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Dead Horses

Today, I was thinking about the NHS. You'll probably be asking me why, but there's reason which I think becomes self-explanatory as you read.

A few years back, my mother was in hospital. She was in intensive care. I can honestly say that whilst the notion of intensive care is not a nice one, the staff, attitude and standard of care whilst in there seemed to be marvellous. Relatives were kept regularly updated on their loved one's situations and enough nurses were on hand to do what needed to be done. Things were good, in a roundabout sort of way...

...until you went to a normal ward. Once transferred out of intensive care, you were back a lesser standard. My mother said that she was treated like an errant child whilst on the ward. She was truly grateful for what she received whilst in intensive care, but said that regular ward care had just degraded beyond all comparison. What she said probably stuck in my mind, due to the fact that she was unable to talk and had to write everything in a pad. The hospital concerned, more worried about freeing a bed up, discharged her and she died within approximately 12hrs of being out. Things like that stick in your mind.

On a slightly less serious note, I've got a minor condition that needs treatment. I've seen one person, who then refers me to someone else, who adds me to their waiting list, who then on getting to the top, allows me to see someone else, who has then added me on to another waiting list for surgery. Marvellous. Another statistical pissing contest.

And finally, there's my partner, who just seems to be being fobbed off, untreated - although they'd probably give her any pills in the world. And pills to counteract the effects of the pills. And maybe pills for that, too.

Is it me, or has the NHS just finally lost the plot? It's like it's concerned merely with the short-term. In a common-sense world, people with illnesses see people who know about the illnesses and the illnesses get treated. But no, it's almost like the whole thing has been reduced to statistics, that quotas need to be satisfied, people move up the queues and numbers get crunched for the benefit of league tables. I'm sure that the staff are wonderful people and that it's just misguided management or government policy.

If someone were to tell me that I could pay a couple pence less per pound in income tax for the sake of investing in my own private healthcare, I'd do it, because my little stories are not sole cases. Despite the government mantra, things are not getting better. People have recalled similar stories to me recently and this seems to be the norm. Whoever invented the league table system needs to be shot. They just don't work.
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