Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

News Roundup [abridged Versions Appear In The Paper Journal]

Reform group calls for shake up in NHS funding

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: (Published 06 April 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:813

Rapid Response:

A patient perspective

From a patient perspective, I think the NHS in its current form is
well past its sell-by date. Were it not for the safety cushion of private
medical insurance, I would seriously think of living in another country
(Switzerland or France for instance) where I know that my family would
have proper access to quality health care, should they need it. The NHS is
just a nightmare - the stonewalling of GPs; the sheer chaos of A+E where
you are ignored by staff and forced to wait for hours on end (15 hours
once with one of my children before we saw an orthopaedic consultant). I
find it astonishing that the NHS is one of the largest employers in
Europe, yet it is a huge battle to gain access to appropriate medical
care. Equally, despite the massive beaurocracy, there is an astonishing
lack of accountability when things go wrong (which happens far too
frequently). My family's experiences at the local hospital have not been
encouraging. Poor communication between staff; lack of rigourous checks
leading to a series of completely avoidable errors. This is not an
efficient way to run a health service! Look to our European neighbours,
they may not have the perfect solution, but it's a lot better than ours.

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

12 April 2006
Jenny Robertson