I realise I didn’t answer your question on the state of the NHS. Sorry - long reply here. According to various family members and friends who work in the NHS as clinicians, the NHS needs an overhaul to meet the requirements of the modern age. By overhaul they mean better controls of how/where money is spent, not just pumping in more money into a leaky ship.
A hospital pharmacist friend says at points they are incinerating £100,000 worth of mis-prescribed/over-prescribed medication each week. E.g. The patient may be prescribed a large amount on one ward, then is moved, and another doctor changes the medication, prescribes a load more, and the surplus is incinerated as it can’t be returned to stock as you cannot track the batch numbers of loss medication. That’s just one hospital in one area.
Also the local health care systems don’t connect up. The Advanced Community Practitioner (ACP), a nurse practitioner who co-ordinates the medical help for my parents, doesn’t receive e-notifications if a District Nurse (a separate team) visits them. Instead she has to manually log into each patient record to check for any updates or visits by other teams. E.g. ACP visits and notes skin changes that might be bed sores but after periodical examination is happy it’s healing. The carers then see the skin blemish and have to automatically alert District Nurses. The DNs then visit separately and may decide a different plan of action. The ACP has no idea of this unless checking each patient record, even then the record may show a DN visit but no details.
OR when the hospital consultant examines my Dad and writes to GP after the appointment, in theory the ACP should receive a copy for her records and keep her in the picture. But it hasn’t happened ever in 7 years of treatment. Instead, I have to scan the consultant’s letter sent to my Dad and email it to the ACP. (Nevermind the lack of security sending by email).
OR the ACP collects the flu jabs phials from the GP dispensary en route to administer them to my parents. ACP tells GP staff this for their records as part of annual flu programme. Just as ACP was leaving my parents’ house the GP surgery rang the house to book a home visit by DN for a flu jab. If my father had answered and agreed they both would have had double flu jabs.
This type of thing must be happening every day all over the country.
Personally, I don’t think the NHS can be fixed without a huge grassroots overhaul with improved integration of services and systems. That’s not something any political party will do as it’ll incur difficult times for the public and anything unpopular loses votes.
Perhaps it’s time to take the NHS out of politicians’ hands and make it an independent body transparent unaffected by party political whims that can change every 5 years. In my experience, no Govt of any party has improved the NHS.
Phew!!! I’ll have a lie down now LOL.