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My experience of the NHS

(14 Posts)
Brendawymms Tue 18-Nov-14 08:25:13

I had a detached retina last year and the service provided by the NHS was fantastic.
My Dentist referred me for a Dental operation last November. Firstly the letter somehow got lost in the system.took until May to see someone. They said come back in six months. A flare up in September saw me back at the hospital. Told they would not operate until I had extensive private treatment.

My dentist complained about this and saw the Consultant in October, first time side kicks up to this time, who agreed to operate.
Phoned up yesterday to see how long the wait would be. Told that they were just doing the dates for August patients.n
So it will be January or February. Not good.

pompa Tue 18-Nov-14 09:21:59

I can only comment on my own experiences and I find the North Essex area fantastic, never had ant reason for complaint. Rarely have to wait long for appointments and nearly always on time.
Considering that our local hospital, Colchester, is often in the news with problems, I am very satisfied with it.

KatyK Tue 18-Nov-14 10:14:53

We are in the West Midlands. My DH was diagnosed with prostate cancer in May of this year. The service we have received from the NHS has been fantastic. We have never had to wait more than 2 weeks for an appointment, if our appointment was say 11 o'clock, we have never been kept waiting a single minute longer than the appointed time. Everyone has been kind and courteous. DH is now undergoing 37 days of radiotherapy. As the only NHS centre for radiotherapy is a bit of a way from our home, we have been referred to a private hospital nearer to us which takes so many NHS patients a year. We couldn't have received better treatment and are grateful. I realise that we are lucky here and not everyone gets the same service.

Mishap Tue 18-Nov-14 10:27:53

Mine is good and bad.

A&E and coronary care were unbeatable: kind, efficient, reassuring.

But.....the cardiologist was brusque and scared me to death; and I have had poor care for my broken foot (misdiagnoses right left and centre).

I do think that it is variable - there are pockets of true excellence and areas that are problematic - both geographically and by specialty.

I also have bad experiences of elderly care in the south west as anyone who followed the saga of my Dad 18 months ago will be well aware.

Grannyknot Tue 18-Nov-14 10:48:51

The care husband received from the NHS when he had a heart attack 6 years ago was superb.

At my local GP last week, I (for me) lost it when I walked in to make an appointment with the receptionist for the next day (I pass by there on the way home from the station) having been told by doctor to come in immediately if the shingles I had in July showed any signs of returning. The receptionist said no and told me to call the next morning at 8 a.m. I refused, saying "Well, in 7 years I've never been lucky in that lucky dip system. That system is crap and everyone knows it." The supervisor was called who then proceeded to lecture me on the fact that the NHS is overburdened, especially in primary care, and is failing. I refused to leave without an appointment, I even raised my voice a little. Others waiting were nodding their heads and agreeing with me. Then miraculously an appointment was found for me the following morning, but the receptionist let me know that she was giving me one of the "commuter appointments" confused that would not normally be given to "pensioners". I hate fighting with my GP practice! The doctors are always so nice.

soontobe Tue 18-Nov-14 11:21:30

Mine is good I think.
Thankfully, we as a family have not had much cause to use it.

The local population would kick up a stink if it was not good enough. They would bombard local radio and the local papers.

I dont feel totally confident in the maternity unit, but I may have just heard one off stories about it.

Oh and there is definitely a problem as regards the elderly having to wait in hospital while care packages are put in place.
But that is not the actual hospital's fault I guess.

Purpledaffodil Tue 18-Nov-14 11:45:19

I agree with Mishap. I have had very good NHS experiences eg Mr P's first stroke where he was given instant and marvellous emergency care. Subsequently it has never been so good eg his second stroke where he was left deteriorating in A and E for hours without treatment which lead to considerable brain damage. So much for FAST!
My experience of elderly care has been similarly mixed. My Father was once left for weeks in a distant hospital because there were no rehab places for female patients. In our very multicultural society, someone decided that Gwilym must be a woman's nameshock However our GP was very kind and used to visit him at home when needed.
I think the problem is that the NHS is staffed by humans who are fallible like the rest of us. They are given targets which are impossible and underfunded as well.

