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A shout-out for Britain’s health service

December 20, 2021

This year’s cool expression when you want to praise someone is “shout-out.”

OK, so here’s a shout-out for my country’s beleaguered National Health Service. As hospitals start to clog up once again with COVID patients, and Boris Johnson orders another warp-speed vaccination programme at less than a moment’s notice, I went to a doctor’s appointment at 7.40 this morning. The GP in question was able to work early because the schools are out, so no need to drop her kids off.

She agreed to prescribe a chest X-ray and order an ultrasound for another condition. On my way out, I booked a blood test. The result? Within an hour of the meeting I get a phone call telling me that there was an X-ray appointment at 12.30 this morning. The blood test will be at 11.30am tomorrow. Neither of these appointments is needed because I have a particularly urgent problem that demands immediate attention. But still, it was pretty amazing to get them within a day or so of the original consult.

My local health centre isn’t doing booster jabs, which probably explains why my appointment went ahead as scheduled. I’d expected it to be cancelled. But based on my experience today, I will never let it be said that the NHS can’t be fit for purpose. Nor, either on cost or efficiency grounds, does it need be to subjected to creeping privatisation.

When appropriately funded and supported, at least at the primary level the NHS seems to work fine. It certainly does in my area. I should add that I’m part of three screening programmes. Each of them are excellent also.

Of course there’s room for improvement. Any organisation that denies its own shortcomings isn’t worth a sniff. But perhaps it’s time we focused on what works well in the NHS, rather than constantly harping on about its failings.

We should be building it, not slashing or burning it. And instead of sending slushy messages of love (often insincere, especially when coming from the mouths of certain politicians) for all our NHS staff, we should give them a decent pay rise, and congratulate the service for also continuing to do its job quietly and efficiently away from the COVID hotspots.

My experience may not be shared by all other users of the service. But I can only tell it as I see it.

Hence this shout-out. Well done all. Long live “socialised medicine”.

From → Business, Politics, Social, UK

  1. I appreciate your appreciation. Too often here, the real cost of CoViD to the medical people is not acknowledged, or even talked about.

    P.S. do you have the feeling lately that you are (metaphorically speaking), holding forth in an empty hall?
    I’m sorry I don’t respond as often as I would like, but my energy level is now below sea level.
    I assume that is true for most of your followers.
    Multiply that inertia by I-don’t-know-what number, to get a very small idea of the burn out eating those on the front lines.

    • Yes, I probably am broadcasting into a void. And yes everyone I know is fed up to the back teeth with COVID. I can hardly imagine how awful it must be to work with those sick and dying of the virus anywhere in the world. But things will get better. Keep the faith. S

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