British hospitals at breaking point

(Barbara Deane) #41

who are the doctors?

(Chris Kite) #42

Exactly what my doc said too.

(Ronald Fox) #43

I do wish those who live in France weren’t quite so smug - “I pity my poor friends using the NHS”
I am glad to see Paul Flinders applying some common sense here and the others who point out the problems in the French service. I had excellent treatment in France and have had good service in the UK, although it is much more difficult to get a GP appointment. My former neighbour in France, a paediatrician is unable to retire fully at the age of 72 due to a shortage of such specialists.

(Trevor Hunton) #44

It wasn’t difficult to put a figure on my treatment because I’m sent a monthly list of what it all cost.

(Barbara Deane) #45

The patients seem to come first in France.
I am very worried about my friends in UK who have to rely
upon treatment from the NHS…
They all seam to be having a difficult time.

(Barbara Deane) #46

By the way Mr Fox I am not smug just conveying the facts…they are not rosy.

(Glen Margaret Griffin) #47

Over the last 7 years have nothing but praise for Macon Hospital. Only last week my OH went for a 11.20 control after have cateract intervention. He is rather difficult after having an AVC. The surgeon was very patient and we were back on our way home before 11.20. Last Tuesday I had to call pompiers as I cut my leg and it would not stop bleeding. They arrived very quickly ( I live in the middle of nowwhere) took me to hospital 27k away was seen straight away leg stitched. The longest wait was about 20 mins for the taxi to take me home arrived. Whole thing took about 2 and half hours. Now have every otherday visits from nurse to redress my leg.

(Diana Pinnell) #48

We have mixed experiences of the NHS over the last few years. When Phil was diagnosed with prostate cancer everything went very slowly (well outside the stipulated time scale) until he was referred to the Royal Marsden when he was at last treated like a person rather than a nuisance, and people smiled. He commented it was just like being in a private hospital - harking back to those executive-BUPA cover days before he retired.

When late Ma, 25 years older than my spouse, was in the local hospital things were very different. She would ring for an ambulance, the paramedics decided she needed hospital, and by the time she saw a doctor she had forgotten why she had rung 999. She stayed in hospital for a few days while everyone covered their backs performing tests but nobody contacted her GP or her relatives (or even her carers, whose inability to get a response to the doorbell prompted them to ring me whereupon I rang the hospital in case she was there, a logical option since she couldn’t walk). Sending her home took a week as there was never anyone competent to draw up a care plan. Not that care plans were not drawn up, they just depended on someone understanding her needs and not believing her when she said she cooked her own meals and had no problem with the bath, both being dramatically untrue. The fact that policy specifically excludes contact with relatives “as they don’t agree with each other” really makes all the social care preparations worthless. You can get admitted to hospital over the weekend, but as the social workers aren’t on duty at weekends, you can’t get discharged at weekends, which suggests that Monday morning must start with a long list of care plans to be drawn up.

The hospital never told the GP she was in hospital, and so never told him she was home again, either, although they claimed to have faxed through a discharge form which the GP claimed never to have seen. On one occasion she was sent home with someone else’s discharge form.

My overall impression is that communication is the NHS’s main problem. Maybe everyone is too busy to talk to each other, I don’t know, but if anyone had looked at her notes each time she went into to Mayday hospital, much time would have been saved and a word with her GP would have been very worthwhile.

Our ageing population is causing problems, but this is not the fault of the aged. It is the fault of those responsible for planning resources and services - after all we haven’t suddenly appeared on the planet, we’ve been recorded in health, education, electoral, NI, tax,employment and medical records for decades. We shouldn’t be a surprise.

(Barbara Deane) #49

Yes bad organisation.
Good organisation costs nothing but the ones at the top
need to recruit good staff.
Bad organisation causes misery and death.
My stories of carelessness are numerous and relate to several victims.

