It looks like the shemozzle over the next NHS pay-rise is over. Now basic minimum wage will be £8.93 an hour, which is 18p above the living wage of £8.75. Big deal – can’t see that is going to get people flocking to work for the NHS. This piffling amount has been decided by Ministers earning around £140,000 a year. Being a Minister is a tough old job; twelve hour day = about forty quid an hour. Less tax. Just wish we got value for money, then I would say ‘good luck’ to them.
Instead, Jeremy Hunt takes less than a hour to deliver a speech to the British Association of Social Workers conference, promising to kick start the vital debate into social care funding. I’d say Hurrah, if I didn’t know that NOTHING will be done. I’ve just moved from one UK area to another, and if I had depended on the NHS I would still be waiting for vital care. Heaven knows what happens to those very disabled who depend on the NHS and Social Services. The POST CODE LOTTERY reigns across the UK – and how. Joined-up care just doesn’t exist. Here, being Oxford, there is a sophisticated version of the NHS waiting list. You see your GP (they are charming and Receptionists are even human), GP refers you for services, you get a letter saying you are in system. Then nothing happens. Oxon CCG has refined the waiting list to a fine art, and it wasn’t until I really blew my top that someone phoned me back to offer me a cancellation in an hour at the local Community Hospital. Obviously didn’t expect me to take it, but I shot off, had a superb interview with very on-the-ball assessor, who promised all sorts of goodies and left me feeling something was happening at last – then I realise I STILL haven’t had one appointment for treatment I was having weekly before.
Cave in and go privately, and it’s a different story. I have seen a fantastic Oncologist; 75 minutes of solid sensible information and I came out reeling, I had had so much intelligent care. Saw an Opthalmologist who was brilliant; a private physio seemed to have X-ray vision, she knew so much about what was causing trouble, and finally – the icing on the cake was a stint on a private hospital’s Aqua Treadmill. Brilliant exercise, and already I can feel it’s done me good as I don’t wobble so much as I walk along.
Luckily private care here is half the price of Harley Street, but bang go any ‘luxury fitments’ for my new home! And I have joined the massive queue waiting to ask Hunt what he is doing about so-called ‘joined-up-care?