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Good experience with the NHS

Community Veteran
Posts: 3,486
Registered: 02-10-2008

Good experience with the NHS

I'm not sure if I should be suprised, but I've just had some very good experiences with NHS Scotland.
After referal by GP, had an appointment within two weeks,
I arrived in good time - well 35 minutes early in fact, I sat down to wait with a good book, and was surprised when my name was called within 5 minutes. I was in and out before my appointment time.
Then two further clinics / tests - I arrived early again and the same happened on two further occasions.
I put the first down the fact it was in the middle of the cold weather and presumably many cancellations / no shows due to difficult travel - but not this week.
The last one - the person booked before me arrived late - so I took his slot and he took mine.
So the moral is - arrive in plenty of time ( good planning anyway really - allows for traffic delays etc ) and you may well be dealt with early.
16 REPLIES
nadger
Rising Star
Posts: 4,498
Thanks: 46
Registered: 13-04-2007

Re: Good experience with the NHS

I think that there's a lot of luck involved with hospital appointments - I always arrive early.
Best recently was a CT SCan where I put car in car park, walked to X-Ray, waited, had scan, walked back and put parking ticket in machine in exactly 35 minutes.
Overall I accept the fact that one has to wait to see consultants as appointments can't always be time limited - I wouldn't appreciate someone saying to me that they hadn't finished but my time was up.
The seven consultants I've seen in just over 14 months have all been worth waiting for - hope the new lot next week are the same.
johpal
Grafter
Posts: 550
Registered: 20-04-2008

Re: Good experience with the NHS

@Mal0z
I’m sorry you have the need of the NHS; I hope it isn’t too serious and that you are well again soon. I’m happy you are pleased with the service you received.
@nadger
Again, I’m sorry you need the NHS, but thank you for understanding that some patients’ needs are more complex and time consuming.
The tests I conduct are time consuming and when I see something unusual, I may have to take extra pictures to clarify the diagnosis. Some patients require extra time and assistance to get onto the examination couch and others (children in particular) need a lot of reassurance.
I once had a disagreement with a patient. He was angered at having had to wait an extra 30 minutes in the waiting room; I was running late with my schedule. Had I been able to leave my earlier patient unattended, I would have explained the delay sooner, but I work with heavy, moving equipment. It could be potentially hazardous to leave somebody alone.
Had I spent a couple of hours in the pub over lunch, or sat at a desk reading a newspaper, knowing I was keeping people waiting, it would have been a different matter. But I had had only 10 minutes for lunch and was trying to make up for lost time, to get home to my own family at a reasonable hour.
Please understand, nobody in the NHS deliberately wants to keep you waiting. Why would they? Please be patient patients!  Wink
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,486
Registered: 02-10-2008

Re: Good experience with the NHS

Johpal,
Sorry - no implied criticism at all. I have had several friends - either doctors or nurses etc . and have a great deal of respect for the medical profession. I wanted to be a doctor  myself but my biology was not good enough. But throughout my life I've watched lots of programmes - starting with Your Life in their Hands.
I just wanted to pass on the tip that by arriving early - you might get in and then out early and in doing so help the hard working people to either get ahead of scedule or at least catch up.
I was thanked for arriving early.
Community Veteran
Posts: 16,814
Thanks: 1,112
Fixes: 13
Registered: 06-11-2007

Re: Good experience with the NHS

I am one of the "fortunate" people.... I very rarely visit my Doctor, and have only been in hospital for one very minor operation.  However, my wife is a frequent visitor to the the doc for various reasons, none of which are "life threatening"... I always make sure she is at least 5 minutes early than the appointment time.  She complains to me when she has had to wait longer than the time, and I then gently remind her, "did the doctor rush his consultation time with you?"  she answers "no"... and then the penny drops!.... As you have already said, some consultations need just a little more time and effort to get the best diagnosis for the patient........
My first girlfriend was a trainee children`s nurse at Pinderfields Hospital (Wakefield) ( mid 1960`s) and I have always had a tremendous respect for nurses, knowing how hard she had to study, and long hours into the early mornings before getting a few hours shut-eye (hardly call it sleep) before appearing in front of Matron, spotless in her uniform, at 8 am.....
I think most of the "complaints" about the NHS are to do with the "management" and the way the "system" is overloaded, rather than individuals....
Every NHS person that I have come across, has always treated me, and my wife, as if we were the only person they had to see that day, regardless of time of day, or how long they had been on shift...
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Good experience with the NHS