(Jane Williamson) #50

Actually I have had problems with both the Centre Hospitalier and the Polyclinique in getting released.
The care I had at the Centre Hospitalier when I was admitted through Urgence and then
had my gall bladder removed was excellent.
We too live half an hour away and my husband took me as I was in so much pain, passing a gall stone, that waiting for the Pompiers to come from Dompierre was out if the question.

(Paul Flinders) #51

Barbara - I’m sorry that you and your friends/family/acquaintances have had bad expieriences with healthcare - it always adds stress to an already stressful situation.

Ultimately the NHS is not a perfect organisation and individual hospitals/GP’s and other services vary in quality from very good to needing improvement to, well, awful. No-one could fail to see that front line services (emergency departments and GP) are under enormous pressure from increased workload, manpower shortfalls and tight budget constraints - especially over the winter period. I’m pleased that Philip Hammond has at least found a small amount extra in the recent Budget.

What is importent though is that, as an organisation, the NHS is prepared to admit to and address its weaknesses - again it is not perfect (Mid Staffs and the Southern Mental Health Trust come to mind) but on the whole does try to learn from experience.

I would not agree that “good organisation costs nothing” - as you point out it needs good people and they do cost money to hire and retain (something about peanuts and monkeys comes to mind) and sometimes it can be very difficult to drive change throughout an organisation.

I would, however caution against assuming that the service is universally rubbish based on personal experience, however wide that appears to be it can only be a tiny fraction of NHS activity. In 2016 23.4 million A&E attendances, around 340 million GP consultations and 10.1 million operations and procedures were carried out with overall good (but not perfect) patient satisfaction.

There is always bias in the stories that we hear - as a species we like to tell each other stories and we prefer “interesting” tales. “I went to the hospital and nothing went wrong” is inherantly less interesting than “I went to the hospital and it was terrible”, so we tend to hear the latter more than the former.

I know that you don’t trust figures but here are some on NHS activity - if anyone knows of a similar summary for France it would make for some interesting comparisons, I am sure.

(Trevor Hunton) #52

Paul, if you are employed within the NHS then you know exactly what the problem is. The set up is not suitable for the nations current healthcare need’s. Its easy to blame staff, blame the influx of foreigners, but at the end of the day you get exactly what you pay for, you ain’t gonna get premier league healthcare at division three prices.
France can be a bit hit and miss simply because you cannot force staff to live and work where they don’t want to, exactly the same in every country in the world apart from north Korea I would have thought.

(Barbara Deane) #53

Please do not try to punish me with words!
I KNOW what I have experienced and what many
people in UK are experiencing now.
Please do not mock me just to try to save the face of
the NHS.
It was a service I looked up to with great respect but
lt is no longer the same.
Recruiting good staff is about the recruiter doing a good
job and is not related to money.
People are being flatly refused scans.
Peoples operations are being delayed.
People being told almost simply Just go away
I have no time for you.
My tales are not interesting they are pretty
tragic and I have not spoken about them on here
because they relate to other people.

(Paul Flinders) #54

Barbara - I am not punishing you with words or anything else, nor denying your experience but the NHS is not all bad.

Perhaps we should close this thread.

(Barbara Deane) #55


(Ronald Fox) #56

Before it is closed I want again to say that I feel Paul Flinders has been very reasonable in his postings and I do not understand why you feel, Barbara, that you are being “mocked” or “punished”.

(stella wood) #57

Hi everyone… this subject has gone round and around… and (quite frankly) is grinding to a halt…

Paul and Barbara have not fallen out and both are quite happy to see the subject closed.

So, shall we move onto another Thread… please… :wink:

(Ray Rampton) #58

But just before this closes, I have three uncles, one aunt and a father who have all received excellent NHS care in the last few years. They all speak very highly of the NHS (including GPs) and the treatment and care delivered. In some of these cases they gratefully acknowledge that they owe their lives to the NHS.

(Barbara Deane) #59


(Barbara Deane) #60

And now patients are being treated by nurses in car parks!
How sad is this.
May was saying today that the NHS is the best in the world!!!