Prior to my recent planned admission for surgery in Pilgrim Hospital I received a number of unsolicited, negative opinions on the poor standard of care I could expect to receive.
On reflection, the majority of these views were based on hearsay and not the individuals’ personal experience.
I am therefore delighted to report that I received excellent care throughout the hospital; from catering to theatre, from cleaning to X-ray. Everyone was friendly and professional.
Prior to my admission I was given a wealth of information by the hospital. The leaflets outlined all I needed to know about the care and treatment I would receive. Thus, I arrived at the hospital well informed.
This positive experience continued once admitted and, of the estimated 100 staff members involved in my comfort and treatment, all were responsive when I required assistance for activities my surgery prevented me performing for myself.
I attribute my positive experience in Pilgrim Hospital to my positive attitude. Had I have entered the hospital expecting hotel service and mollycoddling I would have set myself up for disappointment. Outside the hospital I am an independent, responsible adult. For reasons unknown to me many patients leave these attributes at the hospital door and develop ‘pyjama induced paralysis’. They then complain when they do not receive assistance in self care tasks they are perfectly capable of performing for themselves.
What the NHS has unwittingly nurtured is a culture of dependency. In countries where you have to pay for healthcare people take responsibility for their health and work in partnership with healthcare professionals to accelerate their recovery. Sadly, in the UK far too may people relinquish responsibility for their self care and lay blame with the NHS when their health deteriorates.
Although born in Boston I have travelled considerably. On return to the UK I never fail to be saddened and shocked by peoples’ attitude to the NHS. I know of no other country that has such state funded healthcare. However, the mindset here seems to be to focus on what is wrong rather than appreciating how fortunate we are. Yes, I paid £3 to park on the day of my pre-admission appointment. The following week I was admitted for surgery, that had I had to pay for, would have been in the region of £3,000.
Moaning about the NHS will not bring about immediate change. Where we can bring about change is by taking responsibility for our own health and well-being. Many individuals choose to smoke and drink, eat to obesity or neglect their mental health; resulting in heart disease, diabetes, respiratory conditions, high blood pressure, anxiety, depression etc. The NHS is responsible for healthcare. It is not responsible for our lifestyle and choices.
If people took more responsibility for their own health and well-being they might stop moaning long enough to realise how fortunately they are to have such good NHS services and local hospital.