tomorrow morning ? Secretary says "No Dr R won't be in until Monday".

Will you ask him then ? Secretary says "No, I won't be in on Monday".

Could you leave a note and my phone number and ask him to speak to me ? "Oh no, Dr R doesn't speak to people".

So what does he do and does nobody in the NHS work a full week ? "No, they can't afford to pay us".

My relative then informed the receptionist that they were all as useful as an ashtray on a motorbike, and she answered "it's not my fault, that's the way the system works".

My relative said she'd call the GP's practice again tomorrow and let her know and the lady answered "well, I won't be here either, I don't work Fridays OR Mondays"

hellsbrink
19th Apr 2012, 18:31
But the NHS isn't broken, if you believe what is said......


Hell, a brain scan on me was sent to the wrong hospital even though it was done in the hospital I was in. The EEG, from a different hospital, was sent to the right hospital, but the wrong doctor.

And you wonder why I spent 3k to have an MRI done on my back in '95?

jabird
19th Apr 2012, 19:01
The NHS is brilliant when you need fixing and you need it fast.

I could rant all day on this, but sooner or later we have to wish ppruneland a good day!

So, to cut a very long story short, I went to my gp with problem x, having had a previously extremely severe episode of problem y, x and y being closely related.

Initially, I'm told - 18 months for a referral, even though pre-existence of y should be enough concern to warrant instant appointment, since fresh diagnosis not needed.

Eventually, I say symptoms getting worse, he realises this, so refers me. Specialist gives me treatment for y, I ask what about x and he says "well if you have x, you would have had evidence from childhood". But he didn't even ask about previous symptoms!

Treatment for x doesn't work, I've had enough, so I go private.

Year or so later, private consultant says "treatment a is likely to benefit you" so I ask my gp for a referral for it. Sorry the PCT say, you can't have a because we don't have a funding allocation for that and also you've already gone private.

What ever happened to treatment for all at the point of need?

That's just for starters!

hellsbrink
19th Apr 2012, 19:25
jabird

I go to my GP at the time I want, within reason of course, and he has "zonder afspraak" hours when you just walk in. If he says I need a referral, he gives me a phone number and a specialist to make an appointment with.


I had a steroid epidural in my lumbar area within 20 hours of calling for an appoinment.

I waited a whole 3 days to start physio on my back.

I had an appointment at a pain clinic within 5 weeks

I had an appointment with a rheuma specialist within 3 weeks

I had xrays on my back within 18 hours of me calling for an appointment.

I had a CT scan on my back within 3 days of calling

I had an MRI on my back within 48 hours, and that was just routine.




Sure, that cost me money here. But nothing remotely as much as you think since we pay a small part of the total fee and then claim most of the rest from the health insurance (under 100 per year for the "basic" cover). In other words, I've paid around 400 for everything to do with the 3 buggered disk and the dislocation in my spine over here and had more treatment in the first 6 months here than I had in 10 bloody years in the "take painkillers and it'll get better" UK.




As I say, if the UK health service was so good they would have picked up the dislocation in my spine, as well as the curve to the right, because I could see it on the xrays when I was 2m away. When I asked to look at that pic again, it was refused. When I went back to my GP (4 weeks later, when I could get a bloody appointment), I was told that "there's nothing wrong, it must be muscle problems) I ended up going apeshit because I knew what I saw and that is why I spent 3k at Wimbledon Parkside. Guess who looked at the letter from there and couldn't look me in the eye.......



These bastards, who think "give a pill and he's happy then we can move on to our next one" have caused me a hell of a lot of pain that could have been eased years ago. But painkillers are cheaper, no matter what the effects of these things are, and so now I know I am absolutely f:mad:ed no matter what.


So please don't try to praise the NHS, the organisation that took a month to give me a brain scan after I suddenly had convulsions AND seizures despite there being no history of epilepsy in my family and certainly not in me until 2005 (never repeated since, one thinks TL/Fluo lights are the cause) and went all the results to the wrong effing places. That means I left the UK without knowing what was actually wrong with me, despite everything the NHS did after I was taken into hospital in an ambulance, and I know the same thing could happen again at any moment since we have no idea what the cause was thanks to the bloody NHS in the UK who did the things I said earlier.




