Thursday, 18 August 2022

NHS

 My relationship as a patient with the nhs has been, thankfully, a short one. 
In sixty years I have only used the hospital system a few times for more minor conditions and with the exception of some temperamental behaviour from one GP and an incredibly snide call handler my experiences have in the main been exemplary. 
The GP, I saw face to face , so I could handle his pomposity with some assertive “ Do you talk to all your patients this way?”
Working in a large Yorkshire Teaching hospital where nurses stood no shit from anyone, grounds you when you come across senior doctors who think they are mini Gods. 
Back in the 1980s nurses were more, hummmmm ….. gobby?

The call handler, I have subsequently pieced together was either fired or left his job. His supervisor blandly tried to smooth over the cracks of his behaviour by saying he doesn’t work for the department anymore.
I had rang his department to book an urology appointment which had been cancelled by the hospital due to unforeseen circumstances . While I was waiting for him to give me a new appointment , I could clearly hear the whole conversation his colleague was having with another patient. When he returned to the phone , I told him so , and said I was concerned about confidentiality. 
The chap, non verbally shrugged and said Well you won’t know the person and what they were talking about . 
That comment went down like a pork chop in a synagogue
What followed was an interesting debate between gobshite ( me) and bored phonehandler (him) and sensing I was not going to get anywhere with him I just asked him to sort out my phone interview with the urologist . 
He gave me an appointment eight weeks later
On that afternoon , no urologist rang.
No appointment had indeed been made or registered. 
I had been documented as a cancel 

My kidneys are bad today. 
I could have done with that appointment. My subsequent one is very soon
But it’s been an age waiting
Im seriously thinking of going against all my homegrown principles and simply going private

I am reminded of an odious neurologist who once visited my ward to assess a patient who was said to be in a persistent vegetative state. The , patient, a young boy seemed to be reacting to certain stimuli though we couldn’t be sure and the doctor was called to allay the fears of the staff who understandably were troubled by what they saw. 
The consultant was brusque, rude and imposing when he asked the boys nurse what she thought, and I remember the difficulty which the nervous and inarticulate nurse had when trying to explain her worries
We examined the patient and afterwards the consultant confirmed his original diagnoses referring to the request to review as stupid and emotional bordering on the histrionic!
He looked at me , the nurse in charge, for affirmation 
“ Well You’re  a bit of an arsehole” 
Was all I could manage

66 comments:

  1. Barbara Anne2:22 pm

    Ah, the stories after a medical career are plentiful! Am glad you took the time to set those two straight.
    Hope you feel lots better soon, Azo and water, my friend.

    Hugs!

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    1. I did get bollockedfor that comment

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  2. Hmmmm, that call handler -- passive aggressive AND incompetent. Glad you called that doctor an arsehole. He deserved it.

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    1. I was rude which wasn’t professional

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  3. Anonymous2:33 pm

    Hi John, My Mum was a nurse for her whole working career. Latterly my Dad was a patient in our health care system. He had a few medical conditions and my Mum had always taken care of all his meds in conjunction with our family doctor. The day came when my Mum could no longer take care of my Dad at home and he went into long term care. A very nice place which his own parents had been in. My Mum had a meeting with the doctor and discussed my Dad’s meds and stressed the timing of them was important as he had epilepsy. This doctor felt he knew better, changed my Dad’s meds and within a few days my Dad was in hospital. I was there when my Mum tore a strip off this doctor. I was frightened! My Dad was put back on his original meds and was better in a few days.
    I hope you are feeling better soon John.
    Robin

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    1. A lesson which underlines the exerts are often the family themselves

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  4. It pains me that the NHS has suffered greatly in these Tory years. It's as if they have deliberately been trying to push the NHS to the brink of extinction so that their pals can make bags of money from private healthcare - imitating the American model. The NHS was never safe in Tory hands. Under Labour there weren't the same tensions, queues, complaints or staff shortages and hospital buildings were widely upgraded.

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    1. Aye. That's true Gordon Brown used private sector money to expand the NHS. I think if you removed your blinkers you'd have noticed that the Tories have just written off that PFI debt.
      Not that they were right to do so as the NHS has for most of my adult years been middling to useless. So bad that I know of not another country that emulates the model.

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    2. Under both parties the nhs has eventually become a bit of a monster especially when faced with the shortcomings of social care

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    3. Adrian: The NSH model is the same as Canada's and Australia's, and maybe others.

