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Positive tales from the NHS

Discussion in 'General Messageboard' started by Northerner, Jan 2, 2017.

  1. Northerner

    Northerner Admin

    Type of Diabetes:
    Type 1
    I know that often (usually?) people come to the forum because they feel they have received poor or inadequate care or advice from the staff and/or system of the NHS, but I sometimes feel that the good, positive stories get overlooked. Personally, I know that the superb response from every member of the NHS that dealt with me at my diagnosis has taught me that excellent care is possible - and often it is this knowledge that angers and frustrates me when I hear about people who are put in far less fortunate positions - things could be, can be , so much better!

    The NHS is far from perfect. It's a huge organisation that has been placed under enormous pressures over the past few years, which I think everyone recognises whatever your political persuasion. I think we need to recognise that the overwhelming majority of staff are not responsible for those pressures and difficulties, but continue to do their utmost to provide the care they want to give us.

    So, how about, since it is a new year, posting about the good experiences you've had? Or, whenever we encounter evidence of poor care, think about what we might be able to do to improve things - be proactive, so that at least something good comes out of a bad situation?

    Like any large organisation it is highly dependent on the ability of its staff to perform to the highest standards. But also, like any large organisation, there are people who are just not very good at what they do :( We need to be able to separate where it is the healthcare professional who is lacking, or the circumstances they are constrained by, and also to refrain from characterising the whole system or its workforce as 'stupid', 'incompetent', 'lazy' etc.

    Target your criticisms and try and make it constructive - I'd love to be in a position at the end of the year to see that we have improved things, not just for the individual members who have sought advice and support, but also for those who might not have to endure the same problems in the future because we made some effort to make some positive changes :)
     
    Copepod, Dave W, Mini-Vicki and 4 others like this.
  2. Manda1

    Manda1 Well-Known Member

    Type of Diabetes:
    Type 2
    I have received excellent care since diagnosis so I can't complain. Since my hospital stay in august our family had a run of bad luck healthwise. My daughter had a chest infection that wouldn't go and ended up being treated by two excellent paramedics at home before being taken to hospital where she stayed for a week. A month later my son came of his bike on the way to work managing to fracture his skull and burst his eardrum the treatment from the paramedics onwards was excellent and all is now well. This was closely followed by my eldest daughter being rushed to hospital with chest pain and high blood pressure she was treated well and is now managing with tablets at home x so I for one and extremely thankful for the NHS and count my blessings that I live in a country where healthcare can be accessed fairly easily x
     
  3. stephknits

    stephknits Well-Known Member

    Type of Diabetes:
    Type 1
    Are you reading my mind Northerner? I've been thinking along the same lines and was wondering about how to make a positive contribution too. My DSN team at the hospital are amazing and from the moment I finally got referred there, my care has been great and has gone way beyond people just doing their jobs. Also I have been following a pump group on Facebook to find out more about it and most people are from the US. It made me all the more grateful for the NHS as the people on there consider insurance and changing jobs / presidents etc. To say nothing of health care in other parts of the world.
    As people probably know, I was wrongly diagnosed by a go at my practice and was seen by the practice nurse for 9 months. Since then I have formed a local support group and have got to know the person at the CCG who is responsible for diabetes. He has set up a great system where the DSNs from the hospital go into all the local go practices and co-run diabetes clinics, providing training and best practice and helping the nurses with their more complex cases. I believe this would have helped me get a quicker correct diagnosis and am really pleased this is in place. I have also written to the CCG and the head of our hospital about how beneficial DAFNE is, as I was able to go on the first ever course in our area and I am keen to see funding continue for education courses.
    Finally I have joined diabetes UK voices, where I can contribute to campaigns when I want to.
    I am aware that the NHS and Diabetes UK are not perfect and are under funded. But both have saved my life.
    :)
     
    Lindarose, Carolg, Flower and 4 others like this.
  4. Carolg

    Carolg Well-Known Member

    Type of Diabetes:
    Type 2
    Good thinking Northerner.
    Thank you NHS. My grandson age 15 had open heart surgery in march last year, recovered in leaps and bounds. I think my treatment for diabetes since diagnosis has been good and recently although it might seem a wee thing, when I phoned as I had an obvious infection in my finger, I was seen within an hour at gp practice.. yes there are some horror stories, but you don't really hear the good ones.
     
