Sunday, August 2, 2009

Sometimes it's nice to be reminded

Now my belief in the the NHS model of free at the point of delivery and delivered by the public sector is fairly unwavering, as is my absolute desired never to work in private healthcare. However it's always nice to have your beliefs re-enforced.

I was out for the leaving meal for one of my colleagues and another had come back for it, having left a few months ago to move to Manchester. She's moved up there to be close to her partner and got a job in a private hospital.

Her stories from just a few months make your toes curl, as a member of staff or a patient:
  • The time taken working out how much nursing time you could justify for each patient, sat for hours with a calculator instead of caring for patients.
  • The lack of any sick pay, leading to staff coming in when unwell, not just threatening their own health but putting patients at risk.
  • The patient who came in the night before surgery only to be told that due to an error he'd been under charged, and would have to make up the difference for his surgery to go ahead. That was £3000 underpayment, having to be paid there and then otherwise surgery cancelled.
  • The elderly man who because of complications had a long stay in ITU after his surgery, leading to a call from the insurance company saying that from midnight they'd stop paying.

Well as I told my friend, 'that'll make it into a speech' and they probably will.