I ask this question as a patient who is very appreciative of the efforts of whom I'd label as the ground workers in the NHS e.g. GPs, hospital doctors plus nurses and other staff, District nurses etc in working their socks off helping me, a 69 year old (with a brain of a 21 year old but a body that says otherwise!) cope with various health problems including bronchiectasis, severe rheumatoid arthritis and quite a few more conditions including a possible wonky ticker. Such is life though and I, to now that is, have never been one to moan as I'm mindful that there are a lot of folk worse off than me BUT I am appalled that, thanks to our politicians and, let's face it their seeming intention to eventually privatise it all, the NHS appears to be on its knees!
Staff numbers within the NHS have been cut to the bone putting those who remain under what appears to be intolerable pressure and,many have told me, thoroughly demoralised especially as that intolerable pressure prevents them having any time to talk to patients and that leaves then and us patients very frustrated.
Since overseeing the reorganisation the NHS to supposedly save money whereas I used to go to my GP and then to the local hospital for appointments with consultants and emergencies, since the start of the year I've had to travel to my GP, two more health centres and SIX different hospitals dependent upon which medical condition was being addressed.
With arthritically deformed hands and feet, I don't drive nor have any family or friends who live locally who could help but am, courtesy of receiving maximum mobility portion of the DLA, eligible for transport to and from appointments.
I have to book that transport to and from those and, with different health authorities involved, that currently means any one of four private companies. The drill is you have to be ready two hours before appointment times which I always am but one day this week for example, my appointment at the hospital was at 11.45am, the transport arrived at 11.35am and it's circa ten miles from here to the said hospital! It was turned mid-day when we got there, well gone 1pm before I was seen (the consultant had to attend a pre-arranged meeting arranged for 12.15pm) and nigh on 5pm before I eventually arrived home!
Last month I was an in-patient at one hospital for five days before being discharged and with all the necessary paperwork done, transport home for me was booked just after 4pm on the day - they collected me from the discharge ward at 11pm that night! Chatting to the two man crew they revealed that there were, "just three of us units covering the county tonight!"
Obviously not their fault I waited six and a half hours for transport home but what a shambles.
For the first time in my life I wrote to my local MP, so frustrated at what I'd both witnessed and put up with myself but quite frankly that was a waste of time as I simply got a reply quoting a load of twaddle about percentage increase in government spending on the NHS etc.
Sorry for rattling on but have been getting so frustrated I simply had to let the steam building up within me off somewhere!
Nye Bevan must be turning in his grave eh?