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    4. I don't think so. Free at the point of use is admirable but ours was shut down to protect the staff over a heavy cold virus, worse when folk had been panicked and they were doing dance routines in PPE. The front line staff are often fine. Some are crap If you live in the UK pay insurance. You can then use a surgeon of your choice. If you survive his work you'll get nice food and amenable staff.

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    5. A heavy cold virus? How did that kill so many people across the world?

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  5. I, too, am no stranger of these situations. Today, many practices seem overwhelmed and not happy in their work. This causes general decline in care. I feel, I manage my own care. Seeing a private consultant is a good idea. Did you hear Amazon is adding pharmacy services to their operations? Also, they are buying Care One, a US urgent care business. Will we see Amazon Health trucks soon and will they next do mobile yearly health physicals? Amazon sees an opportunity to be seized.

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    1. People I know in book and pay for immediate GP appointments on line. A video consultation and an immediate prescription or referral

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  6. I trained as rmn at the end of the 70s and had to do the mandatory twelve weeks in the local general hospital, I was placed on the women's surgical ward and I don't think my feet touched the ground for the whole of my placement. But I think the thing that threw me the most was when one of the consultants did his round and us lovely nurses had to hide in the slice , I thought that sort of thing only happened in a carry on doctor film .

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    1. No, I remember those consultant days

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  8. Good morning John from Michigan. My attitude to doctors here are that they are being paid to provide me with a service and I expect them to treat me with respect, as I do them. I can fire them (within the boundaries of my health insurance) and take my business elsewhere. I do not hesitate to ask questions about medication and tests ordered. It's my body, my life and my bank account.
    I hope Roger is settling in well.

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    1. Anonymous3:30 pm

      I could not agree more! Pat

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    2. Everyone from the support worker to consultant to matron to RN SHOULD be treated with respect by the public and visa versa,.unfortunately some feel it’s their right to treat the nhs staff like slaves

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    3. Yes but the patient should be treated w respect also. I have unfortunately run into many unkind and impatient nurses and doctors in my many years of chronic illness. Sept 1 doesn't seem very urgent care for a person passing blood!

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  9. I remember when everything stopped because the Lord High Whatsisname was doing a ward round. Maybe that still goes on? I must say, I have no gripe with my GP practice. The past couple of times I've needed an appointment, I got one straight away. And the doctor was friendly and approachable. If only all were the same. As for private healthcare, I know what you mean. It goes against the grain with me too, but during lockdown, my husband needed surgery and we decided to go to London for private treatment. Wasn't as expensive as expected ,apart from the added expense of having to stay 3 days in self-isolation prior to surgery! When it comes to your health, it's not an extravagance. Doesn't cost anything to find out. Hope you feel better soon. Hugs. xx

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    1. Yes, if I get no joy on the ,1st September,( my app) I will seriously consider going private

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    2. Google private urologists (or whatever specialist you need) and read reviews. Don't necessarily go with the one you'd see in the NHS. He/she may not be the best. xx

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  10. Sorry your kidneys are playing up again. xx

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    1. Yes , it’s exhausting today .I’m passing blood today

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    2. When this happened to me 20 years ago I switched to private immediately.

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    3. My consultant would be the same

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  11. I'm sorry you are unwell, sounds painful. You do push yourself and it's been hot. Hydrate! ///I have walked out on two or three doctors over the years. They don't really listen if confronted with reciprocal rudeness, I just say nothing and walk out. USA tho, I m paying them so it is my option. lizzy x

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  12. PS Do you have urgent care offices, where you could go immediately and be treated now?

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    1. Yes . it’s all in hand

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    2. I am glad, pls let us know how you are! hugs
      lizzy x

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  13. Sorry your kidneys aren't good atm. I think the confidence to challenge those in positions of power comes with age and experience. I'm forever calling BS on folk and I'm not sorry. It also helps when you're a union rep ;-) but I just can't stand seeing my young teacher colleagues being bullied or belittled just because someone is on a power trip. That phonehandler abused his power!!

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  14. I think, given your situation, it would make perfect sense to go private, though I realize of course there are economic considerations. We've had to go private for some of Dave's care. The NHS, as much as we love it, simply takes way too long.

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    1. Agreed , covid has made everything so much worse

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  15. (Because of chronic Tory underfunding, I should add.)