I have experience of several hospital around here, about seven years ago the wife was attending the eye clinic a Broomfield, they had an unacceptable appointment system, all clinic attendeses were given the same time, if you were unfortunate you were stuck there for four hours, luckily that has now changed.
I have had several at recent times in the main and satellite clinics were I have been seen and out before the appointment.
A son in Wipps Cross, Daughter in Harlow, Mum in Bury St Edmunds and Hereford, no problems.
Cardiac wise, wife at Broomfield and local, also Basildon, no problems, but St Barts in London that was terrible last year often waits of two hours after appointment time, and once, we complained after three hours to find that the girl on the desk had forgotten to book us in when she drank her tea
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,111
Thanks: 1
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Good experience with the NHS

Three year ago my grandmother fell ill with cancer, which signalled the beginning of a period containing many hospital visits… some for (comparatively) quick consultations/tests, others because she was taken ill so had to be looked after in a ward for a week or more. She used three different hospitals in total – Chase Farm, North Middlesex, and Royal Free – and every time she always said that the staff really looked after her. I remember one particularly nice little touch was when my gran was in North Middlesex on Christmas Day, and the nurses on the ward handed out little presents to all the patients. Smiley
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Moderator
Posts: 16,506
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Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: Good experience with the NHS

Due to my parents' failing health I have had lots of dealings with local hosptals and GPs and found that the doctors, nurses, sonographists (is that right), and other medcal staff showed great care, took time to explain things and were supportive to both my parents and myself as their main carer.
The problems I have met with have always come from dealing with receptionists, secretaries and the call centres.

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Community Veteran
Posts: 18,542
Thanks: 190
Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: Good experience with the NHS

An orthopedic clinic was running late recently at Broomfield hospital and I raised the matter with my consultant.  He explained the problem was caused by the admin staff putting more patients on his list than there should have been in order to meet the targets for seeing new patients in the time laid down by the government.  He suggested I wrote to the hospital CEO to highlight the problem which I did. 
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,486
Registered: 02-10-2008

Re: Good experience with the NHS

It does seem that there is quite a diifenece in performance around the various NHS Trusts.
I found that personally about 10 years ago when I was professionall involved in Ambulance communications systems. Some trusts were very go ahead and professional, whilst others rather lethargic. One advantage that we have in Scotland is we only have one ambulance service ( Scottish Ambulance Service NHS Trust ) even though there are many NHS Trusts for hospitals/ GP's etc..
Community Veteran
Posts: 18,542
Thanks: 190
Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: Good experience with the NHS

Most of us have the highest regard for the professionals in the health service but I agree with Mav that it is the back-up staff that lets the service down in many cases.  Unfortunately these are the people that seem to run the health service these days telling the doctors and nurses etc what to do.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,486
Registered: 02-10-2008

Re: Good experience with the NHS

It's not just the health service.
In many industries - the managers grew up out of the core staff such as engineers in engineering companies etc etc.  Now it is either accountants or people with business management degrees etc who run companies and they have lost touch with the core skills of the company.
OK - highly experienced consultants should use their skills in their specialisation of medicine - but I think a medical director should have equal status as an administrator / accountant.
And of course we endlessly hear stories that things like cleaning that have been contracted out go to the lowest bidder and we get the lowest standard of cleaning as a result.

,
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,826
Thanks: 44
Fixes: 1
Registered: 24-09-2008

Re: Good experience with the NHS

I think a medical director should have equal higher status
without medical staff the organisation wouldn't exist.
Teds31
Grafter
Posts: 335
Registered: 06-08-2007

Re: Good experience with the NHS

Not some thing to brag about but I have spent a fair amount of time at hospitals in the last few years and things have really changed,consultants and doctors are prepared to discuss all your symptoms and treatment in a very open and sympathetic way. I have found the staff in general polite and helpful.
nadger
Rising Star
Posts: 4,498
Thanks: 46
Registered: 13-04-2007

Re: Good experience with the NHS

I had an interesting situation recently when consultant cardiovascular surgeon admitted that treatment I needed was above his level of expertise and referred me to St Mary's Paddington as one of three hospitals in country capable of making stent needed.
He qualified this by saying that a good surgeon knows his limitations - one has a great deal of respect for someone prepared to say that.