As always these days, the world of healthcare is changing rapidly, and the discussions around the NHS are getting louder and more frequent. This is such an important issue for us all, I felt I needed to add some more, to follow on from my previous post.
No this is not about any fundraising scheme for our rapidly sinking ‘health service.’ It is about the LUCK that we need these days if we have anything wrong with us. Since the arrival of covid our Government has ignored every other condition to ” save the NHS.” Has that tactic been successful? Far from it unfortunately! In less than two years, we have transformed it from a ‘coping’ service to a broken one. How on earth have we let this happen?
Of course, all waiting lists are increasing, as our quality of life decreases the longer this continues. Millions will die prematurely due to delayed diagnosis, many more will suffer whilst waiting for relatively routine surgeries. This is not for the want of hard work by the incredible staff in the NHS. However working hard alone is no guarantee of success. Quite frankly this is a national disaster happening in front of our eyes. How is this ” building back better?” It’s great to see our economy getting stronger and society open up more. But without efficient healthcare we are going backwards as a nation.
I have seen many estimates for how long it will take to clear the current waiting lists. My personal opinion is up to ten years, not the two or three quoted. We’re already starting our annual talk about the catastrophes of winter waiting round the corner. More covid, flu pandemic, and regular challenges will keep us occupied until March or April. Another six months of waiting and stagnating. So we can all see what the problems are, but how should we deal with them?
Unfortunately for us all, our hapless politicians have our healthcare future in their hands. Having already shown us how incapable they are at getting even basic decisions right, I’m not holding my breath! But who has the chutzpah to take on a job like that? This is not a simple repair, it’s a complete re-build. Root and branch to remove the poor working practices left to fester over many years of lethargy. Is there anybody that has individual responsibility for anything in our healthcare. Minister of health, head of NHS both employees of the Government.
Whilst primary and secondary care limp on, the inequalities and postcode lottery of care become glaringly obvious. I am getting bombarded by personal stories from people unable to access the care they need in the time they need it. Appointments taking ages, then more delays for scan results to be written. In most cases the patients being left to chase things every step of the way! How does early diagnosis work if there are delays from the start?
I have my fingers crossed daily that none of my family or friends require medical attention in this day and age. Particularly something serious. It is becoming almost a fight with the service for the care you require. Wouldn’t it be great if when you got sick you received the care you required without excuses and constant challenges. Those days weren’t that long ago either!
This week I heard an interview with a healthcare professional. It was interesting as they thought the answer to this problem was moving to a system of ‘patient centred care.’ I nearly fell out of my chair! Does that mean we haven’t been putting the patient first for all these years? Have we had an #NHS run in the way that suits it, and the patient must fit in? If you think about it, that is really what is happening.
Those that dare to question our incredible institution from inside or out get castigated. Staff have their careers ruined and much innovation is stopped at the first hurdle. Excuses about risk and finance initially, then just pushed around in the eternal internal red tape. Is this now a service that we should be proud of? More importantly continue to just pump millions into on demand?
We all have reason to be grateful for the incredible things that the NHS staff have done for us over many years. We cannot argue about the herculean efforts that are continuing. But running an efficient service that is effective for us all, is not solely about working hard. As we can see by what is happening now. Where we are currently, is not sustainable.
Whilst all involved continue to look inwards, the rest of the world is progressing. With ideas fit for the way of life we have now. Closer to home there are great models coming out of Holland and Sweden, just as a place to start. No, it’s not an easy task after years of ‘soft touch’ from the Government. But we must grasp the nettle and quickly.
What we all want is a fair system that gives us hope, and unfortunately we are as far away from that as we can be. As always these are my personal opinions based on my experiences. Please feel free to share your own below.