You wanna live with a buggered back and the thought that you might have a seizure at any moment because some idiots couldn't send things to the right hospitals or doctors? Didn't think you would, so welcome to my life.............

OFSO
19th Apr 2012, 20:41
My wife and I are trying to deal with a relative's problems back in the UK. That's wht my thread-heading post is about.

If it were here in Catalunia, we don't even need a referral. Call specialist and ask for an appointment. Could be anything from "come in right away" to "24 hours" to five working days. See specialist, pay.

If he sends one to have an ultrasonic scan or x-ray or MRI, again, could be instant, could be 5 working days (the MRI department work 24 hours a day seven days a week and are always backed up, not unusual to get an appointment at 2 a.m. Sunday morning if it's urgent). Have it done, pay.

Full-time surgery entails more of a delay, say two weeks.

My fastest treatment was when I popped into the dermatologist for a chat and he removed a carcinoma from my ear then and there - one hour, 500. No "come back next week". And yes he had a waiting room full who all had to wait.

Pay on the spot, get 90% back from insurance company. I can live with that - considering what an efficient service we get for it.

anotherthing
19th Apr 2012, 23:36
As bad as the negative stories are I know of 3 people who have had to have dealings with the NHS in the past year; all for serious stuff. All three have been full of praise of the NHS. One is unfortunately incurable, but that's another matter.

One of my friends had the police knocking on her door one evening as the local practice had identified acute kidney malfunction after some tests and wanted her into hospital ASAP.

As galling as individual stories are when it goes wrong, there is lot of good things about the NHS as well, though obviously this is of little comfort to those who have had bad experiences.

The NHS is (still, I believe) the largest employer in the UK... it's not going to be perfect every time

TBirdFrank
19th Apr 2012, 23:59
We have a multi qualified friend who works as an independent consultant advisor to the food industry / health industry.

Her candid insights into the propaganda management as to both - and the perceived flight into the health insurance industry that is a clear side effect of the current NHS re-structuring makes very interesting reading - together with her parallels between the dogma cascaded by fear in the old communist countries and by the use, or withdrawal of consultancy and other contracts by bib big business in the capitalist world are very interesting.

We have our own minds - don't let THEM manipulate yours!

Mrs TBF is seven weeks out of her knee op. The NHS looks after my diabetes as well as any organisation could. Perfect they aren't, but I do believe that health is too important an issue to be a source of profits.

rmcb
20th Apr 2012, 00:10
health is too important an issue to be a source of profits.
Quite right, but I don't object to an organisation making a profit provided in making it they actually do something.

jabird
20th Apr 2012, 01:17
So please don't try to praise the NHS

Hellsbrink - I think I made it pretty clear that I wasn't praising the NHS!

I opened with a line saying that I think the NHS is very good on urgent cases. That is all.

Realistically, with my illness, first time it developed rapidly, inpatient care was excellent, that first time was in 97.

I then went through 10 years of trying to maintain a reasonable standard of health without relapse. They still don't get the concept of "wellness", nor the well established mantra that a stitch in time saves nine. Well that's for cotton, with human conditions, more like 99.

I think my GP is one of the better ones. But in Oct 07 I went to him saying I was concerned my condition was getting worse, and asking if it was wise to travel as I had a family event coming up which needed a long haul flight.

He said I should be ok. He called that one completely wrong. I was not just unfit for travel, but the crossing of timezones made the condition far worse. On my return I did then end up with an emergency visit which might have otherwise been avoided.

