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British Liver Trust
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NHS - Privilege not a right

Came back from the GP and Pharmacy yesterday, yet again came across someone banging the desk and making demands.

When Bevan set up the NHS, this was to extend healthcare to all and not the privileged minority.

This is a privilege for all, not a right. Staff are not there to be shouted at and abused. The system is stretched due to the increased complex technology and the sheer demands, I think that just about all of us on this forum have benefited.

Right, got if off my chest as it upsets those of us who patiently get our treatment, in many cases life saving.

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Yes, I agree with you. There are many times I've offered to back the member staff if the patient becomes threatening and starts saying they will report the member of staff who has done nothing wrong. Please take care. Lynne

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I completely agree with you. Yes it is frustrating to have to wait for weeks for an appointment but I'm sure if you were an emergency you would see someone immediately. I am on a fb group and someone posted who hasn't been diagnosed with liver disease, has normal lft's and ultrasound but is convinced that they are dangerously ill. He went for his consultantation but was furious to find that he was "only seeing a registrar" who in his opinion was akin to seeing a gp. He demanded (his words) a second opinion when the doctor said he didn't need an mri, liver biopsy or ct scan. He called the doctor all sorts of vile names...on his post, I don't know if he said it to his face. I was disgusted by his attitude and explained why I thought he was expecting too much from an overstretched nhs. He kept saying that they were only bothered about money not his health. I waited over 20 weeks to see a hepatologist and when I finally went for my appointment it was with a doctor on the gastro team and who also works as a gp. I would have preferred a heptologist but I've got to say this doctor was great

He went through my medical history and sent me for bloods immediately and subject to them not showing AIH he will book me an appointment for a liver biopsy. I am just going to have a look on fb and see what the fb poster has to day to me. 😱 someone else had commented that they had worked in the UK for 12 months and they thought that the nhs was c**p. I worry that we may lose the nhs and think that we should all pay a bit more and the wealthy pay a bit more. It would make a huge difference to the nhs and not make a huge difference to us paying a little extra. Unfortunately a lot of the nhs's income goes into people who

abuse drugs and dare I say alcohol? Also because there are insufficient places for mental health patients to be treated some are in and out of A and E without the necessary care.

I'm sure that a lot of you won't agree with me but you're entitled to your opinion as much as I am mine.

Have a lovely weekend all. Deb

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I've just had a look on fb. I'd asked him if he'd been diagnosed with fatty liver as did another poster and he hasn't acknowledged either of us. Apparently his bloods and liver scan came back normal but the doctor was rude, abrupt, didn't give a damn and wasn't interested in looking at his dozens of screenshots showing cases where liver disease doesn't always show up with just bloods and ultrasound. He now has his "real" appointment with the consultant in 8 weeks, goodness knows what he'll do if he gets shunted off to an underling. 😁

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What is the FB group? I have Chronic Cirrhosis and am keen to learn as much as I can. Thanks - Snorkers65

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Facebook.

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What is the Facebook group called I meant :-)

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Sorry, I was half asleep! It's the non- alcoholic fatty liver disease support and management

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Deb,

I am sure that the person you are referring to left his ranting to the web and said nothing when faced with real people.

For myself I first saw a registrar, the lovely Dr Claire, who said within two minutes, it looks very much like cirrhosis, we’ll do bloods, sort an ultrascan, CT and endoscopy and then get you to see the consultant ASAP. Another registrar, the lovely Dr Beth, always did my drains, she must have been a valued player in her local darts team, because she got to the source every time. When she was not available, all sorts of problems, kinked needles etc. Be nervous when they turn up with the ultrascan machine. She also gave me a serious telling off when on the phone, she told me to get to A&E immediately as it looked like an infection. I never go to A&E in the evening, turned up first thing the next day and faced a serious lecture and 17 days in hospital.

I would say to the forum shouty man, how do you gain knowledge and become a consultant. Certainly not online but seeing real people.

