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Praise for NHS staff

A lot of people seem to take delight in knocking the British National Health Service. Having just spent 3 weeks in hospital, I should like to make the following observations.

I was initially admitted to a hospital 6 miles from where I live due to my left lung having collapsed. While there, complications set in & I was transferred to another hospital 30 miles away where there is a specialist chest unit. That made it very difficult for my friends to visit me as they have young children to care for, housework & the like to do, and found it hard to spare the time to drive 45 minutes to the hospital. As it was, I received only 3 visits during my entire stay.

There used to be a specialist ward of the kind I needed at the local hospital, but it was closed some time ago so that such care could be centralised and, hence, save money for the Health Trust. That is yet another example of money and targets being given priority over patients' needs.

On the other hand, the standard of care I received was beyond reproach. The doctors explained everything in simple language so that I knew exactly what they would be doing, what the risks were, and the likely outcome.

The nurses were very attentive and displayed a level of professionalism and care that I could not fault in any way. On the numerous occasions I had to sound my alarm to call a nurse for extra painkillers, I was attended to quickly & efficiently. I cannot praise them, nor the doctors, too highly.

It is just a pity that administrators and the government are emasculating the Health Service in the name of cost-efficiency. They should put their absurd targets aside, listen to the front line staff, and then we will once again have a Health Service to be proud of and that delivers the level of care we should be able to expect.
Sorry to rain on parade, but what I had seen:
- when volunteering in the hospital, the blood was taken for the test - without disinfecting the skin. Even in not first world countries it would not be tolerated. The same applies to the using uniforms and shoes outside the hospital, including in public transit, and then coming into the hospital without changing them first.
- all physician was done so far, was advising Tylenol (acetaminophen) use. Reminds the joke about field physician a couple of centuries ago, that had broken one tablet of aspirin in a half and given then both parts for the same person: one for headache, and another - for the stomach.
I could never imagine life without access to the efficient health care. But life makes own corrections...
I had more needles stuck in me than I care to think about and I can assure you that the area was thoroughly disinfected each and every time.

When I had the chest drains inserted the entire side of my chest from shoulder to waist was made sterile and the doctor performing the procedure was in full surgical robe with hat & face mask. Sterile robes were placed around and over my chest. Even the attendant nurses were not allowed to come too close, and handed the instruments to the surgeon at arm's length.

The same level of care was exercised when the drains were removed. The wound was then thoroughly cleaned before a sterile dressing was applied. My side still has some brown staining from the sterilising fluid used.
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