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  16. I know someone who pays for a consultation and then gets treated by the same private Dr on Nhs x

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  17. Sorry your kidneys aren't good right now. Perhaps you should go privately, just to get things kick-started. We had to do this for my husband as the GP told us categorically "it definitely isn't Parkinsons" and desperate for an answer and treatment, we saw a private consultant who said categorically that it WAS PD.

    I was once under the care of a rather useless Dr with a high opinion of herself, who had me on repeated doses of anti-biotics for 3 years for recurring chest infections - never once did she suggest a sputum test. When I finally saw a consultant (having fallen out with her big time) HE flew at me, screaming. I was so stunned with this behaviour, I said nothing, but he was blaming ME for asking for all those anti-biotics! What wouldn't I give for an action replay now - I would give him what for!

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    1. Yes, people are usually so polite as the power relationship is so stacked against them

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  18. Anonymous6:25 pm

    I’m naturally not prone to speaking up to employers. However ar one time I worked for a very opinionated, critical and demanding doctor. Other doctors complimented me for my work ethic. I finally exploded a year or two of being constantly told I was inept and stupid. I yelled at him, said no one liked working for him him, that his behavior was unacceptable. I left his office crying but proud of myself. After that he was much kinder towards me and verbally favorably acknowledged my work. Guess he just wanted me to develop a spine and speak up?

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    1. No , he was shocked someone eventually called him an arsehole

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  19. Some times you can only put up with so much. You shouldn't have to put up with in the first place. :)

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  20. I've had nothing but friendly, polite attention from the doctors in my GP practice and from my urological consultant. The guy who pretended to make an appointment for you certainly wasn't suited to the job and good riddance if he's been fired.

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  21. Joan (Devon)7:38 pm

    I hadn't had many dealings as a patient with the NHS prior to waking up one morning having a TIA (mini stroke). I won't elaborate what happened with my GP as it is a bit involved, but I was let down big time by him and the NHS and I still feel bitter about how I was treated. That was the start of my journey through the NHS with a condition which one consultant said was started with the TIA. Who knows? But I do know that since then I've had excellent attenton from the NHS..

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    1. Good, I think most of us have had god care

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  22. My primary care doctor moved away and then I was seeing a doctor who retired. The practice has only one doctor now and 2 Nurse Practitioners so most often I see Kate my Nurse Practitioner. She is wonderful - so kind and never in a rush. I can book my appointments online and do my checkin paperwork and co-payment.
    Hope you get relief soon for your kidney trouble. You seem to have that a lot! Take care, John.

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  23. I would have liked to be a fly on the wall for that:)

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  24. I'm lucky to remember hospitals when Matron ruled the roost, there were no over-paid 'managers', and the doctors didn't earn excessively more than the nurses (who do all the work). What a difference to today.

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  25. Oy. I hate stories like yours. It's stuff like this that really, reeeeeeally makes me almost phobic about doctors.

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  26. Sorry you are having kidney problems again. That bloody telephone handler; he needed a rocket up him it's because of him you are in discomfort now. I hope you get it sorted sooner rather than later. Peeing blood sounds horrendous! I am much more "gobby" now I'm older than I would have been before. If I see an injustice I bring it up...no matter the situation. Doesn't make me popular but that I can live with.

    Jo in Auckland

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  27. So sorry you are struggling with your kidney trouble. And what an appalling reason to be waiting for an appointment which was never even made!

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  28. If the man making the appointment (or not making it) did that to get back at you, that is unconscionable. I'm sorry you had to wait so long. Good luck with the consult.

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  29. Sorry you're not well again (still?). Only a thought, and sorry if this is nagging, but have you tried cutting out that huge pot of coffee you drink - it looks like the 6 or 9 espresso cup version, one heck of a hit on anyone's system.

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  30. All I can say is that if I am ever in your neck of the woods and have something happen where I end up in Hospital I hope you are my nurse. That, and I hope you get some really good care for your kidneys soon. I had some kidney issues a few years ago and was lucky to have an extraordinary Nephrologist providing my care. It was not fun but it was successful.

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  31. Going privately in this instance sounds like a very good idea. Bite the bullet instead of your principles and hopefully at least you will be treated more quickly and much better.

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  32. Anonymous11:57 am

    I'm just here for the Roger content.

    ceci

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  33. Have been in hospital since Monday(had but good to catch up on Roger and how he is settling in. Interesting reading how you are settling him in and training him John.

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I love all comments Except abusive ones from arseholes