200 Days to Save the NHS

BBC “Scotland” were at it again last week with one of their all-too-frequent attacks on our jewel in the crown aka NHS Scotland.  Their glee in jumping on anything that can be used to criticise and demoralise the efforts of those working to keep us all in the best of health is quite pitiful and somewhat at odds with my own experiences.

Last week our NHS gave me a bed for a few nights owing to a planned procedure to hack through my trapezius muscle and remove a large growth from my upper back.  Strangely enough, for a service that’s obviously falling apart at the seams, I was booked in for the operation within the promised waiting time and attended to with amazing dedication and care.

atomThose of you that have studied physics or chemistry to any sort of level will readily recognise this wee diagram of an atomic nucleus with some electrons buzzing around it in perfectly ordered paths.  That’s what our NHS reminds me of.  The doctors would make their rounds letting the various patients know who’d be getting out and who’d have to stay in.  Nurses would make sure everyone was comfortable, the cleaners would get stuck into their tasks, the auxiliaries would make the beds and bring you tea or coffee and make sure you had a fresh jug of iced water, all as regular as clockwork.  The food was excellent too.

When the BBC report was on, the old guy opposite me spat his disgust at the telly: “Why do they never report the good things?”  Doesn’t suit their agenda does it?  This old guy was actually into his EIGHTH week in the ward.  He’d long since been treated but, since he’d fallen at home and the Council hadn’t yet made the necessary improvements to his house, they were keeping him in, no questions asked.  Where else would you get a service like that?  No question of him being considered a bed-blocker and dumped unceremoniously out for whatever family member would have to look after him.  He needed to stay so there he was.  I myself expected to be out on the same day as my surgery.  I felt fine but they weren’t happy with certain indicators so I’d no option but to stay, being of the mindset that if a doctor tells you to wear a jester’s hat and walk around the ward on your hands then that’s what you do.

Such an attitude was unfortunately alien to a teenager with a damaged finger they brought in one day.  He “absolutely was not staying in the hospital overnight”.  This argument went on long beyond the time by which I would’ve chinned him with the nurses still patiently explaining why everything was being done in his best interests.  It ended with him grabbing his bag and storming out with a nurse in hot pursuit.  Rather than giving him a sticking plaster and their best wishes, they brought him back again this time with a female relative who proceeded to moan about the fact he was admitted first thing but still hadn’t been operated on a few hours later.  Er… this is a hospital, ma’am.  Sh*t happens.  You know – things like inconsiderate gits hurling themselves through car windscreens and stuff and needing to go up the priority list.  These folk are dealing with these situations day in, day out.  I don’t know about you but I couldn’t do their job.

Could we run the NHS to the same standard in the event of a No vote considering the creeping privatisation unfortunately coming in south of the border?  The less public money spent on the NHS in the south means the less that’d be available via Barnett up here.  Then again the Barnett formula would probably be the first thing to go and would no doubt be replaced by brutal cuts to our pocket money subsidy.  We’d probably need to pay lower wages to imported labour and contract out certain services where profit would be the contractor’s primary motive.

Still, the People’s Party will protect you, after all ma faither voted fir them and so did his faither – pairty o’ the workin’ man innat.  Won’t they?  Andy Burnham, Shadow Health Secretary: ”Let’s get health policies that can be consistent across England, Scotland and Wales.”  Oh well, goodbye free prescriptions and eye tests – you were nice while you lasted.  That should make you shiver.  Of course after a NO we’d be in no position to complain.  Why should you get better treatment than your fellow countryman in Southend?

Here’s one final point worth pondering: in one recent month in our local medical practice, one of only several in our relatively small town, guess how many missed appointments there were?


Makes you think doesn’t it?  How much time and money is being wasted if this is replicated throughout every practice and hospital in the country?  We all want the best from NHS Scotland but let’s at least have the decency to meet them halfway.

A Cybernat

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15 Responses to 200 Days to Save the NHS

  1. John Thomson says:

    Had major surgery in the mid nineties just before devolution. Waited over a year from referral to surgeon to actually having surgery even although I was listed as a priority case! Hate to think what no critical waiting times were like back then.

    Same operation had to be performed again a few years back. Operation was done in 5 weeks after referral to surgeon.

    I’ve always found our NHS staff to be dedicated and hard working. Cannot complain about my treatment and appreciate how far we’ve progressed under successive Holyrood administrations / governments.

    Let’s VOTE YES to keep that improvement going or at the very least to maintain the massive difference between today and pre-devolution.

  2. David Briggs says:

    The Scottish Health Service is a marvellous institution and if there was was only one good reason for voting for Independence, retaining it as a Nationalised entity would be it.

    We vote ‘No’ and it will be dismembered piece by piece.

    I expect the ‘Yes campaign to lay out the consequences of a ‘No’ vote in explicit detail over the next six months.

    • admin says:

      Let’s hope so, David. Sometimes you can be TOO positive. We need to show our teeth as well.


      • Helena Brown says:

        My thoughts also, we need to tell people the way it will be if they vote NO, we cannot let them find out the hard way as in 1979.