It has taken four very turbulent years since then to get to where I am now, which is still a long way off full recovery, especially as the medication has serious side effects including tiredness / lethargy, making it very difficult to plan any kind of tasks or concentrate on anything for more than a few minu

SpringHeeledJack
20th Apr 2012, 08:02
As has been said, when dealing with acute situations, the NHS are brilliant. I put this down to them having no time to muddle about, just react with well drilled procedure to take care of the patient. The rest of the GP/referral/specialist route is an unmitigated cluster f*** of confusion, incompetence, and waste. The system used in many central EU countries seems to work and you would have to wonder why it wouldn't be considered in the UK. The system is huge and has had the extra burden of a few million extra 'customers' these last years many of whom have cynically used the facilities, something that should be stopped. Perhaps a universal mandatory health insurance would curb such overburdening/misuse ?

Whilst having been frustrated by the referral system a few too many times, it is the elderly that get my sympathy, often waiting over a year for replacement surgery, all while in pain and discomfort and with reduced life quality.



SHJ

stuckgear
20th Apr 2012, 08:26
For the sheer scale and magnitude of what the NHS does, it is simply awesome.

Yes, it does have internal problems. however these are driven more by political interference and tinkering to promote the ideology du jour than by the medical abilities.

OFSO, check your PM.

Alloa Akbar
20th Apr 2012, 08:43
Stuckgear - Yes, it does have internal problems. however these are driven more by political interference and tinkering to promote the ideology du jour than by the medical abilities.

Absolutely spot on mate.. My other half is a nurse with many years experience behind her. Most days she comes home absolutely shattered and stressed out and all for one simple reason.. Ineffective management by those who have a political agenda to meet in order to further their careers or safeguard their jobs is ruining patient care by implementing more admin and and less direct care. The trouble is the decent ones try to maintain the level of care whilst meeting the primary demands of the additional admin. It's all wrong, the GP's know it's wrong, the hospitals know its wrong, but the lunatics have indeed taken over the asylum.

stuckgear
20th Apr 2012, 09:38
Absolutely spot on mate.. My other half is a nurse with many years experience behind her. Most days she comes home absolutely shattered and stressed out


AA, you too ?

my wife works in the NHS too. if i break down the statistics of how often she comes home a complete wreck, physically and emotionally it is probably around the 50% mark. regularly she comes home and just breaks down. literally. it not only has affected and changer her a person, but it affects our personal and private relationship too.

She is younger than me. she's in her 25th year and i have considered at various times a 23 year old /24 year old driven to the point of emotional breakdown. if this was in aviation circumstances the whole CRM issue would be raised.

this is not being driven by her managers, more dominantly this is being driven by herself to provide the best patient care she can for each and every patient. of course at some point this will stop, for her own sake and become yet just another bare minimum / dont give a s**t worker.

last week, she ended up leaving at 2345, having been in work since 0830 lunch ? none she's lucky if she gets 15mins in the day and that is a day on her feet all day every day.

the reason for her long day.. some political policy shift meant she had to go through her department records to source specific type of records, on tuesday she managed to get to bed at 3am still having started at 0830 and starting again 0830.

a friend of hers from school is a radiologist at the same hospital and regularly pulls double shifts.

these are not NHS consultants or managers or reg's they are medical staff who do this for less than the national average wage.

the new policy in place is that any departing member of staff will *not* be replaced, due to cost measures and before anyone wants to blame the coalition remember what labour p1ssed down the drain on the great IT scam/scheme that had nothing to show for it.. billions. and that the NHS has been saddled with PFI for the next 30 years.. some NHS trusts are spending more on their PFI interest payments than they are on medical procedures.

as always, political point scoring with the NHS does much damage. there's only so much that can be done. it's always a trade off increase this, you have to cut that; put focus on this you have to reduce that.

politicians need to be reined in by the NHS and in a non partisan way. healthcare is not and should not be politically weighted.

Alloa Akbar
20th Apr 2012, 09:57
Stuckgear - My problem with the whole situation is that it's the good folk at the sharp end such as our other halves and their "Can-do, will-do" mentality that are covering up for the inadequacies of the system. Nurses and Doctors will always put patients first and themselves second.. The way that attitude is taken for granted winds me up, as you say its not like they are rewarded for it.. All they get for their trouble is being left shattered, irritable, unhappy and frustrated. I guess that's why I admire her so much for the job she does and the person she is.. Me? I'd be wanting to punch some fecker!! :O

OFSO
20th Apr 2012, 15:24
This business of working long hours - we had a good friend who was a consultant paediatrician, for several years running two clinics for children in two hospitals. Eventually after getting near to a nervous breakdown she took early retirement, she was replaced by three doctors, two of whom resigned in the first three months as the hours were too long. I believe one of the clinics has now closed "because they can't get the staff".

