When asked what I think of the NHS, I can come up with some really great experiences and some very disappointing ones.
I do know that I would like GPs to be more family-friendly. I remember the old days when if you were a poorly child, your Mum would phone up and a doctor would come round the same day. Why did that level of service disappear?
Getting an appointment with a GP is challenging where I live. In fact, you have to be Mystic Meg and predict when you will get ill as you can wait up to 3 weeks for an appointment by which time you will either be better or in a very bad way. I have asked people in other areas of the UK and the service seems to vary incredibly. This cannot be right – access to healthcare should not depend on your postcode.
The other thing I worry about is the level of care for our older people. My late Dad was passed around from GP to Accident and Emergency to two different hospitals. My Dad was a lovely man and I heard a nurse tell him he was “trouble” when he merely asked politely for a glass of water. It is terrible when you love and know what a fascinating life they have had to see them treated so harshly. He had a fall in hospital and it was other patients who helped him as there was not a nurse in sight.
Of course, the NHS is a big organisation and I have had positive experiences.
I once had a GP who listened so intently and you felt like you were a partner with him in maintaining your wellbeing. When I had my first baby and stressed about the tiniest health issue, he was patient and did not make me feel stupid.
Huge thanks goes to the hospital in which I had two of my babies. Again, with my third, I saw a harsher environment in a city hospital. It seems to me that you should be able to expect a good level of service from the NHS wherever you live.
As many of my blog readers know I found a breast lump last year and I am so grateful to the NHS for tackling this so quickly so that I knew I had the all clear within 2 weeks from going to see the GP about it.
I think the NHS can be improved with more consistent levels of customer care.
It seems I am not alone as a recent survey revealed that 36% of people feel that their doctors don’t listen to them. Respondents were also concerned about money being wasted and the quality of care provided.
So what are your feelings on the NHS?
How could it be improved?
This post was written in association with First4Lawyers