I have been advised that I should not blog about the NHS especially in the light of my wife working for my local hospital (Southend University (was General) Hospital). But having just returned from the hospital after a fairly routine procedure and given my inclination as a blogger NOT to ignore anything blogworthy, I will ignore that advice while being careful in what I say. In fact my experience today was a very positive one and it has been like that over the last few years when making a number of similar visits. I think the way I was dealt with by different members of the hospital team was exemplary.
Yet this is in contrast to recent reports of the Hospital being put on black alert and closing beds because of lack of staff, even though auditors had recognized some of the work done has been over and above what is expected. I have from time to time blogged about my concerns over the NHS, e.g. the strain on existing resources, NHS having to fill in because of a break down in social services, a lack of leadership at the very top, A&E greatly overstretched, added strain on staff, contributing to low morale, shortage of staff, NHS junior doctor contract disputes, failure to take necessary decisions e.g. regarding the St. Lukes Health Centre, a lack of mental health services for the most vulnerable e.g. the homeless, concerns around moves to privatise some NHS services. Some of my friends know more than me about these issues but I know enough to be concerned and would want to encourage the community at large to support our NHS services, especially our local hospital that in many aspects is doing a good job under pressure and to engage in the political and other processes in order to get the fit for purpose NHS that we need.