British Lung Foundation
34,220 members41,619 posts

Who doesn't blame our politicians for the problems within the NHS?

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?

11 Replies

Everyone tinkers with the NHS. My late mother in law used to work in the NHS and always said the worst thing they ever did was take out matrons and put in administrators. I am going back to about 1987 when she said this and it has gone downhill ever since. We remember Blair and his Education, Education, Education but with out Health, Health, Health we cannot make use of the education. Good health is the key to everything.


In my opinion it is the case that people with ideas and tasks are running the NHS not the people that actually know what is needed to run them.  Giving targets looks good on paper as long as they are not frail individuals that do not know the rules of the bed time and the condition does not heal when the target say it should?

Bring back the Matron system where they had a budget and run each ward/department they are in charge of?  A Ward has so many spaces for bed and people so why does it seem so hard to work out what is needed?  

Be Well


If politicians were really clever they would ALL agree that health and education are far too important to be political pawns.

The logical solution is a cross-party group, elected to the roles on a regular basis, who take responsibility for long-term planning of both. Each five year term sees a different group with short term objectives (and no time to begin to understand the implications of their (often silly) ideas) which we, the general public look at and go "What???"

Change is always going to be necessary but short-sighted, politically motivated ideas will always be totally unnecessary.

Sounds a simple solution to a complex problem but, like usual, simple is often best!


What's happening is underfunding, leading to heaps of problems, loss of trust in the service and somewhere in the not so distant future they will privatise it, which means heaps of money for the governments mates. I've run out of tiotropium bromide, surgery didn't put it in my repeat script,  chemist just said I can have it quick if I will pay £38.  I'm on ventolin and another inhaler, hubby is on 4 scripts a month, God only knows what this would all cost on a private script,  and daughter has insulin dependent diabetes.

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Dicky I share your frustration.  They will never work together as one lot prefers business to be running both health and education.  Many schools don't want to be an acadamy, so they make it compulsory.  After watching a discussion last week my daughter who is an assistant head in a very challenging but happy school, said not one of them had appreciated that a school has a heart and sole - it is a community.

We are going to be in big trouble if we lose medical and teaching staff at the rate we are because of lack of moral.



My mother used the Red Cross for hospital appointments.  It was a one to one service, so no waiting for anyone else.  I think she paid a small fee.  



I also have to rely on transport and attend several different hospitals. Very rarely am I on time for an appointment and one time I wasn't picked up to be brought home and after a 4 1/2 hours wait another patient kindly drove me home. 

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The problems started a long time ago way back in 1967 with what was known as the Salmon Report..

From then on things started to change , and by the early 1970's the business men were and still are  in situ running the hospitals... What successive governments did not understand is that you can not put a financial  or   time limit on illness.  By the mid 1970's,  nurse training was altered.  Since then it has steadily gone down hill........ I expect  many will say change is good.  So far it's only been for those at the very top with huge pay packets. .  A look around a hospital shows this  with scuffy looking nurses.....along with stories of poor or no nursing care,   and as for some Dr's ..... well !!!!!!!  ....  & don't forget  the  Monday to friday services .Then catering went out to tender ,resulting in chilled meals with no allowances made.  In house cleaning also went out to tender , we have seen some of the results of that.  ............better stop,  my blood pressure rising.



I worked for the NHS for many years and saw more changes that I would of liked and yes MP's have screwed up the NHS and I will explain why.

Tony Blair and Gordon Brown did away with matrons who ran the wards they managed the staff Doctors and cleaners these were replaced by hospital managers our hospital ended up with a manager who's previous roll was a manager of a engineering company, would you ask a nurse to fit in a new electrical socket in your house ?

The same two then put sanctions on the NHS allowing a reticula's amount of money per person who walked through the doors this amount of money barley got them through x-ray leaving the hospital in debt, some hospitals were loosing staff through retirement, ill health and these staff were not being replaced due to no funds.

The same two decided that if two small hospital within a short distance should join together as a trust this has caused our hospital which is on the verge of loosing our A&E.

To balance this up Cameron has done nothing to change how hospitals have been run in to ground what we need is bring back the matrons and get rid of hospital managers and the reticula's salary they are paid.

The NHS worked very well pre Brown and Blair it was not broke let's not try to fix it simples      


well said what is happening to the NHS today is the result of this government's political agenda that appears to want to destroy the NHS in favour of some awful american model of free market medical care viz. the rich pay for good service while the rest of us rot  - it really is disgraceful xxxx

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the only benefit of a private healthy care is you never get time wasters and time wasters take a lot of funds out of the NHS


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