January 31, 2018

By Simone Charlesworth - Scotland

These last few weeks it feels like we’ve been inundated with scare stories over the Scottish NHS. Some stories have been badly labeled, stating NHS without clarifying which one, others have been gross misrepresentations of statistics compiled from FOIs, opposition press releases or even a mix of the two.

Despite all this when you talk to people their experience are different. I’m not saying everyone is satisfied with all the services all the time but generally people are happy with the service they get as shown by the increasing satisfaction levels.

The ambulance chasing media here are becoming more ghoulish in their desperation to get bad news stories. Harassing a family after the loss of a daughter is incredibly low to start with, to do so after they have been asked to be left alone is sickening.

Good news doesn’t get clicks or views but every day our NHS provides care to thousands of patients.  highlights just a few of these and I’m adding mine here.

I’ve not been blogging much since mid December when I went down with the flu. It completely floored me well into the new year and left me with a cough that I’m still shaking off.

Being stubborn I kept putting back going to the doctor. You know how it is, I kept saying  I was getting better until I had to admit I wasn’t. This always seems to happen on a Sunday night.


So first thing Monday I rang the surgery and got an appointment for the next morning with the nurse. Who, after doing all the usual, told me off for not going in sooner and gave me 5 days antibiotics with instructions to ring back if it got worse before the weekend and to ring in Monday if I wasn’t clear.

Week later, I was still wheezing so I rang back. Booked into see the doctor who checked me over again, gave me couple more days antibiotics and set me up to go in for a chest x-ray just in case.

In both cases the turn around in the surgery was less than 20 minutes and by Thursday I woke up feeling human again, which hasn’t been the case for over a month.

Due to work/family/naps (my bodyclock is buggered at the moment) I’ve been unable to get to the drop-in for my x-ray until this morning. So I headed in after the school run to the New Victoria for my first visit as a patient.

What can I say? The Victoria was beautiful (if you ignored the ugly additions) but the New Vicky is modern, clean and appears to be well laid out. The admin & clinical staff are lovely but I do have one complaint. I sat with my book after being checked in and I only got one paragraph read before they were ready for me. I think it was 10 minutes between me walking in the door to walking out.

Our NHS is doing incredibly well even with seasonal pressures. The more the opposition parties slate it and it’s staff the more they distance themselves from public opinion.

Our health service in Scotland is still world-class and cost-effective. The UK spends a little more than average as a proportion of our GDP, but consider what we get when compared to the US system that the current batch of sociopaths in Westminster are trying to emulate.


Source: https://fullfact.org/health/global-health-spending-how-does-uk-compare/

The NHS can never be fully funded; the longer we have it the more we ask of it. Those that complain should bear in mind the NHS now provides a greater range of services than could have been dreamt of when it was first set up.

The main pressure on the English system is not down to immigration (it would be in a worst state without the non-UK staff) or even an elderly / unhealthy population, the problems are down to the serious underfunding it has suffered since the Tories got in.

If we want the services we have to pay for them. Paying as a nation is more effective than paying private companies.

To finish, I’m bloody grateful for the system we have and for the staff who provide care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  I’ve never know a time without it and I hope I never do.

You can follow Simone at her webpage Mewsingoutloud click here

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