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People in this country don’t realise how lucky we are to have the NHS. Without it I wouldn’t be here, and it has helped most of us on this forum who live in the uk. It really annoys me when I here people talking and slagging it off in doctors waiting rooms or social media. Yes sometimes treatment is slow coming, but if something is life threatening and urgent then the nhs is brilliant in my experience (3 liver transplants skin cancer and bladder cancer).

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Totally agree with you. There appears to be a new breed of complacency creeping into our society. It's as if people see the health service as being a Right, and this is open to abuse. It's that total lack of respect which is at the heart of the issue. When the NHS was formed back in 1948, the world was a different place. Aneurin Bevan couldn't have known back then just how much the country, and peoples attitude would change. Now it's just a demand, "I want, I want".

The people that really get to me are the complacent ones. The "Love Your Liver" road show highlighted this to me. When I would ask members on the public about their livers and of their life style, I had a few people who would tell me that although they drank well about the recommended safe limits. It really didn't matter because if their liver gets too damaged they'll just get a transplant and be alright.

There seems to be a total misconception that livers can somehow now grow on trees, and then when the time comes they'll just walk in to A&E and demand a new one. I think there needs to be a national wake up call, and these people need to have a reality check. It's at times like this I think of poor Chelle.

For those that don't know of Chelle, she was a lovely lady who frequented this site and who was a major contributor, offering sound advice to plenty of people. Chelle, was on the transplant waiting list for a new liver for almost two years, but sadly she passed away before a suitable liver became available. There are far to many Chelle's out there and some 457 people die each year while waiting for anew organ. Organ transplant is a gift, not a right, If people don't like this, they should be sent to the back of the queue.

Bring back some respectability into our society. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you".

Rant Over...

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I hate to rain on your parade, especially as I hate seeing staff abused, but our treatment under the NHS is not a privilege but a right under law.

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You do not have the right to be abusive and rude to people who are doing their best to help you, that is also a law. Good luck with backing the fist banging brigade, I’ll go a bit Zen on this myself, being courteous and showing respect will do more to get you well. Tell someone in a country that does not have our health system that this is not a privilege.

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I specifically said I was not backing the fist banging brigade and was merely pointing out that care under the NHS is a legal right. We are lucky to have it but that does not change the fact that it is a right.

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Go ahead punk, give me your liver, it’s my right-by law!

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You might want to look out en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nat... and gov.uk/government/publicati... Far better to be informed.

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Semantics, your insistence on points of law makes me think you might be one of those people who turns a shilling out the blame and claim culture. You are also very much missing the point, many of us are waiting for a donor or have received a precious gift called life (or are you looking for potential clients?).

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It is a right. I don't know how you can dismiss it as semantics when it's the title of your post. Then to be so rude and presumptuous of someone makes you very hypocritical of the people you are complaining about.

The NHS is a right. Rude and arrogant people aren't nice. Regardless of if it's to an NHS worker or a shop assistant. You've conflated two issues, one of which you're incorrect on.

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Nice to know it’s our right to receive a donor liver, appreciate you pointing that one out.

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It is if a suitable liver is available.

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Yes, I am a type B, four transplants nationally last year. What is your diagnosis?

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I have NAFLD on top of the things I previously mentioned but fail to see the relevance.

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Well said Dave. There are too many rude people alreadyon fb and other sites - we dont need any slagging off on here - this is a civilised site.

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For your information I have diabetes and Parkinson’s Disease and a previous kidney tumour. Since taking early retirement in 2009 I have volunteered to make things better for patients by being on the NHS England Clinical Senate and by being involved in advising on clinical research - currently around dementia and the screening for and early diagnosis of cancer. I have also done voluntary work with the then Department of Health, the Medical Research Council, the Health Research Authority, the National Institute of Health Research and the National Cancer Research Institute. I have also been a participant in clinical trials and studies. I have nothing to do with blame and claim and I fail to see why you would think that.