Grannyknot Tue 18-Nov-14 11:56:27

I think that failures also has to do with lack of "joined up" services and care. When my nephew collapsed with a slipped disc whilst staying with us, he was taken to hospital by ambulance (in other words they assessed that was what was needed). We were astounded to receive a phone call from him much later that day, drugged up to the teeth, he had been discharged from A&E where he had spent the day, was eventually seen and given painkillers and was discharged with a script for more, told to see his GP.

After a dreadful night I took him to the GP the next day, with great difficulty, where he lay on the floor in the waiting room because he couldn't stand up, and one of the doctors called an ambulance and told me that she had "pulled strings to get him admitted this time". He subsequently had a laminectomy. The point is, he should have been admitted to hospital from the ambulance call-out the previous day.

Lilygran Tue 18-Nov-14 12:13:24

I've just spent some time on the Care Quality Commission website looking at the reports on GP practices. It's quite interesting!

Jane10 Wed 19-Nov-14 09:34:04

I suppose that the NHS is just so huge. It has to provide for a massive range of causes of ill health affecting everyone of every age. The other thing, as mentioned previously, its run by humans. Staff too struggle with trying to co ordinate care in whatever form its required. However, sometimes it aint what you do but the way that you do it. Its the little things that count at times eg when my Dad was very ill and we stayed with him in hospital, kind staff found a bed we could take naps in, a nursing assistant brought me tea in her own special mug, when MIL was in a care of the elderly ward and woke in the night feeling hungry, a kind nurse shared her own sandwiches brought in for her night duty "lunch" as there was no food on the ward (health and safety!)
I think that the NHS is remarkably good considering what it has to deal with. I can`t understand the Americans reluctance to have something similar. Oh yes. I just remembered their extremely expensive system of medical insurance. The almighty dollar counts more than poor people`s health angry

MrsEggy Wed 19-Nov-14 17:25:19

I have haemochromatosis and attend my local hospital for venesection (extracting a pint of blood, like being a blood donor) monthly. I go to the same ward as cancer patients waiting for chemotherapy. Yesterday the waiting time for most of us was almost three hours! The nurses are all very kind, and I am not very sick, but some of the patients obviously are, and have to endure several hours having the chemo as well as the wait. I feel this is not good enough

Brendawymms Wed 19-Nov-14 17:51:01

we phoned by the hospital today and have been given the 23red December for my dental operation. That will stop me overindulging over Xmas. I will have quite a lot of stitches. I am viewing it as a positive as I need to loose weight!

Nelliemoser Wed 19-Nov-14 19:08:30

I have had several encounters in the last few years with the NHS. Nothing dire just everything getting old. All but one were quick and efficient.

The poor one involved an endocrinologist with ambitions of standing again for parliament in the next election. His mind on other things I suspect.

That involved a failure to follow up quickly on the results of an isotope scan which was delayed for several months until a follow up appointment.
Yes I should have chased it up and I know better now. Then the referral letter was delayed in being passed to the surgeon. Quite at which end of that process I do not know.
I rang up to see what was happening about a date as I was going on holiday and there was an obvious panic in surgical team who chased it up and offered me a clinic appointment the following week. As I was off on holiday I delayed it at my convenience until the week after my return.

I have a good GP who gets things done. If you cannot get an urgent GP appointment you can get a call back from a triage nurse who can make a more informed assessment than a receptionist could give.

Since the bad incident I have had a painful but successful shoulder tendon repair with lots of physio. A recent Gastroscopy and today a repeat pain relief treatment on my back by the very pleasant pain clinic consultant.

All these were done very effectively with very helpful and reassuring staff. I was not very pleased by the ?Chinese nurse (who did not know my name then) but called me "dear"!

I must have given my name, address, date of birth and what I was having done about six times today, but that is the procedure when handing someone over.

Our local hospital has improved in a lot of measures over the last few years but it needed to.

Deedaa Wed 19-Nov-14 22:15:25

DH has twice had basically life saving diagnosis after months of uncertainty (caused by the rarity of his illnesses -not any inefficiency by he GP's) My son was saved from potentially serious peritonitis by his GP and the hospital surgeon who both acted on gut feelings.

SiL was told he would have to wait months for the cardiac procedure he needed. He resigned himself to the wait, but the hospital was able to bring it forward by three months!

DH's consultant and specialist nurse are both wonderful. So helpful and caring, never too busy to listen.