Lets work the NHS for our benefit –
and move up appointments ladder
Daily stories show the NHS in crisis. With politicians in charge, things are bound to get worse, unless patients tell the NHS what is needed
It’s no use spouting the mantra that what’s needed is more money – it’s gone way past that. Other countries make better use of their healthcare budgets; the UK has the worst outcomes in Europe for cancer, heart problems etc. even though we spend roughly the same amount as other major countries on Healthcare
The Political Football
My opinion, for what it’s worth, is that it’s foolish having politicians in charge of the NHS. When the person in charge i.e. Secretary of State for Health is a politician, this means every time the Prime Minister decides to shuffle the cabinet around, they appoint a new Minister in charge, who brings in a new raft of SPADS (special advisors), sweeping out all the proposed ‘reforms’ from the previous lot, and bringing in new ‘initiatives’ that have to be worked out, staff allocated, old systems swept away (no matter if they worked), and everything gets disrupted – until the current Minister is moved and the next incoming Secretary of State for Health starts the whole merry-go-round all over again.
With 11 Secretaries of State for \health since 2000, it’s no wonder the admin is in such turmoil, You wouldn’t run the most inefficient company this way – so why disrupt the nation’s healthcare with this system.?
Let’s run healthcare for OUR benefit
Because it is so inefficient, I have found that if you know how to play the system you can gain some benefit; especially in jumping the horrendous waiting lists. I do it this way : –
- Accept the appointment date – however many months/years in the future.
- A week later, start my campaign
- Phone up the appointments booking office – in my area I find Friday is the day they consolidate cancellations.
- Ask if there has been a cancellation
- Twice in the past month I have been given a cancellation date within a fortnight – I did have to phone a couple of times for one appointment – but it worked for me. Good luck.
If you sit on a hospital committee, you might think if any of the following could work in your area
Return midwives, physios, health visitors, nurses etc. to their ‘pre-efficiency saving” roles in the community. Yes, it makes sense to the bean counters to have them all under one roof. No, it doesn’t make sense when you see how traffic jams cause mayhem, difficulties in getting patients to appointments, disruption to daily lives, etc.
Bring back Matron – or at least Administrators with a clinical background. Bean counters have no place when you are dealing with human beings. Matron wouldn’t have over-spent on PPE; she wouldn’t slap her staff in the face imposing car park charges, and she certainly wouldn’t have allowed the appalling waste of food that gets left on plates because hospitals now serve 24-hour-old ready meals cooked off-site many miles away and re-heated.
Cut out the in-fighting with the private/NHS war. Again, Matron would know if a local private provider were able to give a good service, and contract them – not leave it to the private companies to lobby MPs offering a cobbled-together service designed to make money but not up to offering good care.
Say Sorry. Everyone makes mistakes, it’s how you deal with them that shows your worth. So often the NHS denies the existence of problems, and then things escalate so now the NHS is spending millions every year in litigation. Listen to patients and investigate; it could save lives and ultimately money.l
Ration Health care but let patients decide what to fund. Do patients think dental care is more important than IVF? I don’t know, but no one has asked me – or anyone else.
The NHS is supposedly ‘OURS’. It’s time we took over and made it fit for our purpose. But it’s up to us to say what we want, and do something about this – no one else will. Ultimately we get the service we deserve e.g. if we can’t be bothered to spend time asking, we don’t get!
It’s a pity you’re retired, you’d make a good Secretary of State for Health. Like me, your body might be old but your mind is sharp and with it. Beats all that bunch of children running (huh!) parliament.
Well said Verite. As usual, I agree with all your points raised.