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punkdocpunkdoc Sheffield, Derbyshire border.Posts: 12,252
It is quite topical to diss the NHS, but I think my recent story provides a more realistic picture. [I know I worked for them, but no-one remembers me any more, so that had no bearing on the situation.

!3 November found lump on tongue.
15 November, saw GP, referred.
22 November lump removed in hospital.
29 November, saw team again, pathology result back, cancer ruled out.
Consequences, altered cases
Broken noses, altered faces
My ego altered, altered egos
Wherever I go, so does me go


  • steephillsteephill Posts: 2,511
    My experience has also been a long way from "take two asprin and call back in the morning". A pain in my leg turned out to be a DVT, blood tests came up with various red flags resulting in liver and prostate checks via ultrasound scans, MRI scans and a biopsy. The good news is no cancer and no liver scarring which I regard as faintly miraculous given my appetites. Seems my blood is just a little bit weird and other issues found are fairly typical for a man of my age.
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 20,699
    News people always want to press the bad news button. No idea why.   Trying to introduce one item of something happy and positive at the end of the ten o’clock news was given a go by Trevor MacDonald but it didn’t last.

    I have been attending a local MacMillan unit (part built with contributions made by NGS visitors 😊) about once a month for the last three and a half years. I am known as “an okkard bugger” (not by the staff I hasten to add) but I have always found them willing to listen to my arguments against their proposals and to treat me as intelligent life form, even though they disagree with me. 

    They are unfailingly courteous and friendly, even when time is a pressure on them.

    As far as NHS service and the cost of treatment goes, all I can say is that we took our moggy to the vet for a check up, two shots of antibiotics and a bottle of eye drops and it cost over £100. Translate that into what we will being having to fork out if the horror stories about selling bits of the NHS off are true and it’s time to get the pencil sharpened at the ballot box .
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 SomersetPosts: 9,890
    edited December 2019
    They are just that 'Pansyface, 'horror' stories designed to spread fear and panic. 
    @punkdoc , that is good treatment. My OH has been treated the same, his MRI scan for possible (though unlikely) prostrate cancer is this Wednesday, 2 weeks after he saw the consultant. Best of all, we can walk to the hospital and back, it's only a mile or so away.
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 20,699
    I wish I could believe it, lizzie27.

    But even if privatisation isn’t on the cards, politicians are terrified of saying the words “if you want to have a better service offering more up to date treatments with sometimes hugely expensive machinery and treating an increasing number of non working/tax paying people you are going to have to pay more” that they won’t address the problem of “how do we pay for it?”.

    If politicians and people shy away from paying more through national insurance then the NHS service will have to be funded some other way because most people want the latest, fanciest form of treatment. Which is usually more expensive than the old fashioned, steam-age type of treatment.

    Personally, I am opting for the old fashioned treatment as it’s worked for hundreds of years and suits me fine.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 SomersetPosts: 9,890
    If everybody in the country paid £10 for each GP or outpatient visit, then a) they might actually turn up for it and b) it might cut down on the number of unnecessary visits (and I'm specifically not getting at you @Pansyface).
  • KT53KT53 South WestPosts: 6,992
    Our recent experiences with GP practice haven't been good.  I called to make an appointment and was told I'd get a call back 'shortly' to determine whether or not I needed to see a doctor.  'Shortly' became 7 hours later, and called on the house phone when I had told them to call on my mobile - and confirmed my mobile number.  Fortunately I'd just got back to the house when they called.
    My wife has been suffering from quite severe intermittent abdominal pains for a long time and seen various doctors at our practice.  Rarely the same one twice, each coming up with a different likely diagnosis, do blood tests or send her for other examinations and then seem to lose interest when what they had expected to be the problem turned out not to be the case.
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 20,699
    Our surgery has a noticeboard where they put up the last month’s number of missed appointments. It’s shocking. But then when you think that something is “your right” you don’t see the problem do you?

    KT, I experienced something like your wife’s situation. All I can say is, doctors are only human. With all the things that can go wrong in a human body it’s a wonder that so many of us function at all. And as for pinpointing the exact cause of a malfunction in some part or other....

    I experienced odd, seemingly unconnected symptoms for years. It was only after I was lucky enough to be seen by one doctor who had met my illness before that I was diagnosed as neither a nutcase nor a hypochondriac. 

    Your wife will find an answer, I am sure. 
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • BenCottoBenCotto RutlandPosts: 3,793
    I’m delighted for you Punkdoc. My wife has had mouth cancer necessitating a partial glossectomy and, as I am sure you know, it is a horrible procedure. Her experience was not quite as positive.
    Saw the dentist and referred to GP. One week between the two.
    Referred to consultant. Two weeks wait between GP and consultant.
    While waiting for pathology results which took 10 days, sent to the various hospitals in Leicester for lung function tests etc. The registrar clearly expected the pathology results to be bad news and he was right. 
    Operation about 10 days after pathology

    From dentist to operation was therefore about six weeks - not bad, but not great.

    In the hospital she was not enamoured by the NHS services. The night before the procedure the MacMillan cancer nurse-specialist introduced herself saying she would be there “every step of the way”. And that was the last conversation my wife had with the nurse for 5 days despite her being on the ward. After the procedure the operation wound on the neck (80 staples, I counted them!) became badly infected. Every day after the morning rounds the doctor asked the nurses to clean the infection. It never happened. With a tracheostomy tube she was unable to speak but pushing the button asking for help often produced no response for 30 minutes.

    Against the consultant’s advice she discharged herself two days early. At home I was able diligently to clean the infected wound and give round the clock care. 

    From that, and plenty of other similar experiences as she’s had cancer six times, my conclusion is that the NHS is only wonderful in parts. It needs a massive cash injection and I would have no issues if the basic rate of income tax rose from 20% to 23% to cover it.

  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 SomersetPosts: 9,890
    Sounds awful @Ben Cotto. I agree with you, when the NHS is good, it's usually very good but in many cases, it's not. I don't know what the answer is.  I think standards of nursing started to slip when they introduced degree courses for nurses. There was surely scope for basic nurses with no or little academic qualifications but a world of experience and compassion to be kept on and encouraged plus more highly qualified nursing staff.
  • punkdocpunkdoc Sheffield, Derbyshire border.Posts: 12,252
    Totally agree @Lizzie27.

    Consequences, altered cases
    Broken noses, altered faces
    My ego altered, altered egos
    Wherever I go, so does me go
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