Sometimes I feel anonymous


I am very grateful that medical staff do so much for me – but just sometimes I wish they would just stop and ask me what I want, instead of assuming they are acting for me in my best interests.

Currently, Strike leaders say they are striking for us patients.  This is very laudable, but it would be nice if ‘they’ listened to me when I mention my medical needs – not just assume they know what is important to me.

Often I have to do some devious juggling to get the care I need.  Gone are the days when your GP arranged for you to see exactly the right doctor that dealt with your medical condition;  today you can see someone who has no idea what or who you are.

Appointments are arranged by an anonymous team – often in a call centre.  When I get an NHS appointment giving me a date for a long-awaited hospital visit, I now send a letter back saying I will be at the appointment offered in XXXX’s clinic, and am sending a precis of my notes.  This is to try and ensure I see the appropriate clinician.

It’s worked very well since I started to do this, each time since I’ve seen a senior clinician who has known what I need, rather than being fobbed off with the next available doctor.

BUT – and it is a big BUT – if we don’t get the NHS sorted out to offer appropriate treatment for all visits, we risk ending up with a fragmented health service.  It is up to US to insist we get what WE want;  no-one else is going to do this for us.

So next time you are confused, don’t understand what the doctor is telling you, or strongly suspect you are NOT getting the care you should, stand up for yourself.

ASK QUESTIONS.  With the current production line of treatment that runs through the NHS, it is up to us patients to call a halt and ask for appropriate care – don’t just assume you are going to get the right care.

Because, as is so often highlighted in the media today, sometimes the care doled out is NOT the correct care. And then it takes time, effort and a lot of work to get the right care set up for us.