Private v NHS
Having seen off a poor heart and prostate cancer I am now on the third leg of my journey into the dark night of old age. The dodgy hip. GP said try physio. Four sessions later, if anything, worse. X ray time. Not conclusive, operation unlikely. See the consultant. He is based at the private Parkside,a service provided by the NHS that has been privatised. As part of the NHS he agrees my hip is more or less OK, the problem maybe in the back, best have an MRI. I told and return to the Parkway.
The reception area is more hotel then hospital. They point me to the waiting area. Now the waiting area at the GPs is full of the old and young mums and their sprogs. Sometimes appointments are kept but I have waited for over an hour and been told that the time table is running late or my appointment has been lost in the “system”. I always take a book.
At the NHS hospital its worse. Here the dead and the dying, the old and infirm wait for an audience with a specialist who they hope will give them a reprieve. Many come with their partners so that they can hold hands and share the news. A very crowded waiting room.
There are no queues at Parkside. Four MRI machines work away on schedule, on time. You arrive, fill in the form and soon its your turn. There are no desperate patients asking if they have been forgotten or relegated down the queue,. Here we are secure in a smooth running service ,at the NHS often feel you are in a besieged town getting the last of what’s on offer.
At Parkside I am experiencing an NHS upgrade. I am turning left .You are given your own changing room, you keep the key until you leave. Instead of those awful NHS gowns which don’t fit, do up or give you any sense of comfort or decency you are given a well made robe which fits easily and does the business. You are given an infinite choice of music to help the hour pass . It sums it up. Private is customer led, NHS for all its many virtues is supply led.
Moral-If you have it,you pays your money