Since covid has entered our lives we seem to be living from day to day. Unable to really plan anything due to the way our world is changing so quickly. Even organising a meal out with friends is no longer straight forward! It seems like our actual lives are becoming like the reality of social-media. Every few minutes another subject takes the headlines and very quickly you can become distracted from your focus. For most of us, we must get used to adapting to all the new things we get asked to do. But if you are a ‘leader’ in the country, how do you go about your work?
Certainly not by ignoring all other healthcare, to focus entirely on the virus. Covid is very far from being the biggest killer in this country. With a recent week being broken down by the Mail Online showing that whilst covid killed 242 people, dementia, heart disease and cancer killed in excess of 3000 combined. I found it very interesting to find that reported virus deaths are easy to find, all other diseases are far from straight forward to establish. It feels to me that there is something very political going on here? Why is it so difficult to get transparent information about the biggest killers in this country?
When we look back at the major decisions taken during the pandemic, I’m certain that we will see sacrificing most other healthcare was a massive mistake. I believe this option will ultimately cause more deaths in the longer term. We can already see dangerously high waiting lists, and difficulties actually getting appointments to see any healthcare professional. These backlogs will take many years to catch up, if at all. So many of us will have a poorer quality of life as a result.
With cancer numbers increasing, support plus finance decreasing, we will no doubt look at more temporary fixes. Without getting the foundations right it will be no good pouring more money in. This applies to the entire sector. Pharma, charity, NHS and Government must all improve their working relationships to ensure that this work produces results. Much like global collaboration got us the vaccine, proving it is possible!
Of course this will all take time, and there must be a desire for it to happen. What I am seeing now is many support services closing and research ceasing. Let’s not forget that the UK was never the greatest in cancer care, far from it in a lot of cases! Unfortunately it will now be many years before we can even get back to that level. Myself and industry experts believe that it will be at least 10 years before we will be back in the position we were, before the world changed. At that stage we were just about treading water, now we are fast flowing backwards.
According to our leaders we have been following the science. I don’t believe that to be true! Which scientists would advise us to leave alone conditions such as cancer and dementia? All of our NHS staff are doing their best but are totally rudderless. It seems like all senior healthcare leaders have abandoned ship. Not even speaking out in defence of their colleagues. GPs are struggling to cope and hospitals too. Frustration now showing from the general public. This is no way to run a caring service!
Of course we will all still see in the media, more wonderful things happening in the cancer world. Many of these make great headlines, but will rarely make any difference to any of us in our lifetimes. Large charities relevance is being questioned. What are they doing now? Certainly not telling us, yet very clear and concise with their fundraising messages. They have put no pressure on the Government during these difficult times. Barely have we heard a squeak. They may say that this is not their purpose, but in times of a National Crisis we should all be speaking out!
What we do now know is that we cannot continue the way we are. This total lack of action is killing more people daily, our friends and family. We will all know someone who is struggling to get the treatment they need at the time they need it. This should not be happening in the UK. We are now entering the times pre NHS when people who can afford it, get their treatment privately. The ones who can’t, continue to suffer. We built a service that would look after us all when we needed it. It no longer does that.
The media are now starting to see what is happening, as patients start to speak out. But we need professionals from inside the service to talk as well. I could not sit by and watch the pressure building on my colleagues knowing only too well that my powers to help people were being diminished daily. I feel as sorry for the staff as I do for us patients. But it is in their hands to help change things, despite being Government employees. ‘We are all in this together,’ as somebody famously once said.
This piece is not intended to scaremonger, but tell it as it is. My private messages are increasing daily with more stories of how broken the system is. As always these are my personal opinions based on my own experiences. Please feel free to share yours below.