Having lived and worked in several countries and been fortunate to have private insurance (which works on a low-profit basis) I am convinced that the private system works better than any other. Get treatment, pay for it, claim fees back from insurance. A side effect iis that good doctors (and clinics and hospitals) prosper, bad ones lose their patients and eventually go out of business.

By the way we have used the Spanish public medical system a couple of times and it wasn't at all bad. Every professional member of staff spoke fluent English (try making that statement about a London hospital !)

OFSO
20th Apr 2012, 16:07
Update on original post - GP's practice said they were never told that the specialist clinic had moved.

So can you send the original referral to the new clinic ? "No, it has to be done again."

But why can't you just send the original paperwork that you're holding in your hand ? "Because that's not the way we do things".

Sigh. Would be funny if it were not for the fact that an elderly person needing specialist treatment has now waited five months since initial appointment with GP.

stuckgear
20th Apr 2012, 17:51
OFSO have a look here : NICE Pathways (http://pathways.nice.org.uk/)

also here: Care Quality Commission | Homepage (http://www.cqc.org.uk/)

Loki
20th Apr 2012, 18:09
Hmmmm, mixed feelings about what has gone before. When it works well, it works brilliantly judging by my wife's ongoing cancer treatment. This despite our local one star hospital (built 1839) being like a maze with departments scattered all over the site, some of it in portacabins As has been said, the frontline troops are on the whole quite excellent. But, everything seems joined up....from seeing the GP onwards; just a few glitches with letters, but these get ironed out with a quick phone call.

I too have had Spanish healthcare experience (fell off a Spanish mountain). Brand spanking new hospital,state of the art x-ray gear, seen within 20 minutes by the registrar, who was the only person who could speak English.......though it's not nice when you hear a sharp intake of breath when an x-ray is being looked at.

pudoc
20th Apr 2012, 19:49
On the news this evening they want non-first time mothers to give birth at home saving the NHS 200 and flogged 'scientific research' that it's healthier for the baby!

11Fan
20th Apr 2012, 20:12
And folks wonder why so many Americans are suspicious of Obamacare. :hmm:

mustpost
20th Apr 2012, 20:29
OK, a perspective from Jockistan, no independence stance here (tho' this was sanctioned under Labour) - an utter disgrace. Please feel free to giggle the refs to this sorry project from day one.
"Disgusted of Morningside"
Hospital bosses say PFI firm (http://www.scotsman.com/the-scotsman/health/hospital-bosses-say-pfi-firm-putting-lives-at-risk-1-2244598)

Gertrude the Wombat
20th Apr 2012, 20:38
On the news this evening they want non-first time mothers to give birth at home saving the NHS 200 and flogged 'scientific research' that it's healthier for the baby!
Erm ... what this is about, is that for decades wimmin's groups have been campaigning for the right to be allowed to give birth at home, and this research suggests that actually it's not that dangerous in some circumstances, so occasionally such requests ought to be permitted.

603DX
20th Apr 2012, 20:56
A huge organisation like the NHS is a many-headed Hydra, when it's good it can be very, very good, but when it's bad ....... well, it's like several of the posts above. Unfortunately the service is regionally patchy with very poor uniformity of treatment, yet another case of "postcode variations".

When my eldest daughter was a medical student in London, the Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at her medical school told the students he was lecturing, that his NHS operations workload was very 'light'. Being an absolutely splendid fellow, he encouraged them to spread the word amongst their families, friends, neighbours and acquaintances. He suggested that if any of them knew of someone who was in dire need of a hip replacement, or knee surgery, shoulder joint refurbishment and so on, but was on an interminably long waiting list to be even seen, let alone operated upon, then they should give his name to them, for their GP's to refer their cases to him. Daughter told us of his generous offer, and it so happened that a friend of ours had been told locally that it would take many weeks for an appointment to see an NHS consultant about his bad hip pain. So we passed on the glad news, his GP was happy to refer him to the Prof, who saw him the following week, and shortly afterwards he had his hip replaced.

