It’s no longer the National Health Service but a national health disgrace - Yorkshire Post Letters

From: Caroline Rhodes, Villa Close, Hemingbrough, Selby.

How many times do we all read or see news reports about the state of the NHS? It seems like the issue is never off the front pages. Yet how many of us actually experience the chaos for real?

Well I have, throughout the past few weeks, when a loved one was suddenly taken seriously ill, and it has been a shocking wake up call for someone who thankfully hasn’t had cause to visit a hospital for many years. I’ve had four weeks to observe the catastrophe that we call a public health service, in our case at York Hospital, but I’m sure this is true of many hospitals around the country.

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An ambulance that took 45 minutes to turn up for someone in terrible pain; patient transport that was 19 hours late; an A&E Department that was like a war zone, packed with people, some in agony, crammed together in a tight space, others in wheelchairs sat along corridors, some having waited all night to see a doctor; no beds, meaning patients are shoved wherever they will fit, even if it’s no bigger than a broom cupboard; wards (including intensive care) that are not fit for ill people, noisy, bright lights, the heating only turned on if nurses phone through to some faceless manager for permission.

Staff on a NHS hospital ward helping a patient. PIC: Jeff Moore/PA WireStaff on a NHS hospital ward helping a patient. PIC: Jeff Moore/PA Wire
Staff on a NHS hospital ward helping a patient. PIC: Jeff Moore/PA Wire

Exhausted patients being moved between wards in the early hours of the morning to free up beds; doctors disappearing on a Friday and not coming back in until Monday morning, delaying urgent treatments; sending seriously ill patients home halfway through their stay causing them to be readmitted days afterwards, with all the additional pressures on the ambulance service, GPs and A&E.

I’m not surprised there are problems when people are being treated twice; communication between departments is diabolical, and between doctors and patients practically non-existent, nurses rushing around not having time to adequately care for patients because there just aren’t enough staff; unnecessary waste of resources, such as discarding practically brand new hospital garments and blankets after only one use.

GPs aren’t much better, we were told it would take three days to even speak to a doctor over the phone, despite having had to call for an ambulance the day before. There are horror stories of people not being able to see their GP at all. No wonder A&E departments are full. There seems to be a national talking point about mental health, so why is it that this goes out of the window when you walk into a hospital. If anything the stress is likely to cause mental health issues.

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I don’t care who is to blame but what I do know is that this can’t continue because patients' lives are being put at risk.

We are told we are a rich country, so what’s the excuse?

Politicians seem to be avoiding the reality of the situation, only visiting hospitals for the benefit of egotistical media coverage in areas away from the chaos. They pretend there is no money, so how can they suddenly produce millions, if not billions when it suits them?

Mind you, I suppose it’s easy to play politics and make all the right noises if you have private healthcare to fall back on. It might not be personal to them, but it is for the rest of us. It’s not the National Health Service anymore - it’s a national health disgrace.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

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