The NHS has found itself in the news for a variety of reasons. Given that it’s arguably the most important public service run by the state (with taxpayers’ money, of course), a lot hinges on whether it’s deemed to be succeeding or failing in what it’s meant to do – look after the health and wellbeing of people across the UK.
It’s one of the most well-known institutions in the country, but what do those of us who rely on it whenever we become ill or injured and need instant or prolonged medical attention think of it? It seems that opinions of the NHS are, at best, mixed, especially when it comes to the standard of healthcare and the way in which it spends what money it has available.
Good health at all costs?
A survey of NHS patients conducted around the country found that as many as one in three people knew someone who had been treated poorly in a publicly-run hospital, surgery or health centre. My Sister suffered from an infection upon leaving hospital after a routine operation and no antibiotics were offfered. She really suffered. As complaints about the care received from NHS doctors have doubled in recent times, there may be several problems which the government and health bosses need to address, and soon.
An overwhelming majority of people believe that, despite the perceived failings of the NHS, the government shouldn’t make any further cuts to its budget. 73% of people in the survey said that no cuts should be made to the NHS’s funding whatsoever, which shows that limited resources may be partly to blame for falls in the standard of healthcare.
When receiving healthcare, the buck usually stops with the staff, be they doctors, surgeons, nurses, pharmacists, GPs or even in administration. 50% of people in the survey said they felt that NHS staff were overworked, which might be partly to do with job cuts and increased working hours for those who have managed to cling onto their jobs.
Despite the outpouring of sympathy towards NHS staff in general, some 36% believed that doctors didn’t listen to them. The fact that £470,000 a day is paid out to victims of medical negligence in London alone shows that listening intently to the needs of patients can actually be worth more than just saving lives.
Saving money is something the NHS will need to do in future. 65% in the survey said that they think the NHS wastes money and, as the story concerning medical negligence pay-outs proves, there are a few things they could do in order to make the most of what money they do have to work with.
What do you think? Does your Doctor listen to you? Have you suffered at the hands of your local hospital?
Disclaimer: This is a PR collaboration post