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The NHS in Scotland

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The NHS in Scotland

Old 17th Feb 2015, 22:27
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The NHS in Scotland

I am starting this thread bacause of the consequences of the appalling waiting times in Aberdeen. After all the dust is settled my wife is having a hip replacement done at a private hospital in Edinburgh because Grampian Health Service cannot cope. As her N of K I am entitled to take her down there and be accommodated and fed nearbye whilst she is in hospital.

The result is that I am in the Holiday Inn, next door to the hospital, on B&B and evening meal, for free, for, at the moment, six days, plus all travel expenses including the preceding consultants interviews and pre-op checks.

Makes you cry, doesn't it.

We will ignore the fact that as a member of the Priority Club, thank you, for working in China, I get free internet access and a Torygragh every morning.

I am gloating a bit because I feel that I am getting some of MY taxes back. but it just shows that because the Scottish NHS cannot get it's house in order it is having to shell out about 600 on somebody who is not getting any treatment.

As an aside. On the way from the Holiday Inn along the Corstorphine Road there is a massive stone building that looks like a school sitting on about four acres of land. It is unused, but a nagging feeling in my brain suggests that it was once considered as the home of a Scottish Parliament. They decided to build an angular box instead.

Last edited by Fareastdriver; 17th Feb 2015 at 22:42.
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Old 17th Feb 2015, 22:48
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The result is that I am in the Holiday Inn, next door to the hospital, on B&B and evening meal, for free, for, at the moment, six days, plus all travel expenses including the preceding consultants interviews and pre-op checks.
Is the bar tab covered as well? If it is, now that's what I call great health coverage!

I just might change my mind about national health care.
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Old 17th Feb 2015, 22:54
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Someone will be along to tell us Yanks how much better the NHS is than our, admittedly expensive, system is directly.

GF
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Old 17th Feb 2015, 23:21
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Someone will be along to tell us Yanks how much better the NHS is than our, admittedly expensive, system is directly.
Well shoot, if includes hotel rooms, food and bar tabs, it is better.

We'll just have all of President Obama's illegal, err excuse me, undocumented immigrants pay for it.
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Old 18th Feb 2015, 00:41
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You called?

I can't speak for Scotland as I've never worked there. But in practical terms comparing two medical systems, one costing well over twice as much as the other, is never going to be straightforward.

The NHS either has to further limit what it does, or have a funding increase to cope with the aging population, or we as a society have to accept that sometimes people get old and there comes a point where aggressive treatment is inhumane, or it's going to collapse fairly shortly.

Wishing your wife (fareastflyer)a good recovery.
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Old 18th Feb 2015, 01:13
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Fareastdriver, The building I think you are referring to is Donaldson's School for the Deaf.

The angular building
Is for the terminally greedy and stupid.

Sorry the images don't work. :-(
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Old 18th Feb 2015, 02:39
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It's been common to do orthopaedic operations for the NHS in the private sector for years.

It's the same surgeon and the same anaesthetist invariably. The NHS hospital doesn't have the theatre space, HDU/ICU space, bed space to do it so it's easier [although not always cheaper] to farm it out to the private sector - otherwise there targets will be affected and make them look bad. It's done as a large package which keeps the costs down. Private hospital is happy as they keep their facilities fully utilised.

From what my wife told me [Orthopaedic Nurse, years in the NHS as nurse and manager], HDU [High Dependency Unit] space was the major bottleneck as the ortho patients tend to be older and have other medical problems. The private sector is given the easy, straightforward cases to do whilst the complex ones stay in then NHS where proper support services are located.

In the NHS it's a simple case of demand exceeding supply - an increasing and ageing population with more advanced medical intervention means soaring demand across the board but no-one wants to fund or pay for it.

The days of everyone getting free treatment for more or less everything on the NHS cannot continue - Joe Public will have to at some point start bearing some of the individual cost and not just in taxation.
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Old 18th Feb 2015, 06:02
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Originally Posted by Bally Heck View Post


The angular building
Is for the terminally greedy and stupid
Ah yes, the Scottish Parliament building that was estimated to cost 40 million and ended up costing over 400 million. Maybe the fact that the roof leaks like a sieve was a joke by the Spanish architect to remind the politicians of the Scottish climate. Then came the trams fiasco, years over schedule and massively over budget. Now they are saying the cost of the V&A museum in Dundee has doubled, and that is before they have laid one brick.

