Tuesday, 19 November 2013

NHS - my thoughts including the £10 per night

In today's media there is talk about charging £10 per night for hospital stays. As I have just spent 10 nights in hospital due to a medical condition I was going to write about my thoughts on the NHS, now that the £10 charge has been announced today, I will include my thoughts on this too. Prior to my own experience I had heard about people being kicked out because of shortage of beds to weekend shut downs.

First of all it all starts with A and E. I have spent a number of hours there and whilst many, including myself, complain about waiting hours it is obvious that there are many people that go there when they don't need to. Sometimes I know we try and get into our GP's but their system means that you have to wait days before an appointment comes free, so people might then go to A and E. This is wrong and putting a drain on A and E. However, I can see the frustration if you can't get in your GP. So there should be open surgery every morning at every GP's. That way you can always go in a  morning. Next is the drunk. After seeing what I have seen it actually makes me mad. When youngsters, and I was one too, go out on a Friday and Saturday night you are responsible for yourself. If you go and get wasted then that is your own doing. But when you get in a state and then need medical attention because of your recklessness then you should pay. I mean either out of your own pocket or night clubs and bars in Town Centres should be charged a tax to cover the extra burden. I have suggested this in the past that some kind of treatment area be set up at the top of Wigan and the drunks be treated there. When I have seen people queuing waiting for a cubicle I just can't believe it.

Next I have been admitted for A and E. It is amazing some of the staff that we have. But there does seem to be a different culture between week and weekend teams. I have heard before about the fact that hospitals shut down a little at weekends and it certainly does seem the case but I am not sure why. Surely there should have enough staff to work 24/7. I think the government are looking to address this and if they can do this and it is successful that will stop people staying in hospital longer than what they needed to plus they will be getting better soon. Got to be a win win situation.

The first time I was admitted it was obvious that people where shipped out of hospital to free up beds. The doctors were waiting for something for me, however, after a couple of days they said I was OK to leave. They prescribed me some medicine and then sent me home. I was clearly not ready to go home and the medicine they put me on sent my condition a lot worse. The next morning I had to go back through again through A and E. That night I was in theatre for a 5 hour operation. Had I not been release the night before then that would not have put a strain on A and E the following morning. I found out that the day I was released the hospital was short of beds and it was a code amber, meaning we need beds. Sending people home only for them to come back the next day is not only wrong for the patient but it is a false economy.

The big issue is consistency! I have experienced some amazing teams who have worked the unworkable shifts to teams that are ok. the level of treatment you can receive can be down to pot luck. I am not having a go at the front end staff as some shifts may have more nurses than others but, like in every way of life, some do need to keep up with the rest. I don't know if there is some kind of mentoring system in place but this could help. Some night staff, single digits here, see it as an easy shift where others are doing loads. One young nurse was busy all night checking on every one, I couldn't sleep numerous nights, and I could not believe how busy she was. She is ambitious and this could be a key to her as she wants to strive forward all the time.


So in the media we hear that hospital are considering charging £10 per night for helping to cover the cost. I think that unless all other issues are looked at and resolved to make the NHS more cost effective then it is a damn cheek to ask people that have already paid their National contributions for more money What they are saying is, " pay for our incompetence." It doesn't make sense.
The one charge I do think that we should be open up too if people go out and deliberately get drunk. I do believe that this should be addressed and that hopefully will make people drink responsibly too.


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