    Northerner likes this.
  5. Northerner

    Northerner Admin

    Type of Diabetes:
    Type 1
    That's excellent @stephknits :) Well done for your efforts, which I am sure are really helping to make a difference!
     
    stephknits likes this.
  6. Mini-Vicki

    Mini-Vicki Well-Known Member

    Type of Diabetes:
    Type 1.5 LADA
    Love this thread Northerner :)
    I suffered for five years because of the misdiagnosis of type 2, and I say suffered because the last two years of that were truly an awful experience of feeling so unwell. I was fairly angry at re-diagnois, however I am also incredibly grateful that I now have the correct diagnosis, and the correct medication.
    Since my re-diagnosis 15 months ago, I have seen my DSN 10 times, a consultant twice, a diabetic psychologist for several months, carb counting course, eye checks, feet checks, loads of blood tests and many prescriptions for all the stuff we need to stay alive. I'm incredibly grateful to live in a country where this is possible.
    I know of someone who lives in the states, and because of their healthcare system, currently has to pay for his insulin, and has a very hard time there, and who's first response to me telling my story of my misdiagnosis, was to suggest I sue the doctor who made the wrong decision regarding my health.
    At the end of the day, doctors and nurses etc are all human, and mistakes are made. They shouldn't be, but they are and that is the nature of medicine, so I won't be suing that poor doctor!
    My view is slightly skewed because I work in veterinary medicine, so not only do I have a insight into just how earth is full of grey areas and is very rarely black and white as it is often assumed to be, I'm also aware of the cost of treatments, and that makes me even more thankful for the NHS!
    As for other members of my family, several of my siblings have chronic, life long conditions, and are still with us due to the NHS, and my dear old dad has had diabetes for near enough 60 years, and he certainly wouldn't be around without the NHS.
    As an aside, when my grandma died, she left me her engagement ring. It wasn't her original ring, which she had had to sell in order to pay for the medical care for the birth of her second child (a couple of years before the NHS was implemented), so I'm also glad I won't be forced to sell any belongings to pay for medical treatment, and I truly hope it stays this way!
     
    mikeyB, Northerner and Carolg like this.
  7. DaveB

    DaveB Well-Known Member

    Type of Diabetes:
    Type 1.5 LADA
    Hi. I've generally had good diabetic care from my local surgery and recently, from my frequently maligned local hospital, I had excellent treatment when I had an angiogram in the cardio clinic. The theatre was overflowing with caring staff and in recovery afterwards. I would target my diabetes treatment criticisms not at the NHS staff but at the trainers and all of the government institutions (sadly including DUK) who preach out of date and biased information not backed-up by good science. NICE does a good job but it's lost at the training level. In summary so many of the NHS staff are good in themselves.
     
    Ljc and Mini-Vicki like this.
  8. mikeyB

    mikeyB Well-Known Member

    Type of Diabetes:
    Type 1
    I feel a bit left out (see my post in the news section on Scottish News), but for just an example of how this all works, I'll give an example. Back in March I noticed I had steatorrhoea (look it up) which indicates an pancreatic or biliary problem, at my age usually due to cancer. Went to the doctors, and a week later I had an ultaround examination of the pancreas and gall bladder. The week after that was my daughters wedding, but on the Monday after that I got the report of a possible tumour in the head of a pancreas. They had then made an urgent referral to the top pancreas team in Scotland at Glasgow Royal. In between I had an injection in my arthritic hip, but because they didn't want to stick a new hip in someone with a somewhat abbreviated life expectancy, they pulled up on the computer the letter that the pancreas team (at a completely different hospital) had written to my GP, saying that the ultrasound had shown just changes of chronic pancreatitis, and not cancer, and I got home to to find an appointment to see the pancreas team the following week. All this was done and dusted by the beginning of June.

