Trying to make sense of today’s NHS

WE pay for the NHS – yet politicians seem to think our money is theirs to play with. And what’s worse, when they want to, GPs can hide hehind all the convoluted NHS regulations – care and concern for the patient has gone out the window – as long as the tick boxes are filled in – that’s OK then. Determined not to let NHS let bureaucracy get the better of me, i call Cancer Research UK’s wonderful Helpline – what would we do without them ? Ask for help dealing with new GP ; who seems to be trying to save money by changing my prescriptions to cheaper drugs. Prescriptions that take into account side effects from cancer and polio. Many of the drugs I might don’t get on with each other. It’s a fine balancing act to find the right medicines that don’t conflict. But am shocked – delightful Helpline Nurse advises “go private”. She said it might be less wearying to get my prescriptions by paying the Chemist privately, (he will do this as he understands my medicines and is on my side – he didn’t like a 30 min. call from GP, trying to brow-beat him on my behalf), Nurse sympathises ; agrees that’s not what the NHS is there for, but is giving me practical advice, Don’t know if she should have told me this, but as I always give out false information – don’t want Hackers tracing mre, or my details being sold – so am not too worried she could be traced and ticked off ! And her advice means I won’t get stressed if prescription doesn’t arrive (Chemist says he has others who do same !). Then, after a lot of explanation as to why so many patients are finding these changes happening , she tells me, I am not the only one phoning these days with same query. Fine for us, but what about elderly, those on benefits etc. who depend on drugs ? I am getting fed up with NHS trying to sweep problem under carpet, and Patients’ Association tells me I am certainly not only one. I already have to pay monthly for MLD (service withdrawn by NHS) ; for Physio (you wait six months here if you need it) ; hydro-therapy (essential as I have had Polio, but local NHS pool closed), and to see Consultants – supposedly we should see them urgently in Emergency, but our local hospital Appointments line hinks a wait of three months is Urgent !


Yet another waste of hot air in Parliament this week. It remains to be seen, but i doubt if the extra funds promised by the Chancellor will do anything to plug the gap in NHS funding. When will hospitals get together and get central buying for essentials such as gloves and loo rolls ? Apparently some hospitals pay 30p per roll – others happily pay out twice that. In the meantime stand by for more drug changes – but one day someone with a modicum of intelligence will realise that buying loo rolls at 30p a time, instead of 60p, might save much more money than cutting down on drugs.