And that, Mr Fareastdriver, is why you find yourself in the position you are now. Go down to Holyrood and take a piss over the reception area, because that is what they have been doing to you and the rest of Scotland!
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Old 18th Feb 2015, 07:51
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Galaxy Flyer - The UK NHS is considerably better than the U.S. System which costs 2 1/2 times as much for worse outcomes. The U.S. Infant,child and maternal mortality rates for example are third world - even Cuba has better figures. Have a look at WHO figures and read the U.S. Constitution Fund report on the subject. I am a little puzzled at Fareastdrivers post - what exactly is he complaining about ? His wife is being treated in a first class hospital - I suspect it is the Murrayfield clinic where I received excellent care a few years ago.
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Old 18th Feb 2015, 08:03
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Having had both my Hips replaced I think that 6 days is a tad excessive. On both occasions I was in on the Tuesday morning and back home by late Thursday afternoon.

The NHS is NOT free, it is free at the point of use. I have paid Tax and NI for 40 years and the deal was that a portion of that cost would cover my healthcare.

If the cost of that healthcare is now increasing then we have to pay more - simples! I would far rather pay an extra few pennies of Tax every month than go to some dreadful Insurance based system that provides excellent healthcare.....but only for those who can afford it.

Finally, lets use the system for that which it was intended i.e a National, not International system. Also, if you want to have kids at 50, pay for it. If you decide that you want to be Martha and not Arthur, pay for it. Don't like the size of your boobs, pay for it. Want to go to A&E with a cough, pay for it. Need to lose 20 Stone, stop eating sh!t.

There, that's better.
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Old 18th Feb 2015, 08:11
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Americans do not seem to realise that they have had a form of NHS for many years. If someone is hospitalised for a major health issue but cannot pay or has no insurance who pays? The patients who can pay or their insurance companies foot the cost by inflated billing.
Health care costs are rising as has been stated by an ageing population and also by more expensive procedures. The rising costs will have to be borne whether it is the NHS or private care which is responsible or people will not have access to care when needed. The simple answer is to raise the amount that we contribute through our taxation system - the alternative is to have costlier private health insurance which has many limitations as our US friends will tell you or do without.
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Old 19th Feb 2015, 21:33
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Have a look at the Fred Talbot case.

Most of the abusing (allegedly) took place on the Caledonian Canal, (in Scotland), probably 20 plus cases.

English Police and CPS would have been able to take more action if it the offences had taken place on most other soils, but not Scotland.

They have had to "hand over files."

They are more miles apart then most other places I can think of.
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Old 19th Feb 2015, 21:48
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HDU [High Dependency Unit] space was the major bottleneck
See:- BBC News - Frustrations of an NHS brain surgeon
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Old 20th Feb 2015, 02:15
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Part of the official rationale for dedicated joint hospitals is that you're not mixing the well patients who just need a new hip or knee, with the sick patients who are pouring out virulent bugs.

Increasingly, I suspect, it's because acute hospitals are grinding to a halt, so full of sick emergency patients that it's becoming impossible to do planned operations. The expensive orthopedic surgeons are left to twiddle their thumbs, champing at the bit whilst the surgical wards are filled with elderly ladies with chest infections. Our lesson in building a new A&E is that we should have aimed to have rooms so small that you can't fit a bed in them, otherwise they get filled with inpatients and you have lots of A&E doctors sitting around, unable to see anyone because there isn't an empty consulting room.

We were very upset recently here because a young (50s) patient needed an urgent lifesaving operation and the only hospital that could do it was full. Really full. The place where they normally send you to recover after operations was being used as an impromptu ward. After a day of waiting around he got sick enough that he had to be transferred by helicopter and operated on, even though there was no recovery bed available for him. He's doing OK but would have done better had he been operated on sooner. One of our older nursing staff members felt that this was the first time ever that we had a patient who so obviously needed treatment, for whom we weren't able to do anything.

