Monday 1 February 2016

Thank you NHS

The events of the last fortnight have made me extremely grateful for the free at point of access National Health Service and its hard working staff. I can't imagine how much more stressful an ill child must be if you have to worry about being able to either pay for seeing a doctor or whether its covered by your insurance. Whilst trying to resolve my daughter's abdominal pain we have made use of:

  • A trip to the GP.
  • 2 nurses at the Westmorland General Primary Care Assessment Unit.
  • 2 paramedics and an ambulance to transfer to Lancaster Royal Infirmary.
  • 2 nurses, 2/3 doctors (I lost track!) and a surgeon in the Assessment Unit at RLI.
  • A nurse, a student nurse, junior doctor and a consultant in the inpatients.
  • A trip to the GP to get prescription changed to tablets.
  • A return visit to the GP.
  • Another nurse, junior doctor and consultant back in the Assessment Unit at RLI.
  • Overnight a nurse in the inpatients.
  • Nurses, student nurses, junior doctor, consultant, junior surgeon, surgeon, ultrasound nurse, ultrasound doctor on the Saturday.
  • Overnight a nurse in the inpatients.
  • Consultant on the Sunday morning and nurses.

All of this is covered by our taxes so that we can just get ourselves and our children well again without panicking about the cost - I dread to think how much that would have all been in the USA!

Through all of these the staff despite being busy and working long shifts were so patient and calming for both my daughter and me. They always spoke to her directly and treated her like a responsible human being and responded well to her politeness and clear responses. Yes there were long waits between finding out what was going on but the staff were doing their best for her.

What struck me was how badly behaved and rude some of the other patients and parents were to the staff! They were vocally unhappy about following the rules of the ward. In a children's unit I was disgusted by some of the language from other adults. The way they spoke to staff was totally disrespectful. Some of their behaviour was more appropriate to the Jeremy Kyle show rather than a room with sick children in!

I am so glad that my daughter didn't talk to nurses in the way some of the other girls did! Yes there were times we weren't happy about things but it wasn't the fault of the nurses on the ward who are just doing a difficult job in sometimes trying circumstances.

So here is a big THANK YOU to all the hard working, underpaid, under appreciated staff of the UK's National Health Service!

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