    The reason it works so well is the computer integration. I had my CT in Oban, but the consultant at Glasgow Royal (and my GP) could simply pull up the X-rays on his computer. And the orthopaedic registrar at Queen Elizabeth Hospital could pull up a letter saying I didn't have cancer.

    I don't know who designed and built this system, but I do know that Jeremy Hunt hasn't asked them to help.
     
    Dave W, Ljc and Carolg like this.
  9. grovesy

    grovesy Well-Known Member

    Type of Diabetes:
    Type 2
    The system integration is the main thing. I know when I worked there were systems in place in the one trust that were not compatible with each other.
     
    Carolg likes this.
  10. Flower

    Flower Well-Known Member

    Type of Diabetes:
    Type 1
    I have received great care and access to fantastic technology and trial drugs (when all else has failed) from the medics and staff who input into keeping me walking, seeing, conscious and happy and for all that care I am extremely grateful. I would not be here without the NHS care I have been given over the years and I do consider it care not just medical advice.

    I was told a split in my heel was nothing to be bothered about by my surgery which has resulted in me needing 8 months of weekly appointments for a foot ulcer. I have discussed this with the surgery and I hope the next person in my situation will receive the correct care and limit overloading the hospital podiatry clinic with avoidable time consuming cases and avoid putting more precious legs in jeopardy.

    I know we need to be proactive as diabetes is largely self management which is why I really value the input I receive from the NHS and I do take on board the suggestions even if at the time I may think some go against other advice I have been given. It keeps me thinking of better ways to manage my diabetes and complications and helps me plot my way along this bumpy road!
     
  11. Lindarose

    Lindarose Well-Known Member

    Type of Diabetes:
    Type 2
    It's great to read some of the positives of our NHS. Working in records at hospital I see at every shift the overload of clinics, numbers of patients being treated, shortage of beds, the pure volume of work We are so quick to criticize and often with reason but my own and family experiences have been mainly very good.
    My daughter had open heart surgery at GOS when she was just 7 weeks old and thanks to their wonderful care and expertese is a healthy 25 year old.
    We are certainly very lucky and I hope our NHS can continue despite the problems.
     
    mikeyB, Carolg and Northerner like this.
  12. Mark Parrott

    Mark Parrott Well-Known Member

    Type of Diabetes:
    Type 2
    I've had excellent service with my eye issue. From first going to the optician, then being referred to the eye clinic within 2 weeks. 2 weeks after that, had MRI scan, then had next eye clinic appt 3 weeks later & told all is OK. I can't argue with that.:)
     
    mikeyB, Northerner and Carolg like this.
  13. pottersusan

    pottersusan Well-Known Member

    Type of Diabetes:
    Type 1
    I wouldn't be here without the bravery and skill of my NHS surgeon - someone who was willing to push the boundaries more than a little.

    As I've said before, on here, diabetes is a small price to pay for being alive:)
     
    mikeyB and Northerner like this.
  14. Bubbsie

    Bubbsie Well-Known Member

    Type of Diabetes:
    Type 2
    Before June 2016 I had (fortunately) had little contact with the NHS...apart from the odd rare visit... or telephone consultation with my GP (in London)...since June onwards diagnosed with a number of health issues...emergency hospital admission...relentless clinic appointments...treatments...medications...reviews...with more to come this year...moved to Bedfordshire...heard horror stories about Bedford hospital ...however...since my initial diagnosis I have nothing but praise for the acute services I received... and the continuing treatment....often we criticise the NHS not fully appreciating the circumstances under which they work...bizarrely ...my real problems began at my local surgery...one after another... still not fully resolved...hoping to remedy that soon...like Manda1 'I count my blessings I live in a country where healthcare can be accessed fairly easily'.
     
    Northerner likes this.
  15. Northerner

    Northerner Admin

    Type of Diabetes:
    Type 1
  16. mikeyB

    mikeyB Well-Known Member

    Type of Diabetes:
    Type 1
    This is hardly diabetes related, but when my grandson was born, Sophie had been in labour for a while before Tom, who was presenting bum first, wasn't willing to put in an appearance, despite good dilatation. She already had a spinal anaesthetic running. She was in Blackburn hospital as a low risk delivery. Anyway, it was decided that a CS was needed. So she was bunged in an ambulance, taken to Burnley, and 35 minutes after leaving Blackburn she was the proud mother of a healthy baby boy, born by CS.