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My mother has Parkinson’s and I apologise for my flippant remarks. It’s the pointing out of matters to do with the law, which was not the point I was trying to convey. Rather than people who shout, bang their fist and in worst case scenarios, physically assault people. I believe that if people where more inclined to think of the privilege the NHS gives us all, instead of their god given right, things would improve for everyone. Everyday I give thanks to my donor, I would not be here much longer without her generosity and the kind people who afforded me first class care. I too have taken early retirement and now embarking on trying to help with whatever I can, using my skills and knowledge. Apologies but to me personally, points of law are wholly irrelevant, especially in the transplant sphere.

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There maybe a Right to free medical treatment, but that's as far as it goes. You can't walk into a hospital and demand to have an MRI, or an x-ray and quoting that you have rights. These Rights can also be withdrawn or rescinded at any time, if a patient becomes abusive or threatening.

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Indeed Richard. With rights come responsibility as in other areas of life.

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Privilege is the wrong word yes but a wonderful service that should be fully supported

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Yes it is our right under law but that doesn't give us the right to be physically or verbally abusive to anyone. I have worked on a male surgical ward and have encountered every type of person from the rude, aggressive ones to the polite and appreciative ones. When I found out that I would have to wait at least 20 weeks to see a specialist I was really upset but I realised that my case wasn't considered urgent and I was triaged as non urgent. If I had been considered urgent I would have seen someone within two weeks. I am scared of how my disease will affect me, will I die earlier etc but I am not the only person waiting for treatment even though deep in my heart I know that I am the most important to my family as are all the other patients to their families.

Personally I find if you treat others with respect you will usually get respect back. No one likes being shouted at or sworn at.

My sister arranges out patient clinics and unfortunately has to cancel clinics due to lack of staff. She is so stressed as are all the clinicians and hates having to do it but she has no option. Staff are leaving in droves due to poor pay and stress.

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I couldn’t agree more. What you have said is all I have been trying to say.

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You get more with honey than you ever do with vinegar! If people feel they are being ignored or not receiving suitable treatment keeping calm and making your voice heard is far far more effective. There are good and poor medics in the NHS, the same with other staff. I was told last year I had severe fibrosis. The gastro guy I saw has since ignored me totally! There are ways of overcoming bad service, I spoke to my GP and searched on line first to find a dedicated liver centre within travelling distance. I chased this up to check it had been put into the system. The receptionist at my GP's checked and informed me of the date. I have still had no letter.The appointment is so important to me, so I contacted Liverpool Royal directly. Yes I am booked in and yes it is with liver specialist. Hospital staff do not send these appointment letters. Neither does my GP's staff. This is not a first, its has happened previously. Shouting abuse is a waste of time totally. I go on the 5th December, I am confident I will get answers now to a lot of questions and concerns. If I hear anyone at Salford Dermatology whinge about the clinic being over time, I admit I will speak up. You are treated as a person there ,not a number! Yes the clinics can run late but when you are seen you are not rushed or ignored. People from all over the country are wise to this and know that a longer wait is a small price to pay for seeing the very best. I chose to do a 50 mile round trip. Under chose and book we are allowed to request an appointment at a hospital we consider will best serve our needs. I worked with people who would be most likely to be removed by security in a hospital. Its a fact that some people, for whatever reason, may need an advocate. My body may be crocked but fortunately my brain isn't.

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Radnor,

I found myself in the same situation and went to my GP, unbeknown to me, I had decompressed cirrhosis at an advanced stage. I came home with a tube of cream, no blood test. I got myself to the gastroenterology department at my local hospital, culminating in a transplant at the Royal Free in August.

Mark.

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Wonderful you are now on the best side, hopefully you can look forward with good health. The sad fact is though, not everyone is able to to have the courage or ability to do as we have. People who have damaged their liver through drinking is perhaps the saddest of all. Those I worked with had alcohol/drug/mental health problems. Their ability to seek help was often totally hopeless. Many were self medicating due to failure in the the system many years before. There are thousands of people in this position and they lose any ability to fight for help. The desk banging shouting is not the way forward, but this needs to be addressed. People questioned how I managed to work with these people. I listened and treated them with respect. I was also responsible for some of them getting ASBOs. Carrot and stick. When people present as angry they don't know how to get the help as we do. Something as simple as taking them to one side and listening will often disarm them. This is one solution for all Drs surgeries and hospitals especially A & E. Yes it will cost money but will make staff safer and happier and could save lives?