So as far as joints are concerned, the move is towards dedicated hospitals that aren't equipped to care for 'sick' patients. It's the only way of getting anything done.
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Old 20th Feb 2015, 03:38
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Originally Posted by bcgallacher View Post
The U.S. Infant,child and maternal mortality rates for example are third world - even Cuba has better figures.
You do realize that's primarily because the numbers are measured differently in different countries, right? But, hey, it makes a great sound-bite.

The simplest way to reduce US infant mortality rates would be to stop trying to save kids who are born early and very small. Just classify them as a miscarriage and let them die, as some other countries do, and the infant mortality rate would drop massively overnight.
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Old 20th Feb 2015, 04:37
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" The simplest way to reduce US infant mortality rates would be to stop trying to save kids who are born early and very small. Just classify them as a miscarriage and let them die

. Would you care to expand on the idea perhaps ?....you know the sort of thing, a National, State or even County quota requirement. Minimum size criteria ?....physical appearance ?.....hair colour ?..... parental social and occupational background...might as well chuck in ethnicity here as well.

Given your emetic value of human life, perhaps you should apply to run and develop the programme. And, why stop with infancy. Why not expand it to the aged say, or those with long term illness, mental illness or indeed any form of impairment.

I seem to recall this proposition has been tried before.

Last edited by Krystal n chips; 20th Feb 2015 at 05:10.
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Old 20th Feb 2015, 04:47
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Americans do not seem to realise that they have had a form of NHS for many years. If someone is hospitalised for a major health issue but cannot pay or has no insurance who pays? The patients who can pay or their insurance companies foot the cost by inflated billing.
This is precisely the post I was going to make but was beaten to it. Do you really think the hospitals which have to treat uninsured emergency cases for free do it out of their own pockets ? NO, they simply increase the charges for those who do pay and the insurance companies increase the premiums in turn.

You already have socialised health care in the USA, very inefficient and expensive but it's there.
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Old 20th Feb 2015, 06:12
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MG 23 - The figures from the WHO are reliable. You have an interesting philosophy that I cannot quite get my head around - reduce infant mortality by allowing more to die? Sounds like something thought up by Adolf Hitler. I think your chances of having this adopted are a bit slim.
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Old 20th Feb 2015, 06:48
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Far East Driver - instead of complaining I think you should be grateful that the NHS first priority was the care of your wife,not the financial aspect.If she had needed treatment that was not available in the UK then she would have been financed for the treatment to be delivered in another country. The NHS is far from perfect but in spite of the Daily Mail's propaganda war it is still the most cost effective health service in the developed world. If you want proof of this Google 'Commonwealth Fund' and read the report they produced on health care in the developed world. Being an American institution they are hardly likely to be biased in favour of the UK NHS. The NHS provides good healthcare for all rather than the best health care for the wealthy few that can afford it.At present I am being treated for cancer by the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh. The cancer centre facility is excellent,the equipment is state of the art and the staff are very professional but informal.
If you read the British press you would be given the impression that the NHS is an inefficient and bloated institution - it is anything but. It has been used as a political football by the Conservative party who would dearly love to have it privatised to get it into the hands of their business friends who at present are missing out on the profits that could be made. They would create a replica of the American system that patently does not work - it costs more than twice the UK system for worse outcomes.

Last edited by bcgallacher; 20th Feb 2015 at 06:54. Reason: error
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Old 20th Feb 2015, 08:21
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I don't think MG23 is trying to argue for tiny premature kids to be euthanised. Quite the opposite in fact. Read what he's written again. I don't know whether his point is valid - this article seems to suggest not:
http://sm.stanford.edu/archive/stanm.../article2.html

I actually would argue that there comes a point at which you're not doing the kids any favours by trying to save them. I find special care baby units the most depressing places I've ever been - full of tiny creatures being jabbed with needles, starved of human contact. At any point in time, at least one of them seems to be having a strokes or seizure, and we know that many of them won't go on to have a normal life even if they survive.
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