But – they will need to work hard to get best treatment if

treated on NHS

Latest figures show the NHS in yet another shameful global ranking for healthcare

Should we laugh – or cry?  Or do most people just shrug their shoulders?Image result for nhs humour

Being diagnosed with cancer is more likely than getting married today.  And if that wasn’t enough, in an artice in The Lancet (the magazine for UK’s Doctors), if you are treated in our health system your treatment will lag behind that in other countries.

According to The Lancer, tiny tax haven Andorra was the top-ranking country in a recent study on medical healthcare; whist the UK was ranked at 30th  – lagging behind other European countries such as Germany, Ireland, Spain, Italy and even tiny Slovenia.

Experts analysed data on death rates over the last 25 years from each country to draw up the list which they called the Healthcare Access and Quality (HAQ) Index. With all the new plans, initiatives, STPs etc. that Whitehall boffins have hit the NHS with, Britain is still underperforming in relation to its level of development, according to Professor Martin McKee, who co-led the study.

“The UK has made consistent progress since 1990, but lags behind many of its European neighbours, including Finland, Sweden, Spain and Italy, all of which have health systems very similar to the British NHS and so are most directly comparable,” said Professor McKee, from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

“The gap between what the UK achieves and what it would be expected to, given its level of development, is also wider than in other western European countries.”

Reality check

Visiting a friend in ‘God’s Waiting Room’ in her local hospital, it was depressing to see the old dears.  Most were cowed – not daring to say a thing in case they upset the stroppy agency nurses swanning around – and most of them are not even nurses, but HCAs (Health Care Assistants) so no call to give themselves airs.

Her ward has two Dementia patients, one banging a stick with great glee, the other onstantly ringing her bell – apparently at night-time they wail constantly.  No wonder my friend was looking shell-shocked from lack of sleep.

At my friend’s request I asked for her to have a private consultation with the specialist Geriatric GP – she just wants to go home and is worried now that she has picked up a hospital infection, she will be stuck there for ever.  Do you think anyone has called him?  She is just ignored. Meanwhile when I ask if she can be moved into a side room, so she can get some sleep, I am told that the infection she has picked up “isn’t bad enough” to merit this (there are six such rooms, all occupied).  So now it is the norm to expect to pick up something nasty when you go in to an NHS hospital.

What are we doing?

Friends are ralying round.  We know a very good nursing agency, who charge the same as the local Council charges Carers – and these will be properly trained nurses.  We reckon with a proper nurse, and a home that is well set up with spare room, two bathrooms, stair lift, special bed and a wonderful Maid who is devoted to our friend, we are able to cope We just need the NHS to sort out her discharge – but that’s another story.

But, every time we try and sort out her care, an officious nurse asks “are you a relative”, knowing full well her next-of-kin lives miles away, and can seldom visit.  This is yet another cop-out produced by the NHS.

Consequences with Brexit

I went downstairs for my appointment with a Consultant.  Learnt I will need an op – Consultant looked embarrassed, so I put her out of her misery and said I would save up to go privately.  Look of relief on her face as she explained that otherwise it would take me over two years just to get on the list – and then months if not years to wait.

Then it was my turn to look embarrassed as she explained she might not be here next time – she is an EU citizen and doesn’t know if she will be ‘allowed’ to work in NHS.  Hence a lot of her colleagues have already left to work in other countries.  And so we have even fewer doctors and nurses working in the NHS.

What a vicious circle, made even worse by politicians. What is going to happen to those on whom the NHS depends, when Brexit arrives?  It takes years to train a medical professional, and recent statistics suggest that next year there will be 23% FEWER British trainee nurses – because there are no bursaries.

The agency nurses staffing my friend’s ward were almost all from other countries – so one shudders for the future of the NHS.  When The Lancet does another survey next year, will we have dropped even lower than 30th down the table?

Then I read that Ambulance response times are being down-graded, and wonder how long it will be before we copy countries such as I saw in Romania, where neighbours are used to rush patients to hospital in their cars.

Florence Nightingale must be spinning in her grave.  If you want to know what she did for Nursing, go to this American website and see what their medical profession thinks of Florence; and weep when you think of today’s situation:



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