STAYING ALIVE How to Get the Best from the NHS

STAYING ALIVE How to Get the Best from the NHS

I do the odd book review for Macmillan. Well worth signing up for if you enjoy reading. You get to choose the books you'd like to review, it's sent to you, and you can keep it or pass it on to someone who might enjoy it.

My latest compulsive read has been Dr Phil Hammond's book STAYING ALIVE. Phil is a GP - now part-time - and a TV performer and stand-up comic. His book is a fascinating insight into working alongside staff in the NHS to make it work well for you. It has numerous stories of people living with various medical conditions, and experiences good and bad of NHS care.

There are helpful suggestions as to how to make the most of hospital appointments. Reminders to feed back to staff when things are good and what to do if you're not happy with the service you receive. I found the links to relevant books, research papers and websites very interesting- IWantGreatCare, and PatientOpinion as well as official sites such as the Care Quality Commission.

These days social media enables us to read what other patients are getting and it may make you feel uneasy. There are good hints and tips as to what you can do if you find yourself in that situation.

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14 Replies

  • I have been doing these reviews too for last 5 years since my op. There are some really interesting books and I would recommend anyone who enjoys reading to offer their time. You get to keep the books too! X

  • I got into this by joining Macmillan as one of the volunteer VOICES. Is that how you got involved?

    x Annie

  • Yea Annie it was. Sadly I don't have much time now to read as much as I would like.

  • Did you go to the Macmillan UK VOICES conference last year? There were only a handful of delegates from the Celtic nations. I heard some Scottish accents but didn't actually meet any of them. Hopefully after a few comments Macmillan UK will provide a more inclusive conference this October that actually recognises there are four nations in the UK!!!!

    You sound as though you're very busy. xx

  • I didn't Annie. I am not keen on these cancer events. I shall tell you why - it's silly really but after my op I attended a group where I met a beautiful young lady who had 2 gorgeous under 5s and she was terminal. I felt so guilty and still do. Here was me post menopausal, 50 and with borderline tumour removed with no further treatment and here was she who had a death sentence. I had a few counselling sessions and St the time they helped but I still carry the guilt somewhere. Some days I just can't come on here and read more bad news about another lady who has been sent for tests or someone who has lost a family member. Do that's why I keep away. My emotions run too high and I get do bl##dy angry.

    Hooe I haven't offended anyone with my words. But back to the books - they are fab and you should all take update the offer x

  • I really value your reply and I think many others would too. I'm sorry you had such a distressing experience. It is indeed very hard some days to keep a focus when our dear friends and people we meet are suffering and dying around us.

    I think you're making a brilliant contribution by reviewing books. That's the great thing. There's a role for everyone who wants one.

    Sending loads of love - perhaps we'll meet up another time. I shan't allow you to be sad on my behalf even though I have a terminal cancer. I intend to make the most of every moment and when the time comes for me to drop off this mortal coil, if I can say, 'Phew, that was good!' then I think I shall die a contented woman and my nearest and dearest will also think it was all worth while. xxx love Annie

  • I thank you for your honest response Annie. I watched you when you did the telly interview and was proud to say to my family I know this lady. You are an inspiration to each and every one of us on this site. I admire your courage and honesty and hope that if this disease every catches up with me again that I will carry your words with me and lead the most enjoyable life til my end.

    I wish you as healthy a future as you can find Annie - you never know perhaps some bright spark will come up with something to eradicate cancer forever.

    Do keep in touch and perhaps we can meet up on one of your London trips.

    Sending you hugs,

    Sheila x

  • Now I'm completely confused - I thought you would be based in Scotland. I'm forever in London and as I'm just about to start a 3rd line of chemotherapy I have written a huge list of things I want to see in the museums and art galleries and other events to attend. I don't really have time for hospital appointments and have to squeeze them in between other much more interesting things.

    One day there will be a cure and cancer will be eradicated for ever. That's what's so lovely about having grand-children. I look at them and think 'you'll never have to worry about dying of cancer'. They'll have to worry about other things I daresay!!

    I'd love to meet you. xx Annie

  • Annie I am a Scottish Londoner! Can see how you were confused.

    We will keep in touch and meet up one day. Hubby has just started his own business and I am busy getting all his admin sorted.. Plus I have little grandson very ill with apparently scarlet fever. Do keep in touch x

  • Just got this for my kindle and thanks for bringing this to my attention. I love books and especially helpful ones

  • Is that you scaling ip a sheer mountain face???

  • My climbing buddy I was taking the photograph

  • That's awesome! Are you still climbing?

  • On my good days yes.

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