And most are somewhere between the two. Pretty sure all doctors could agree that the ideal scenario is an NHS which functions more effectively on account of sustainable, high-level investment. Would never dispute that.
Feel conflicted on this issue.
My workplace scheme affords cover for my partner too. I opt out if it were just for me.
For patients to sign up to the one you’re talking about, you actually have to leave your existing practice.
Had some pretty bad experiences with the NHS the last few times I needed to use it, really, just reflecting how ravaged the service in London is now.
Last time I really needed to see a GP (waiting times are like 2 months at the surgery I was registered at so I only ever booked when it was absolutely necessary), the doctor spent the appointment eating a Ginsters pasty and then tried to perform an ear inspection on a suspected infected ear without washing her hands and whilst eating. just walked out laughing.
Last time I needed emergency medical attention (I’d just been savagely bitten by a cat, still got the scars), I was told to leave the hospital and find a pharmacy that stocked tetanus injections and come back with it for them to inject. traipsed around SE London for a couple of hours trying to find somewhere that was open (it was a Sunday) covered in blood (they refused to clean and bandage the wound because it ‘wasn’t necessary’) and ended up having to pay for everything myself (bandages/disinfectant/tetanus shot).
This is purely anecdotal though, I guess, and maybe I’ve just had some bad luck. Services are probably better in less ‘front-line’ areas, but I’m genuinely surprised that we’ve let the service get this bad, thinking about it. A doctor’s strike wasn’t enough for us to take the streets, so I don’t really know where to go from here. My mum worked in the NHS as an intensive care nurse for about 20 years and just quit because of how bad everything got - from staff training to working hours and everything in between.
Quite. The awarding of NHS contracts to private providers is undermining the system as much, if not more, than separate private care.
My experience of the NHS lately has been nothing less than perfect. When I saw my GP recently, becaise I properly had the flu, I waited only ten minutes.
Last year I presented myself at A&E with an injury to my wrist and arm - within five minutes of details being taken by reception I was being seen by a nurse, then I had an x-ray, saw a consultant, my broken wrist and arm were then put in a cast, then I was given a return appointment (for ten days later). From arriving to leaving, less than an hour.
There’s also some who do it because it maintains a certain role that they want to continue, and not to be pushed into management/research/teaching etc. The NHS is unbelievably fatiguing as a monopsony employer and so it’s no wonder some doctors want to do a private clinic/list.
I’ve very little direct experience of using private healthcare. I know that when my stepmum had late-stage cancer, my dad paid for private scans on a couple of occasions to speed up diagnosis and treatment. As pro-NHS as I am, I couldn’t judge him for doing so.
I went for a scan at a private place, funded by the NHS. It was all very swanky. I missed them call out my name. A guy with the same first name and i’m guessing a similar sounding surname had gone in and had a full MRI scan. Sat there for ages like a right bellend. Good job i wasn’t getting the snip, i guess. Found it a bit weird they didn’t go through any security questions or symptoms with him.
I’ve had private cover through work in the past, but don’t any more (the current plan is poor value). Used it for physio when recovering from a stress fracture in my foot, but could easily have managed without.
Other than that, only ever used NHS services as far as I can recall and they’ve all been pretty decent on the whole. Can be a bit of a pain to get an appointment at the GP, but it’s a fairly decent practice (overworked etc as ever, but pretty caring) and the local A&E is in dreadful condition and understaffed, but the staff are superb - been four times since moving here and they’ve been great every time.
It troubles me hugely to think that we already put a smaller proportion of our national income into the NHS than most other comparable nations and yet people still seem hellbent on gutting it even further
I don’t know much about Virgin healthcare…the principles I mentioned above probably still apply…but I’d feel a little less uneasy with a large, public company taking these contracts than the many small “charities” that have mysterious finances and very little internal regulation. That may be clouded by my own experience.
The PFI issue is even more scary for me (TL:DR if building contracts don’t excite you)
N.B. I know that article is 5 years old…but it’s a key reason why the NHS is struggling so much with a “deficit”
I’m generally a big fan of the NHS but in London it is a real mixed bag, especially with GPs. We have a new practice near us now in SW London and it’s amazing. It’s massive and in the three times I’ve needed to go I’ve been able to call on the day and get an appointment within a few hours. You don’t have a designated Dr, you just go and see whoever is free. Sign in with a cool touchscreen thing, Costa and a pharmacists on site - it’s brilliant and a world away from my old GP which was a nightmare.
A pal of mine was telling me yesterday about their private experience.
They went to get a diagnosis for some mental health issue they’ve been having. The idea was to bypass the wait to speak to a therapist on the NHS. They provided her with a prescription note that boots wouldn’t take and said the problem was a boots policy rather than some legal requirement that all pharmacies have. I dunno.
So she couldn’t get the medication that was prescribed anyway. The people she spoke to on the phone about it seem to be phone operators, and they’re expected to be dealing with serious stuff. Seems rubbish to me. It’s taken forever and left her more stressed because she’s constantly thinking about having to call up these people to sort it and try to get a refund which she wont get.
Personally I wouldn’t have private healthcare.
But when I was 14 I ruptured by cruciate ligaments playing football at school. It was a mix of a very bad tackle on me (and a massive growth spurt meaning I had an underlying issue with my knee).
As my dad had private medical insurance with his job, I had my knee rebuilt in a private hospital, with my own room, TV and good food. I admit I loved it at the time, rather than being on an NHS ward, but I still couldn’t get private medical insurance myself.
As a sort of addendum to this, I get private healthcare through through a similar scheme.
Being a hobbyist athlete there are certain aspects such as injuries, rehabilitation and physiotherapy which has been easier to do privately after getting a referral from the GP.
I’ve often wondered about this because on one hand I could use the argument that universal healthcare should be better and the NHS is seriously underfunded but on the other, leading my particular lifestyle is could be considered essentially a luxury so I kind of see this as an additional cost to continue doing it.
My own experience of the NHS has been nothing short of excellent:
- super-quick treatment when I broke my wrist / elbow recently;
- excellent treatment for Mrs CCB during the birth of both of our children;
- excellent speech and language therapy and subsequent multi-disciplinary assessment when the eldest was struggling in nursery;
- some really good help with mental health issues when I was struggling a few years ago.
Only time they’ve dropped the ball recently was (CW: slightly gross) they sent me for an almost-certainly-unnecessary STI check after I had a bit of a urine infection a year or so ago. I wouldn’t have minded except for the fact that I knew two of the four people I saw whilst I was in the GUM clinic
Would you be happy to have your tax increased if you knew it was going straight into the nhs? (Say arbitrary amount of £500 a year)
That sounds horrific…any idea where they went initially?
I guess the counter argument is that your lifestyle (on balance, assuming you’re not into “extreme sports”) probably reduces the likelihood of you relying on the NHS for other matters where risk can be reduced by keeping active.