    Main complaint? Poor little bugger has Burnley on his birth certificate.
     
    Ljc, Dave W, Carolg and 2 others like this.
  17. HOBIE

    HOBIE Well-Known Member

    Type of Diabetes:
    Type 1
    I have nearly always had very good service from NHS ! :cool:
     
  18. TheClockworkDodo

    TheClockworkDodo Well-Known Member

    Type of Diabetes:
    Type 1
    I have been guilty of being negative about some members of the medical profession at times, but I have to say when I was first diagnosed with diabetes I had fantastic care. I wrote this blog post about it at the time if anyone wants to read more: http://theclockworkdodo.blogspot.co.uk/2011/02/fairly-big-adventure.html

    All the DSNs I've met or been in touch with since then have been brilliant, as has the nurse at my current surgery who specialises in diabetes - and the one who does my blood tests! The only reason the consultants haven't been as good is because they tend not to be very well informed about ME and don't realise how serious it can be, so they don't understand why I can't always put my diabetes first when they clash. The computer integration Mike was talking about might help with this issue. At the moment none of my care is integrated because it's across different counties - eg my surgery can't access test results sent to the diabetes consultant and vice versa! I go everywhere armed with reams of print-outs.

    Of the nine GPs I've seen (as my regular GP) over the years, eight have been lovely - the ninth wasn't, but I imagine she meant well and just wasn't a people person. My ME specialist in Cambridge was also lovely. I've seen one awful optician who just wanted to get through the appointment as quickly as possible, but I've seen several others who were wonderful, including the one who first suggested I might have diabetes, which may well have saved my life.

    The NHS also saved my Mum's life when she had colon cancer back in 2010, so I have a lot of reasons to be grateful to them.
     
  19. Adrasteia

    Adrasteia Well-Known Member

    Type of Diabetes:
    Parent
    Like @mikeyB, I have the great good fortune to be in Scotland and I can honestly say I don't have a bad word to say about any of the care my family has had.

    Normally when Adam is ill - no matter what is wrong with him - we are transferred to the hospital where his team is because they like to manage 'their' kids themselves, however when Adam was admitted to A&E last month with breathing difficulties they kept him in our local hospital so he wouldn't be too disrupted. The care we had was second to none, and every consultant was full of questions about the Libre and his control. They were up on their sick day management (the main consultant had previously cross-trained with the head of our team at the Sick Kids hospital) and asked me for a full debrief of his current regime, including how I liked to manage things when he was ill - they followed my lead on this, including scanning hourly overnight and only taking additional blood tests on criteria I suggested so I could get a nap!

    Before leaving our consultant gave me the names of all of the consultants that had assessed him for when we updated our team (in addition to the report he would send), and said that they had all agreed his diabetes was under control which is why they didn't transfer. We were given a number to call for the next 24 hours if he felt bad again too so we would go straight back to the same team who would have his details on hand for retreatment, so no need to go back through A&E to be assessed again.

    We have more support than I could have wished for - excellent access to DSNs and consultants if we feel the need, an amazing dietician who talks to us about new ideas (with her we've identified problem meals and are now calculating for fat and protein for particular things which has worked wonders on Sunday dinner bolusing) and works with us on sport schedules and individual foods, and the whole family has spoken to and has ongoing access to the psychologist for any struggles. All kids in our catchment have this which I think is utterly fantastic. Even our surgery assigned us to the GP who does outpatient clinics for T1s so we have true all-round care.

    The NHS may not always be perfect, but to me it is astounding.
     
    Ljc and Northerner like this.
  20. Northerner

    Northerner Admin

    Type of Diabetes:
    Type 1
    That's excellent @Adrasteia :) Much of it is also country-independent, since it involves people doing their job extremely well and covering all angles, being highly inclusive and proactive at every step :) Fabulous, and what all healthcare professionals everywhere can aspire to :)
     

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