All done quickly and efficiently, and entirely on the NHS. Our friend would not agree to any "queue-jumping" or "going private", being a life-long Socialist from the Rhondda and admirer of Aneurin Bevan, father of the NHS.

So this was an example of both the best and the worst of the NHS. Best because the facilities, treatment and aftercare our friend received was quite first class. And worst, because it should not have been necessary for a kind-hearted individual within the hopelessly administered health service to act in this incredibly unconventional manner! I suspect that had he not been such an eminent surgeon, but held a more modest post in the organisational morass, he would have been slapped down smartly for failing to follow "the way things are done in the NHS". :ooh:

pudoc
20th Apr 2012, 22:23
Erm ... what this is about, is that for decades wimmin's groups have been campaigning for the right to be allowed to give birth at home, and this research suggests that actually it's not that dangerous in some circumstances, so occasionally such requests ought to be permitted.


But we all know the real reason why they started this 'research'.

hellsbrink
21st Apr 2012, 05:52
Erm ... what this is about, is that for decades wimmin's groups have been campaigning for the right to be allowed to give birth at home, and this research suggests that actually it's not that dangerous in some circumstances, so occasionally such requests ought to be permitted.

Sure, it should be permitted "on request". I don't think anyone has any beef about that at all.

But I just got a BBC report on this dated 19/04. They don't mention that it's "healthier" for the kid, although I can understand why as if the mother is less stressed, etc, then it's better for the kid, but they only talk about how it is cheaper. In my opinion, that is going to lead to more and more women being "encouraged" to have a home birth no matter what and that is a worry as it will mean that even where you are born will be "cost driven" and not be decided by what is actually best for mother and child (let's put it this way. Even NICE, the people who say you cannot get certain drugs, state that research into the cost effectiveness of places of birth should be the priority for research. Damn safety, it's all about cost).

radeng
21st Apr 2012, 08:17
603DX

The real 'father' of the NHS was the Great Western Railway's Medical Fund Society. The NHS was originally modelled on that, although Bevin did push for it.

Incidentally, would he be prosecuted these days for his 'lower than vermin' speech?

Gertrude the Wombat
21st Apr 2012, 10:52
But I just got a BBC report on this dated 19/04. They don't mention that it's "healthier" for the kid, although I can understand why as if the mother is less stressed, etc, then it's better for the kid, but they only talk about how it is cheaper.
Well, if you've every tried to get journos to report a story you'll know how difficult it is to get them to take any notice of the actual point of what you're trying to say, they're quite likely to pick some trivial detail which better fits their current agenda and make that "the story".

603DX
21st Apr 2012, 11:28
The real 'father' of the NHS was the Great Western Railway's Medical Fund Society. The NHS was originally modelled on that, although Bevin did push for it.



I hadn't heard that one before, radeng. Most sources credit Nye Bevan with the creation of the NHS. Mind you, if my hero Brunel had anything to do with the GWR's medical scheme, then I'd go along with the concept!

Incidentally, I don't think that the Foreign Secretary in Clement Attlee's postwar Labour government, Ernest Bevin, was directly involved in forming the NHS! ;)

Regarding that 'lower than vermin' speech, I must confess to a liking for politicians with a bit of fire in their belly! (Even when I don't share their political views). Bevan was a miner's son, and was born in Tredegar. Our friend with the hip problem was also a miner's son, and also came from Tredegar. Having been to Tredegar, I can admit that if I had been brought up there, then I too might have become a dyed-in-the-wool Socialist!!

hellsbrink
21st Apr 2012, 17:48
Well, if you've every tried to get journos to report a story you'll know how difficult it is to get them to take any notice of the actual point of what you're trying to say, they're quite likely to pick some trivial detail which better fits their current agenda and make that "the story".

