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Personal Views Personal views

Facing the challenges of long term care

BMJ 2000; 320 doi: (Published 26 February 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:589
  1. Ruth Windsor, Caring Matters (
  1. London

    I grew up in the United States thinking that Britain was the most caring country in the world because the NHS provided free health care to everyone regardless of race, creed, age, or financial circumstances. I worked in the finest hospitals in the United States for almost 20 years, and the inequality of care provided for the “have nots” was distressing.

    I married the Englishman who encouraged the NHS to deliver services more effectively by using information systems. In 1991 he developed a rare disease that took eight months to diagnose and was physically and mentally debilitating. Since then I have witnessed an appalling lack of accountability and waste of resources.

    People need to know where to obtain the right information—at the right time

    Professionals opened sterile trays to obtain a single lumbar puncture needle or sterile dressing. Patients received meals that resulted in surgery being postponed. Patients were …

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