Today we had an experience at the hospital that wasn’t great, there was a mix up with my appointments for the second time since Lentil died. My dad asked me if I’d be blogging about it, my parents were understandably angry that this had happened again and were fully expecting me to have a rant. My immediate answer was no (although obviously I am now going back on that!).
It’s not my experience today that I’m planning to rant about though. I think the NHS is fantastic. It would terrify me to live in a country where there isn’t free access to health care. I was born with Holt-Oram Syndrome; I’ve had three operations on my hands / arms to make them more usable and less painful, I’ve had physiotherapy for my back, hips, knees and shoulders, I’ve had counselling and genetic counselling, I have annual checks on my heart to make sure it’s ok, I’ve had antenatal care and have given birth. In short – I have needed to use the service. It terrifies me to think how much debt I would be in if I had to pay for all of the treatment I have received so far and am likely to need in the future. Yes the experience I had today wasn’t great but am I angry with the staff I saw today? No. Am I angry with the midwife who was in tears as I left because she was so upset about the mix up? Definitely not. As I said in a previous post, working within the medical profession is a vocation. People are overworked and underpaid.
There has been a lot in the news lately about hospital staff and the way hospitals are run. Politicians making out that medical staff don’t work at weekends. Sensationalist headlines about the increased likelihood of dying if you go into hospital over a weekend rather than on a weekday. This baffles me. The politicians choose how much money goes into the NHS and then they complain when they are understaffed and departments aren’t open. If becoming a doctor or a nurse meant that you could have a good work / life balance and you got fair pay I’m quite sure more people would be recruited. It can be argued that you get exactly what you pay for but in this case that isn’t true. The vast majority of staff in hospitals love their work and go above and beyond the call of duty every single day. Personally I would happily pay more towards the NHS. I can never understand a government that promises to cut tax or not to increase tax but to improve services. It just doesn’t work.
It’s no secret that I’m not a fan of the Conservative party. This is not only down to their views on the NHS. I’m a teacher, I have the best job in the world but there are days when the bureaucracy is just too much. So many amazing teachers are leaving the profession, not because the work / life balance is pretty much impossible to achieve but because they aren’t spending enough time in the classroom. The number of meetings and courses that teachers are having to attend because of changes that the government keeps making is ridiculous and it massively reduces the time that they are able to spend in the classroom teaching yet they are expected to achieve better results than when they were spending longer with the children.
I’m horrified by the way that the Conservatives seem to be trying to privatise by stealth; the introduction of academies, legal aid reforms and now they’re attacking the NHS.
They call themselves the greenest government ever yet they’ve made it all but impossible to build any forms of renewable energy and have removed the lower road tax rates for more environmentally friendly cars. Choosing instead to back fracking and nuclear power.
So no, I’m not angry with the hospital. I am however angry at a government that seems to think that it can put less money into public services but get more out of them and baffled by the fact that the Conservatives are in power again.