The thing is though, the bit about NICE saying that "research into saving money should be the priority" came from the Guardian so it ain't just the BBC saying so. And there are plenty other sources saying EXACTLY the same thing.

That means that it is nothing to do with the "choice" that people should have, but purely about pushing people to give birth at home to save money to pay for essential surgery like breast implants, sex changes, calf implants, butt implants, nose jobs, etc, which are done for reasons of vanity and not for real medical and/or psychological reasons, like someone with breast cancer needing a prosthetic or someone needing a nose job because it causes them real breathing difficulties.

Let's face it, there's a hell of a lot of things the NHS should NOT be doing, and slashing these things (like the jailbird who had TWO sex change ops, from man to woman and then back again whilst serving a rather hefty sentence for his criminal activities) would also be a good start.

gingernut
21st Apr 2012, 21:40
This thread probably highlights the big issue-it's so bloomin' multifactoral.

It would take me all night to try and answer, defend or advise about all the issues raised so far, so if it's okay, I'll bow out. If you're worried why your GP hasn't sent you for an x-ray because you've got backache, post something on M&H. Or even better, book another appt with your GP and ask him to explain:)

You've probably all heard my rant's and raves defending our wonderful NHS in previous posts, so I 'aint gonna bother now-apart from one thing I will say- I haven't met many people in "the system" who aren't passionate about making a difference to the live's of our patients. Any yes, the rewards are okay. (Security, pension, hols, pay etc). I could harp on about how much extra we give to our patients but we're not after tea and sympathy, just time to do our jobs properly. In these austere times, something usually gives, hand on heart, most of us would agree, it's not patient care.

Getting back to the first post, stuff like that just let's us down, and is usually quite easy to solve. (Which makes it even more annoying.)

(was that 3 or 4 things?)

Good health and safe flying,

ginge

jabird
22nd Apr 2012, 03:08
like the jailbird who had TWO sex change ops, from man to woman and then back again whilst serving a rather hefty sentence for his criminal activities

Phew had to do a double take on that one! I know some of you have taken me for a rough ride on the cycling thread but I've got no plans of, well, chopping off some bits just to make my cycling a bit more comfy!

As it happens though, part of my dad's job did involve determining who got the op and who didn't. There were supposed to be clear medical criteria to go through - and quite a few were rejected for good reason.

I hadn't heard that one before, radeng. Most sources credit Nye Bevan with the creation of the NHS.

Swindon was one of many developments with an element of Victorian paternalistic town planning and its health system was very much a precursor to the NHS, but it was some years before Bevan came along with a nationwide scheme for everyone.

At least you could have a drink or two there aswell - unlike the Quaker chocolate baron model villages - lovely though they are. And still no booze on sale in Bourneville or New Earswick (York / Rowntree).

Mind you, if my hero Brunel had anything to do with the GWR's medical scheme, then I'd go along with the concept!

Well speaking of booze, walk out of Temple Meads and there's a pub called "The Reckless Engineer". No way IKB would have passed todays engineering exams, and there were several incidents which would have got him on a corporate manslaughter charge today.

Incidentally, would he be prosecuted these days for his 'lower than vermin' speech?

Isn't that one of the few insulting terms that can be used without engaging the PC brigade?

jabird
22nd Apr 2012, 03:33
OK, to go back to this point:

health is too important an issue to be a source of profits.

Hmm!

Well if its profits you want, try going into the GP or dentistry trade.

* Government send you your leads, 99% of which convert to clients
* Government protects your market and guarantees no payments fall into default as they are the ones making them.
* Government provides other incentives and bonuses for providing extra services.
* Set your own opening hours - why on earth would you open through the night when you get the same fee regardless?
* Minimal mortgage rates on new surgery builds.

Frontline GP services still too important to be allowed to make a profit?

Sir George Cayley
22nd Apr 2012, 10:27
In the UK 'going private' requires payment into effectively an insurance fund; BUPA was called the British United Provident Association.

But the important point is we all still pay our taxes including National Health Contributions, but in absenting ourselves from NHS hospitals create space for NHS patients and pay twice for treatment.