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You're right about Salford Royal being an excellent hospital. I was overwhelmed by the size of the site and didn't have a clue where I was going. I stopped a nurse and he was so helpful even though it was freezing cold and he didn't have a coat on! My local hospital is probably less than half the size of Salford but is only a ten minute drive for me as opposed to about 40 minutes to Salford. We used to live in northwich in cheshire and the nearest hospital was in crewe. One night my husband was having a severe asthma attack so I rang for a doctor to come out. I was told that there was no doctor in the whole of the crewe area on call and I would have to drive him to Leyton myself. It was about an hours drive down unlit ,windy lanes with my husband struggling to breathe. We finally arrived, were ignored for about 2 hours and then I drove us home without even seeing a doctor although the waiting room was empty apart from a drunk asleep on the seats. I must admit this was one of the deciding factors to move house to somewhere better served with medical treatment available.

I remember one night shift when one of the patients ran amok with a can of lighter fuel and a lighter, it was terrifying. I was bitten, spat at and verbally abused by patients but I also had patients thanking me for just helping them with normal everyday tasks. I can honestly say that we don't do it for the money. My sister works 40 hours a week and earns the princely sum of...£17.500 per year! I worked nights and didn't get enhanced pay. Nor did we earn more for working weekends.

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People need to remember that without the NHS, we`d be in the same position that people in the USA are in. Over there there`s no socialised medicine & people have to pay thousands of dollars for something as simple as a tonsillectomy. If you can`t afford to pay, you don`t get treatment.

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Hi hairyfairy,

I live in the USA and your comments are not totally accurate.

Medicaid is a state and federal program that provides health coverage if you have a very low income and serves a great many people.

Treatment is not based on your ability to pay - yes one is responsible for the cost but public hospitals are supposed to treat you regardless. One sets up a payment plan and many hospitals change the amount due when they find out insurance is not paying for it. Yes some people choose to avoid going to a doctor for fear of the costs, but not quite the same thing.

I don't know enough about NHS to comment and I'm not going to.

I just wanted to clear up what seemed to me to be a misunderstanding about the USA

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I grew up being told horror stories about accident victims in the USA being left to die because they were obviously indigent, meaning too poor to pay for treatment. I found it hard to believe that aby society could be that callous.

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Thanks for that clarification and you’re very welcome on this forum

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Thank you, mncold! I was going to respond similarly. All hospitals in the U.S. are required to treat anyone who shows up to their emergency room with an illness or injury, and public hospitals are subsidized and will accept anybody for treatment regardless of ability to pay.

I will clarify further, for the UK folks, that U.S. medical practices outside of hospitals and subsidized/non-profit clinics can and do refuse service to individuals who cannot pay, or who don't have the appropriate health insurance policy. (Thankfully I personally haven't experienced that, but I do have multiple friends who HAVE been turned away from general and specialist practices for not having insurance, or for not having insurance from an insurance company that the practice actually accepts.)

But yes, I would say being unable to pay for medical treatment is the bigger fear for a lot of us than not receiving the medical treatment at all, since hospitals will still do life-saving procedures whether you can pay or not. If your tonsils are looking like they might kill you, you'll be able to get that tonsillectomy. But if you can't pay for it, you might have to file for bankruptcy afterwards.

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Thank you, FuzzyWasShe.

Mary

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mncold,

Thanks for clarifying that point, the American system can be confusing to some of the people outside of your country.

Bevan created the welfare system in 1948, to help those out of work and provide healthcare for all, it is non -means tested. This is funded by a National Insurance system, to which we contribute. If you are not working or on benefits, these are voluntary. If you chose not to pay, this does not affect your health care. The NHS, I believe is Europe’s largest employer.

In the increasingly complicated world of medicine and pharmacology, treatments need to be approved by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE). People with rare and unusual diagnosis, tend to raise funds and seek to pay for care outside the system, often in the States. Please correct me or make any amendments everyone, this is just my understanding of things and not perhaps wholly accurate.