  3. Stevie Mach says:

    Glad your op went well, Dave, and like you also, I have nothing but praise for the Scottish NHS, though knowing people who work in it, I know what dread they have of seeing some of the cuts and backdoor privatisation of services that are happening in England coming to Scotland. The only way to save the NHS in Scotland is through a YES vote. Yes NHS in Scotland has a facebook page for anyone on facebook to show their support.

  4. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Glad to hear your operation went well. Approve

    In 2009/2010 I had the pleasure of engaging with the N.H.S. on a long term basis. It started with a cough that wouldn’t go away. After all the usual tests, penicillin, more tests I was sent to A&E where they did an X-ray. Unfortunately the X-ray was clear. I then had a C.T. scan and lo and behold there it was, the cause of my cough….a biomass (doctor speak) or as I called it, when the doc told me, CANCER. Tounge-Out All this happened in the December of 2009. I also had two biopsies in the December for the N.H.S. to try and identify what sort of cancer it was. The consultants had two in mind but needed definitive confirmation before starting chemo. Pondering

    Unfortunately neither biopsy could get enough of the right part of the biomass to confirm the cancer so I eventually had a third biopsy which did confirm the cancer as Hodgkins Lymphoma. Conceited I say eventually because I spent all of February 2010 in hospital with hot sweats, cold sweats, heart arythmia, vomitting and I was not able to eat much. Oh and whilst I was in they found out my liver was failing. Whistling Needless to say everything was sorted out and I eventually began my chemo. Delighted

    I spent six months visiting either my G.P.’s surgery for blood tests or visiting the hospital for my fortnightly chemo. I have nothing but praise for everyone at my local G.P.’s surgery and at Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary. THANK-YOU

    I agree with your “friend” who was opposite you, why does the BBC only gleefully report negative storiues about our great N.H.S.? Liar

    As for that ignorant teen well let’s just say he’s lucky I wasn’t around. Like you I’d be lining up to give him a “seeing to.” What an ignorant individual he was! The-Incredible-Hulk

    • admin says:

      Cheers, Arb! I never complain about my lot as I know there’s folk like you that have been through so much more.

      I’m glad so much time and so many resources have gone into keeping you alive. :)

      Our NHS is just amazing.


  5. bringiton says:

    As someone with a chronic ilness,I cannot praise the Scottish Health Service enough.My wife also had to make use of it last year and we were amazed at the speed with which things happened and the care shown by all the staff.
    The tactics south of the border appear to be,cut the budgets and when people complain about the service,sell the idea that only a private company can solve the problem (usually owned by one of the Tory’s friends).
    How often have we seen this and is guaranteed to happen in Scotland if we vote No.
    People should be aware that Labour are incensed that we Scots should do things differently from the rUK and if we vote No,and they get elected to office,then we are going to be treated as one nation under Labour.
    This does not mean that our publicly funded health service will be rolled out across the rUK but rather the other way round.
    Public services in public hands or pay as you go.
    This is one of the choices offered by the referendum.

    • admin says:

      Cheers, Jim.

      I’m glad your experiences have been positive.

      A properly-funded NATIONAL Health Service is an absolute necessity in a civilised society and care should NEVER be based on the ability to pay IMHO. I’d be delighted if I never needed the NHS again in my life as I’m sure you would be too. I wouldn’t ever complain about paying a share towards it either. I’ve got my house insured but wouldn’t moan if it never burnt down!


  6. Helena Brown says:

    Well Dave,like John I had treatment for a malignant melanoma in 1998. So pre devolution. Problem as I see it I had the start of the problem in and around 1995 when it was a benign little wart so I waited ten months to have it seen in 1998. As soon as it was seen and identified I was found a bed and everything was fixed. My surgeon, who has since retired was apoplectic when he found out how long I had waited and made more of a fuss than I did. I am very aware that we will lose our precious Health Service in event of a NO vote, how do you tell the complacent or uninformed when Better Together and the No Campaign having all of the Media on their side.

    • admin says:

      I know. It’s a tough one. Maybe in these various debates whoever is representing Yes needs to go on the attack more often rather than continually being on the defensive. It’s not like we don’t have people with communication skills. On the other hand maybe there’s a plan and we just have to trust the folk that have brought us this far. :)


  7. Helena Brown says:

    I hope nobody minds that I comment again, but I think it is time the Scottish NHS was rebranded. The similarity to the badge used by both NHS in England and the one in Scotland needs to be rethought. Too many do not realise that they are actually different, another possibility would be for the Scottish Government to use advertising to educate the public. This would be of greater value, because right now too many get their information from such things as television news, which discusses the English one constantly.

    • admin says:

      I’d agree but for the fact that the MSM would be all over it with regard to how much the rebranding was costing, how unnecessary it was and how it was being done to feed the FM’s ego. Unfortunately they’ve no problem finding ammo as it is so let’s not give them any more. :)

      Maybe the NHS could be given visibility in the forthcoming advertising blitz, e.g. “Scotland’s NHS is already independent…”


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