I agree that if you arrive at A & E with blues and two's feet first, the NHS can't be beat. However, don't get me started on going in as walking wounded:*

SGC

stuckgear
22nd Apr 2012, 10:51
SGC, the NHS serves a very large portion of private patients, the with private patients being seen to in NHS hospitals, with NHS staff, using NHS equipment. The NHS then bills the private healthcare companies for the work, who then pay the NHS.

My wife's own department has a portion of the week ringfenced for private patients. her patients during the week are a mix of both NHS and private, using the same space, in the same hospital, in the same department, using the the same equipment and in the same working hours.

Metro man
22nd Apr 2012, 10:56
At least you Brits get to use the system you've paid for. In Australia, once you get above a certain income level you either take out private health insurance or get penalised and made to pay an additional levy on top of your income tax if you want to stay with the public system.

Sit around at home all day on the dole however and the public system is free.:ugh:

radeng
22nd Apr 2012, 11:14
Some years ago, one of the cats tripped me up, after she brought a vole in. My thumb and wrist got sprained and swelled up, and I was advised by tyhe factory nurse to go to hospital. I got a lift to Cirencester A & E, arriving at 1600 on a Friday afternoon. By 1715, I'd been seen by a doctor, X rayed, plastered, given an appointment for the following Tuesday and was waiting for mrs radeng to pick me up.

The following Tuesday, I had an appointment at 1100. At 1055, they apologised for running late, and I got to see the doctor at 1105. He wanted an MRI scan. The hospital telephoned on Wednesday giving me Friday for the scan: that was at 0930, and the specialist saw me at 0950 and said there was no long term problem.

So walking wounded there get really good service.

hellsbrink
22nd Apr 2012, 12:12
That's almost as good as the service here, radeng. Shame that is the consistent "standard" across the system. The problem is that the level of care can vary from region to region, even from hospital to hospital in the same Trust.

Over here, hospitals are run more on business lines, each one, or each group, manage their own affairs without the interference of Government. That means they compete with each other for "business" and that tends to raise the standard of them all meaning that what you experienced is the "norm" here (you generally wait max 48 hours for an MRI as you can "shop around" and get the quickest appointment you can get. Machinery and equipment is all top of the range, etc. Sure, there are differences between hospitals, and my local one is rated as one of the best in the region so you can wait a little longer for appointments but nothing like what seems to be the "norm" in the NHS unless it's a real emergency. So everyone else tries to bring their standards up or specialise in other areas. Everyone wins.

stuckgear
22nd Apr 2012, 12:29
That's almost as good as the service here, radeng. Shame that is the consistent "standard" across the system. The problem is that the level of care can vary from region to region, even from hospital to hospital in the same Trust


That's a very valid point. the problem is that some regions have experienced higher levels of population growth than others and where certain areas remain stalwarts of political loyalty, these can be influenced by the party of the day and its political influences. it's interesting that some hospitals have undergone considerable investment, by way of PFI to promote party ideology of the time, and have now been saddled with huge debts to manage.

the true problem with the NHS is that it needs de-politicisation. playing politics with health-care only leads to disaster and huge costs for all.

Gertrude the Wombat
22nd Apr 2012, 13:15
The problem is that the level of care can vary from region to region, even from hospital to hospital in the same Trust.
And in the same hospital at different times of day.

An incident at 1600 on a Friday is described. What, I wonder, would have been the experience at 2330 on the same day, when the place would be crowded out with drunks with self-inflicted injuries?

radeng
22nd Apr 2012, 13:58
Cirencester being the sort of place it is, probably not too different. Swindon, on the other hand, would be a VERY different kettle of fish.

OFSO
22nd Apr 2012, 15:45
Yes, Sir George, having private health insurance indeed you do pay twice over for treatment, but that's the same for any of us with mandatory private insurance in Europe. My income tax goes towards Spanish "National Health" clinics and hospitals - which having private insurance I will never use. But I don't begrudge them a portion of my tax, which enables the less-fortunate to get excellent if somewhat slower service.