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That's not entirely true. When in the hospital, I had to prove I am entitled to NHS, that I am paying taxes and pay National Insurance, otherwise I'd be charged for the costs (this was super scary when you are sick and had undergone an expensive procedure btw, but fair enough). So the payment option is not 'voluntary', at least not for everyone. I see the NHS as an insurance cover for which I actively pay and therefore I also think that it's my right to receive a good quality care. In other countries you can go to doctor privately or pay the insurance, you pay them, you get the service-you don't pay- you don't- you are not saying it's your privilege. That is not to say that NHS is not cost-effective. It is a very efficient form of insurance, but still-paid for insurance. You also can't get all procedures on the NHS, some of them you have to go privately. This is more true especially now when plenty of NHS services are already and in the process of outsourcing to private companies. I think we should balance our views on the NHS, especially what is currently going on- it's so multifactorial. There is a problem with govt funding, there is a problem with governance, there is a problem with employment, there is a need for process improvement, there is a problem with patients expecting too much, there is a continuous need for innovation. So, you know what, I do understand some of these complaining people, I think the doctor, nurses, allied professionals also do understand and would behave in similar way when they become patients. I also do understand the complaining staff and the conditions they have to work in. NHS is a service that everyone should strive to improve, from all angles.

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Good morning Pizamkazdw,

Correct me if I’m wrong but judging by your username you are not a British Citizen. As you have made your contributions, you are entitled to health care. I stayed away from over complicating my reply to mncold, if you are a EU citizen without contributions, holding an E1-11 will entitle you to emergency treatment and for anything else you would need to have a private insurance policy or of course pay direct.

Not sure where things are going when we leave the EU but let’s put that to one side. If anyone has an insight on this, please let me know?

The other points you make are entirely political, resources are scarce and there is no bottomless pit, that is why NICE approval is needed for treatments.

We have choices and the NHS has its problems but in my case, they saved my life. My belief is that is a privilege, with legal protections and safeguards, know your rights! You mentioned other countries where the choice is simple, pay and get treatment, don’t pay and there is the door.

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There is no excuse for being rude to frontline staff in ANY organisation. But having said that - and acknowledging that they are constrained by policies and procedures - a proportion of staff do take a “computer says no” attitude and are singularly unhelpful. Access to healthcare is both a privilege AND a right. In many instances, for example that patients are entitled to be fully informed about their options and can access their test results, these are enshrined in law or set out in statutory guidance, organisation’s constitutions, etc. All too often, services and procedures are designed for the convenience of staff not patients. When one’s life is at risk or you or a loved on is sick or in pain it’s entirely understandable that people get angry. But they should get angry at the government and all the highly paid people who won’t resource the NHS and are trying to privatise it, not the receptionist. If s/he isn’t doing their job then complain, but no desk banging or swearing.

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Absolutely agree and eloquently put. It was the fist banging and shouting at the receptionist that prompted my post. Having found an appointment on the day, the time did not suit the individual, GP surgery.

Indeed remarks should be directed at the government. I am fortunate in that my local MP worked as an NHS nurse for 30 years before embarking on a political career. I communicate my concerns directly to her and always receive a sympathetic response, she is part of the government.

As to your remarks regarding computers, I find this the most frustrating element, the IT department should have been put out to pasture years ago. What happened to the £8 billion investment in getting the system to interlink, giving all involved access to records. The money went, no system in place and nobody held to account. I sit in the waiting room and use my phone to move large graphic files from Canada, assimilate them in London before transmission to Poland. Wetransfer anyone? However I’ll hold my ground on that if people viewed the service as a privilege then scarce resources would go further. i.e the people who make appointments, fail to turn up and do not inform anyone. Personally I believe these people, without a very good excuse, should be fined. Again, another one for the political establishment.

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The computer comment was actually a joke - ref to Little Britain - but good point re NHS IT systems. My big beef on this is that the 2 hospital trusts that treat me don’t share patient data electronically. Not because the hard/software is incompatible but because the management haven’t got an information sharing protocol in place! So the only way one consultant can see the results of blood tests, scans, etc is if the other or the GP’s PA prints out a hard copy and I take or post it. Madness!

