NHS, healthcare, etc

It is

Yeah and there is no hope in hell I could have sorted it out anyway.

I have private healthcare. I have used it a fair bit for various expensive scans (MRI etc) and some steroid injections.

I also have a lot of time for the NHS. I was lucky enough to be operated on by one of the top maxillofacial surgeons who does like 80% of all surgeries in the UK for the kind I needed.

So in short, I dunno.

NHS couldn’t treat me for a very painful condition. Private could. Condition solved.

I get pretty good BUPA coverage with work via a salary sacrifice scheme. Even at the base level I pay into, it covers everything I could need as an individual.

When I went to my NHS GP about my knee pain while running, she said “stop running then”. When I mentioned it in my private check-up, they booked me in with a consultant that week, got an MRI, follow-up appointments and physio sorted straight afterwards. Similar anecdote for trying to get mental health help through the NHS and going private instead.

But I’m not ragging on the NHS here - it was hardly urgent healthcare and they’re badly under-resourced. I’d rather be paying that money to them but that obviously wasn’t an option.

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Seems a bit silly.

I had an issue recently and needed a scan. To get the scan i had to go to two doctors appointments and wait three weeks. Normally i’d be more than okay with that, i’m sure there are people worse off, but i couldn’t work full-time in the meantime. I could ring Spire, pay £350ish and have it done within two days, but it’s a lot of money and i’d feel like a twat…yet it’s less money than i’m down due to reduced hours.

Can’t help but think an employer should be responsible for sorting that out, yet none i’ve ever worked for would. Who should i feel angry at here, my boss, the yuppies stood with their tongue out waiting for my £350, or the fucking Tories? Or am i just an idiot for not having a plan?

I’ve had to use healthcare all year with serious headaches. The NHS took me very seriously and arranged a million scans, tests and all that good stuff. Made me feel great throughout it all, and only at the end said “so, it’s good you don’t have meningitis, isn’t it?” which was both bewildering and scary.

They’ve also been absolute dons to my wife, a Canadian immigrant. She had moles removed, CT scans, loads of stuff with her general health, and most importantly…

The NHS managed to deliver both my children in vary circumstances (the first tim they literally saved my eldest daughter and wife’s life, so that’s pretty good) for free. My friend in Texas had a $9k bill for his daughter’s birth, and only half was paid for through his “full health insurance”.

I’ve also used private, when I had it, to ciurcumvent the 10 week waiting time for some physio sessions. When I did go back and use the NHS in 2016 they were better than the service I’d had privately.

I’ve said this before, I will go to war for the NHS, and it’s looking likely that I might have to soon.


It’s really not as straightforward as that with regards to individual health insurance/care. As with absolutely everything relating to healthcare. But put it this way - you won’t get that many doctors saying that the NHS would be better if outlawed private healthcare overnight.

Yeah, there’s been a fair bit of pushback in my hospital about this. NHS support staff increasingly doing work on private patients without getting the wages that a private radiographer would earn. A lot of the research/developments we’ve been involved with are only being used for private patients too.

Money coming in to the trust is increasingly going towards sites where the majority of the private work is done too. The difference in upkeep and presentation at the two hospitals is astounding really.

When I worked for the NHS and had to electronically upload patient records to their new database I was pretty amazed at what doctor’s used to write. Stuff like ‘this beautiful 4 year old girl is suffering from…’ I highly doubt much of that goes on anymore so you take delightful all the way to the bank Lonzo.

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Great post.

Look after yourself.

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Never have had to use my private healthcare when I’ve had it through work.

An anecdote, which I’m not sure where I’m going with…

About two years ago my mum had a major issue linked to her arthritis. She had spinal problems which were compressing on the nerves linked to her feet and was steadily losing any sensation there. The doctors had told her that she had a high chance of being paralysed, but her neurology appointment was going to take at least 3 months. From then the waiting list for an operation could take 8 months. It became pretty clear that she would become paralysed waiting, so they decided to get a private appointment (at a cost of £200 and the operation costing £8000). Thankfully they could afford it and got an appointment within TWO days. The surgeon took one look at her and said this is a shambles, I’m operating you under the nhs next week. And did. So I’m not sure how I feel about it, obviously the option of going private saved my mum so I’m very grateful for it, but think it’s massively unfair that there’s an awful lot of people that this just wouldn’t have been an option for.

TLDR: I’m probably a pseudo-Tory who thinks private healthcare is a bad thing but happy to use it because I can.

I think that you would, actually.

There’s definitely a certain type of doctor who takes on lots of private work, but there are also many who believe passionately that it undermines the principles of the NHS.


I love the NHS and I would be more than ready to join you if need be, it’s an incredible organization and one of the very few things that makes me proud of this country.

So did he do the operation under the NHS then?

Is that because the private provider wouldn’t go anywhere near it?

He did yes. No, it was because pretty much all private consultants also work for the nhs. He saw my mum and thought it was a disgrace that she’d got to that state and bumped her right up the nhs list. Or at least that’s what they’ve told me, maybe they payed the full whack anyway.

I started my healthcare career in a private (theoretically not-for-profit-chairity) company…and have worked for similar companies when placed as a student nurse. I know the OP was referring to “true” private care (as in, paid for directly by the patient/workplace)…but just some of the small things I’ve seen wrt private firms encroaching upon the NHS make me fear for the future.

Firstly…many private companies in the mental health/learning disabilties spectrum act as a charity…however, profits that are meant to be re-invested into services never seem to appear (while plenty of executives have well publicised six figure salaries). Under-funding isn’t an issue un ique to the private sector…but, in the NHS, there are enough people fighting for improvement and enough bodies safeguarding standards to maintain some kind of reinvestement. I rarely saw that from private companies…except under extreme pressure. The whole modus operandi of private healthcare is to complete a contract at less cost than the NHS would…and nobody belives this is due to innovative strategy or good organisation. It’s all about cutting costs (or focusing on consistent revenue streams…like patients who will need intensive support for their whole lives…and are therefore seen as “lucratice”).

This process is speeding up rather than slowing down…currently NHS mental health care is reduced to point-of-access acute wards, community teams and some secure facilities…but I would imagine they’ll start going soon. Then it just becomes a bidding war for who can provide care cheapest. utterly depressing.


Also think the majority of NHS GPs I’ve seen have been varying degrees of useless but need to put that to the back of my mind when sympathising about the ridiculous levels of strain they’re being put under.

You wouldn’t believe what I read on a daily basis (all good stuff but not oh boy)

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You know what really irks me? Those new apps with out of office doctors doing a bit of on the side skyping emblazoned with NHS
yeah they work for the nhs, some of them
still scabs