Not something at the top of your bucket list, nor mine either. After a restless wakeful night (for me and him) himself phoned 111 . I explained that I couldn’t move my right leg, the slightest attempt led to a very sharp pain. I gave an account of my crumbling body and was told to present myself at the A&E department of the local hospital. I replied that at present this was beyond me. A horrible musical interlude later, a voice informed me that a wheel-chair and an ambulance had been ordered for me, to arrive in twenty minutes time. Himself got dressed, I put on my dressing gown and slippers and lo and behold the vehicle was at the front door, minus the wheel-chair. In a slow stumbling fashion I climbed aboard and in a couple of ticks we were off.
At the door of A&E a wheel-chair was presented to me and I sat down. There has been much in the press about all us extravagant oldies, blocking hospital beds. The scarcity of Adult Social Care at home surprises Very Important People that frail elderly folks need some daily help at home, as we live in times of Austerity local authorities are told to cut back on Home Care. The facts that this is cheaper and more efficient, not to mention O.P. preferred option is beyond their comprehension. Me, I had no intention of occupying an expensive hospital bed, I prefer my own bed at home. The treatment and attention I got was excellent, interspersed with quite long periods of waiting. I was x-rayed again, I think I’m become quite famous in a rather negative skeletal kind of way. I wouldn’t be surprised to find my picture in the papers. These wonderful machines discovered that most of me is in fact normal and pretty healthy, excluding my bones. Crumbling is I think the most descriptive word and me with my muesli every morning.
The NHS is the best system for providing health care to the whole population, free at the point of need. Aneurin Bevin grew up in a Welsh mining community in the 1930s, he knew from direct experience the dreadful illnesses and accidents that could affect mining families. It was a remarkable idea that a complete health care system could be provided for the whole population out of general taxation. As I know from personal experience the system is far from perfect but it is one of the better, most efficient, fairest and cheapest systems available . We should stop selling it off to for profit organisations who have no interest in an equitable healthy society. There is a straight-forward equation here deny people help in the early stages of illness from GP’s or District Nurses and more people will become seriously ill and require longer treatment in hospital.
I did not see a doctor, I saw extremely skilled, knowledgable nurses who had time to explain in a very thoughtful way what was happening. It seems part of the routine to compliment the patient on adapting to the requirements, this I could get used to.
I have heard that private health insurance schemes are not keen on insuring individuals past their prime, maybe in their sixties or seventies. I rather think they look after the affluent well who wish to chose the most appropriate time to fit in an operation to their busy life-styles.