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That’s my beef exactly, the number of times I sat with my hospital counsellor, both laughing, as he put more coal on his Babbage contraption. When you are ill and have a 5 hour round trip to have an echo or CT scan, it’s beyond a joke. Err, they have the equipment locally, can’t you transmit? Always hard copy to the GP, which starts, dictated and approved electronically to avoid delay. No wonder cyber attack’s always start at the NHS. Which politicians have partners sitting on health quangos?

The computer says...’this is bonkers’.

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Using the EMIS system and my phone, I can let any consultant I see have whatever records and information my GP is holding on me.

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Clearly privileged Osidge. The Royal Free apologised to me in that their system cannot interface with my GP surgery.

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Osidge,

I have looked at the EMIS system and agree it has some uses but in the case of transplants, very limited.

Firstly most cloud WiFi in hospitals are extremely slow, the Royal Free being an example. I was once waiting to be discharged from my local hospital but it couldn’t be done, the entire internet system had crashed for over 48 hours, finally resolved manually.

Also as already stated, I frequently asked why could I not have a heart echo or a CT scan locally and then the files transmitted? Wetransfer works perfectly for me to move large graphic files around the world. This would save an exhausting and expensive 5 hour round trip, not possible. If you’re admirable work in health matters could raise awareness, this would be a huge benefit to a large number of people.

Best,

Mark.

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That may apply where you live and if both the Primary (GP) and Secondary (e.g. a hospital trust) are signed up to EMIS. In my case, my GP and the North Hampshire Hospital Trust do use a common system, but Southampton Hospital Tust doesn’t and doesn’t have an information sharing protocol in place.

In addition, you have to be willing to sign over access to and use of your personal health information to a private company which is then free to ‘data mine’ it for marketing purposes re. its own services and to sell the information to other companies. They claim to only sell aggregated and anonymised data, but it is (a) relatively easy, by comparing different databases, to disaggregate it to identify individuals and (b) databases are notoriously prone to be hacked or sold by unscrupulous employees. Given that, for instance, one’s date of birth is a key identifier for companies such as insurers, credit card providers, banks where identity theft is a major problem then I for one am deeply suspicious of such systems.

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EMIS works as long as your primary care surgery uses it. The hospital does not have to be signed up to EMIS. I simply email the consultant a time restricted link to my record and he can then access it. I am not paranoid about computer records and know how useful anonymised data can be to research studies.

The inability of primary care care to talk to secondary care was stymied by people not wanting it and then complaining when it is not there.

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Sure anonymised data is useful for some kinds of research, but my point is that it doesn’t stay anonymous! I hope you have never been subject to ID theft, but trust me it’s a nightmare. And, as the saying goes, just because I’m paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get me!

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All the trials I have been involved with, as either a participant or as part of the research team, have maintained the confidentiality of the anonymised data in accordance with research ethics. Could you let me know where that has not happened and I will look into it.

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I too have been on research teams that have used anonymised data, but only as part of NHS and similar (drug & alcohol, mental health, sexual abuse) and I’m sure the data was treated properly. It’s not UK academic or NHS research I’m worried about, it’s commercial companies holding data that gets sent off to India or wherever for processing and could then end up on the Dark Web.

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Every piece of research has to have ethical approval. Drug companies doing research could not risk never being allowed access to NHS data if they did not act ethically. I have never heard of any problems with data being used for anything other than research purposes or that it has been reconstructed into identifiable data. If you can give me details of the studies that have, I will action them.

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Agree with the data mining, big brother does make me uncomfortable, especially when you think of the commercial applications. I turned down care from social services, firstly because it involved virgin health care, all at times to suit them and secondly I did not want the council financial department to go through my proverbial underpants drawer. Why are we allowing Huewai to proceed with rolling out 5G?

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££££!

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Precisely, digressing but an excellent read (following on from your paranoid) comment is Alone in Berlin by Hans Fallada. The modern context would be switch your phone off!!

