I guess from the title you already know that this is likely to end up being a rant to let out some of my frustrations.
And, yes, I truly believe that the NHS is the single biggest cause of the decline in my mental health as well as my physical health.
I’m on so many waiting lists that I couldn’t even guess how many appointments I’m waiting for. Always waiting. I’m now 18 months over due my follow up appointment for neurology after keeping a headache diary for 6 months. I’ve been forced to now find money to go private again (£270!). And when I do see a consultant I’m told that they are the wrong person to see, or that’s not under their remit! WHAT? So I go back to the drawing board and get on yet another waiting list to try elsewhere. This has been going on for 10 years now.
I think the problem is that there are not experts in autoimmune disease (like an oncologist for cancer) even though there are well over 200 different autoimmune conditions that likely all have a similar cause. (I believe the cause is in the gut.) I also have no one looking after me for fibro/ME. No one in Wales!
My daughter is also fighting the system, or at least I’m trying to do it for her. She might also have fibro and definitely has gluten intolerance. She needs to be seen in Bath as Wales doesn’t have any facility for her but our health board repeatedly refuses to pay for her to go outside Wales. If she had cancer though she would be seen immediately where ever the specialist was! So why are we treated so badly by the NHS?
I’ve tried to get my daughter seen privately but the Bath clinic won’t do it. There is no where else she can go so we are stuck with a useless GP and trying to muddle through together. The poor kid has to try to get through school like this and has no help.
As for me? I’m waiting to see the GP again as they have refused my prescription with no good reason. So again I’ve got to go and tell them how to do their bloody job! I’ve been forced to go cold turkey with this particular drug 3 times so far this year and each time I’m severely ill. And every time it’s because my prescription has been wrong. Last time I had 21 tablets to last me 2 months when I take 1 a day! Surely anyone can work out that that’s not even 1 month’s supply. Then my script is refused because it’s already been written for that month! I wish I could come off them. I really do, but I struggle so much without them and I have to be a mum.
The first time I was forced to go cold turkey I had to phone for an ambulance. I was told that there weren’t any ambulances available and I had to drive to A&E. I told them that I couldn’t get myself there as I was too ill (stroke symptoms). I was then told to call my GP in the morning! IN THE MORNING as in 12 HOURS LATER! So I phoned my GP in the morning as I was still as bad. I asked for a home visit as I couldn’t get to the surgery. I was denied and left to fend for myself. This is how we are being treated.
The last two times I’ve called for an ambulance there hasn’t been one available. Our A&E is a joke. I had to wait 11 hours for pain relief. I actually passed out from the pain and I’m no wimp. I also had to go without food for most the week that I was admitted as they don’t cater very well for allergies. I was offered the exact same meal twice a day, every day and all I could eat was their gluten free (which I need) apple crumble and custard. I lived on that alone for a week. Is that a balanced diet?
So I ask you, is it any wonder that I suffer from stress and anxiety?
This is just the tip of what I’ve been through with them. I’m thinking of changing GP surgery but I doubt if others are any better. I need to find one that will come out when I’m too sick to get to them.
I know that the NHS needs a lot more money but I don’t really believe that would fix the problems. I used to believe in our NHS and I’ve paid enough taxes over the years for it, but sadly I think it’s on it’s way out and no longer fit for purpose, at least in our health board.
I don’t know where to turn any more. I’m pretty sure my headstone will read ‘Here lies another failure of the NHS’.