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How Stretched Is the NHS?

On the whole, I am happy and grateful to have NHS services at my disposable. Admittedly, there are long waiting lists, occasional inconsistencies of care and, if you need treatment, you always seem to be stuck in a queue of some kind. And staff are stretched, it’s impossible to deny. However, the only time I have ever felt compromised by staff shortages was during my labour with the boy.  We were left alone for long periods of time and informed that there simply was no one around who was qualified to administer anything stronger than a couple of paracetamol. Furthermore, I spent eight hours waiting for a delivery room, where the boy was born two hours later. Due to complications with Miss J’s pregnancy, we were monitored more regularly than with a standard pregnancy but this did not extend to care during labour. I was quite scared throughout the process, not to mention in a lot of pain. The paracetamol did little to ease the pain of a back to back baby weighing in at almost 9lbs, the majority of which seemed to be his head! Thankfully, after he got stuck during delivery, the NHS eventually came good and there were more people in the room than I could count. He was blue and needed help to clear his airways and I haemorrhaged and tore but we were ok really.

Having seen this side of the health service, seen just how stretched they are, I find it incredible that there are ever instances where patients who travel abroad for surgery, often cosmetic, are then treated on the NHS if it goes wrong. Pryers solicitors recently conducted a survey to find out what the public thought of this and I have to say I agree with the 75% who disagree that it should be allowed. Our health services are struggling enough without the added pressure of fixing bodge jobs carried out abroad. 

Are we being harsh? I don’t think so. What do you think?

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