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I totally agree that we should respect those that look after us in the NHS. However, I should like to point out that over the 10 years that I have received treatment for my condition, whilst much of it has been excellent, I have been spoken to in a rude and offhand manner by nursing staff, despite only ever being polite to them. Not everyone is an angel and maybe some people who have been on the receiving end of this type of treatment do not reply in a calm and sensible way (after all they may be in a lot of pain and short of temper).

Just as an example, when I cried (on a rare occasion I have to admit), I was told to shut up as I was upsetting other patients!

Despite this, I do appreciate the NHS are under a tremendous amount of pressure and I have mostly had very good if not excellent care. Sometimes though the training has not been thorough enough and the approach staff take can upset people and so on occasion, they will face the same back. The NHS needs help and lots of it, not just financial, but everyone needs to understand that it is a caring profession.

Despite massive shortages at my local hospital- my last visit to A and E was 9 hours long, the staff were all pleasant and polite. However, some of the reason that the wait was so long, was that many people did not need to be there. The general public need better education as to how to better use the NHS and put them under less strain. Many could see a pharmacist or in fact see their GP sooner. I could go on......... (I probably already have), but I'll stop there. Have a good weekend all :)

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Hello MC,

Good points and with 1.7 million employees, there will be quite a few bad apples. Even the more frustrating because the reason we are there is because we are ill. In the case of Liver function problems, this can significantly impact on cognitive ability, Heptatic Encephalopathy.

Being in hospital is extremely frustrating, who wants to be there? Poor food, no sleep, samples required, waiting for porters etc, etc. However, my life was saved and I always view the service as a privilege. I always try to be polite and courteous, occasionally in the face of adversity.

Your 9 hour stint in A&E is a shocker. I always avoid going after 8am, normally between 6 and 7am unless taken there in an ambulance. Follow the post and you can see my frustration at trying to see my GP. I failed to circumnavigate the receptionist, initial plan B was A&E but I figured out another work around. Especially problematic for liver transplants patients. Statistically of the approx. 950 transplants this year, 95 will not see 2020, 237 will not see 2025. That is why the transplant team obsess about our GP service.

Anyway that’s enough of my stream of consciousness.

Have a great weekend too 🌦.

Mark

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Hi Snoutie,

sadly I don't think the 9 hour wait is atypical. In the end, the only reason I got out then was because the doctor in charge took my bloods, collected my results, removed my cannula and sent me on my way. Unfortunately I had no alternative but to go there in view of my previous history (otherwise I would avoid) and just had to sit it out. It is not uncommon for waits to be at least 5 hours. I was shocked at how long I had to wait compared to 12 months ago when I was last there.

I agree some people may be suffering from HE and therefore appear belligerent, when in real life they are not. People may have had their drinks spiked, or drugs adminstered unknowingly or be suffering from dementia. There are any number of reasons that people could appear difficult. We don't always know what has gone on. Of course some people are just horrible, but how do you tell the difference?

Thanks for your response. Clearly this is something many of us feel strongly about. All the best :)

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Hi MC,

Totally empathise, I have been told to go to A&E immediately twice. My thinking was the wait will be as long as getting a nights sleep and getting there early. I got a serious lecture from one of the registrars who ordered me there. My thinking was, I feel OK, if it goes downhill, call an ambulance. It never happened and I do believe that the stress and chaos around, whilst waiting can make things worse. On one occasion one of the nurses told me I had made a good choice.

A&E are trialling mental health staff to identify any problems in this area. As to the fighting drunks on a Saturday night????? How do you tell the difference. It’s hard on frontline staff.

Hope that you are mending and stay positive!

Mark

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Sometimes the choice of A and E or sit out it out at home until surgery opens feels a bit too much like Russian roulette. 9 times out of 10 I have been right about going, but wish I didn't have to. Thankfully we usually manage to find someone interesting to chat to, although sometimes can't manage that (lack of energy or too much pain) !! Just had endoscopy, on a Sunday and was very well treated by all. So no complaints from me. Hope you had a great weekend :)

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