National Health Service

The NHS in the UK is ‘great’. It’s good knowing if you’re ill, the last thing you have to worry about is whether you can afford the treatment required to get better. I’m sure huge health insurance policies which cover everything provide the same feeling of security, but I’m a big believer in the social provision of things like the health service. And so, I think it’s great.

I just wish the people were equally great. Sadly, people are normal, and some people are better than others. And the NHS is oddly, populated with people. I have much respect for the people who work in the NHS, mostly, because it’s suffered a lot over the years and I bet it can’t be much fun.

But when you’re ill, you want some compassion, some respect, and some good advice, and when you get the wrong person in the NHS, you don’t get that, and it doesn’t help you get better. How a GP deals with patients is a critical part, in my opinion, of the recovery process. If they treat you with respect, and listen, and deal with your issues, getting better will be a hell of a lot easier than if they don’t bother listening, ignore your questions or provide sarcastic, unhelpful answers.

I know that they’ve probably seen 40 people that day, and more than half probably didn’t need to be there, and some of them were probably abusive and rude, but that doesn’t mean I need my GP to treat me like,

a) a 5 year old
b) a 90 year old
c) an idiot
d) all of the above

The two ‘classes’ of people I find best in the NHS are practice nurses and hospital specialist doctors. In the past when I’ve had any kind of illness, those two groups of people have been the most useful, compassionate, informative and understanding. When I had Bell’s Palsy, the initial nurse was great and the final specialist was superb and helpful, but the ‘layers’ in-between including my GP at the time were an obstruction to getting healthier, it’s frustrating. I try and forgive them, because I’m sure people don’t go into the health service to be like that, but it’s hard.