My NHS Story

After the scandal of Stafford Hospital where its now official that 1200 died because of the neglect of nurses,the incompetence of doctors and the complete uselessness of managers, we can all tell our NHS horror story. Remember only in the summer, in the Olympic opening ceremony , the NHS was given a starring role as a wonder of modern Britain. Ouch.

But we have all known of the incompetence and slip shod standards for some time. Yet the Emperors ‘s clothes were of the most virtuous gold. They are doing such a good job,they are angels,they are saints, our bad experiences were isolated incidents , but  now  the NHS admits to systemic failures. It wasnt rotten apples ,it was the barrel. Other hospitals are now being investigated.

Like everyone else I have had to tell staff of blood in the toilets,I have had appointments cancelled when I was at the hospital. But my main story although minor is just as  revealing. For years I was a  religious  blood donor. I paid my children to donate hoping it would spark a habit. Leo and I were used in a publicity campaign “Father and Son Give”. I would harangue friends who didn’t give.

I used to give in the West End where I worked for many years. I noticed over the years the service got less and less efficient  Nurses would stand around chatting to each other about their breaks, holidays and shift times while  we volunteers  waited meekly  for the opportunity to save a life. One hour visits became two hour visits.

Then through  total incompetence not only was I kept waiting but they missed the vein . Protocol  said when this happened the session was off. So I had waited for nothing. OK it sometimes happens. But it happened twice in a row  I had got to 65 pints given,it had always been my ambition to give 100 pints.

To cut down on the waiting time I was advised to make an appointment which would give me queue preference  ,this I did. But when I turned up at the appointed time I was put in the same queue as everyone else. I complained . The  receptionist spoke English with such a strong Spanish accent it was difficult to have a conversation  It turned out they had run out of complaint forms. Eventually I went into the ward to give blood. Yes, you got it right. They missed the vein again. Despite a half hour telephone session with the complaints department I never gave blood again.

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