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This is a question First World Problems

Onemunki says: We live in a world of genuine tragedy, starvation and terror. So, after hearing stories of cruise line passengers complaining at the air conditioning breaking down, what stories of sheer single-minded self-pity get your goat?

(, Thu 1 Mar 2012, 12:00)
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Complaints about the NHS
I have (until recently) gained useful employment as a manager within this island's great Health Service. I have recently left to return to being a clinician on lower pay for reasons that I trust will become clear as my rant develops and matures like a filled colostomy bag left out in the afternoon sun.

There are a few problems with the NHS. One of these is media driven perception. Hospitals are portrayed as disease-ridden hellholes scarcely better than the black hole of Calcutta (meh, to be fair, I have been to Chase Farm before) filled with nurses so busy they cannot stop to fart, let alone do any patient care, incompetent doctors and avaricious managers. All of which would be solved by putting matron back on the ward, and generally warping back to the 1950's.

One of the ones that always boils my piss is the "oh lets stop wasting money on all these managers and mint some lovely fresh nurses." Hospital management is what allows the lovely nurses to be paid on time, get uniform, not have to spend 10 hours of a 12 hour shift doing paperwork, work in a safe environment and generally do their job. There seems to be a (media-led) public perception that if someone doesn't actually lay hands on a patient to make them better, then they are about as much use as David Rathband's etch-a-sketch.

This, unfortunately, brings me to the main throbbing artery of my rant-beast.


One of my main managerial roles was investigating complaints and incidents received from the general public. On my original job description, this was supposed to take "around 3-5 hours per week". Most weeks I did about 20. Complaints fall into the following three areas:

Genuine complaints about clinical issues: 1-2%
Complaints made in good faith but generally due to a lack of understanding: 3-5%
Money-grabbing vexatious wankers: 90%

The first two categories were the easiest to deal with. Generally for the first category, an investigation would occur and the staff involved may have to go for some retraining. In rare cases (about 5-10% of that figure) disciplinary action or a report to the staff member's regulatory body had to be made. The complainants were normally very polite and sorry to bring problems to my attention.
The second category was usually dealt with by a letter saying something along the lines of "thank you for your concern. Having spoken to the ambulance crew, the reason you were taken to Big City General Hospital rather than Lovelytown District is that it last had an accident and emergency department around the time of Glasnost."

The final category was the epitome of soul-destroying. Any letter entitled "For the attention of the claims department" generally fell into this category. In addition any use of the phrase "I think this is disgusting" or "and I want to know what you're going to do about it" also makes sure that it falls into my bollocks-drawer (a figurative drawer - not an actual drawer filled with testicles).


Every. Single. One. of these complaints had to be investigated. Fully. Sometimes, staff had to be suspended whilst these were being carried out. I had to put their actions under intense scrutiny, trying to balance what is the gold standard of patient care together with the actual facts of the case. Usually when I sent my standard "Dear Sir, fuck off and die" letter to close the case, a week later I would get a reply saying "but I think I've been badly treated and deserve money."

People of the UK: Man the FUCK UP. You have a healthcare system that is free at the point of access, is at the forefront of clinical care in many areas, and 99.9% of the time fixes you up and gets you back to where you should be. Live with it.
(, Fri 2 Mar 2012, 13:23, 57 replies)
(, Fri 2 Mar 2012, 13:38, closed)
^^ This ^^
And another click for Matrons back running the wards.

Also sack AB, he fucks corpses.
(, Fri 2 Mar 2012, 13:48, closed)

(, Fri 2 Mar 2012, 13:54, closed)
Bang on the money!
You need to be giving evidence to every medical and nursing college in the land, and the government and above all the fucking moaning whinging grasping cunts who constitute at least 90% of the population of this country!
(, Fri 2 Mar 2012, 14:00, closed)
Those pesky NHS managers have really dealt with the IT services pretty well ent they

(, Fri 2 Mar 2012, 14:04, closed)

(, Fri 2 Mar 2012, 14:16, closed)
^^ creepy guy who won't stop following me around^^
his wooing of the woman is met with guffaws down the local cop shop
(, Fri 2 Mar 2012, 14:21, closed)
^The trolled troll^
Not following you my spastic friend, just seem to notice the whining drivel you post on QOTW.
(, Fri 2 Mar 2012, 14:43, closed)

(, Fri 2 Mar 2012, 16:59, closed)

(, Fri 2 Mar 2012, 22:33, closed)
You mean...
...the multi-billion pound IT project foisted on them by the previous government? Who contracted pisspoor IT designers and consultants to produce it? Yeah, I'm sure the average NHS manager on the ground really had a lot of control over that.
(, Fri 2 Mar 2012, 14:48, closed)
Hello Rory
I feel honoured. I don't think you've trolled me before. I've long been an admirer of your work.

You mean, I take it, Connecting For Health. A DoH project. In other words, the government.

(, Fri 2 Mar 2012, 14:49, closed)
Well anything relating to service and procurement for the NHS, which is dealt with by nhs managers
it's one giant hole that swallows billions. Rest assured the nhs has the DoH whipped when it comes to throwing money away.
(, Fri 2 Mar 2012, 17:12, closed)
**clickety clickety***
and the same to 1001 similar things that the "something for nothing world owes me a living" brigade need a serious dose of STFU on.
(, Fri 2 Mar 2012, 14:09, closed)
So many clicks
I have only just got out of hospital from my second stay and second operation in 2 weeks and my word is the NHS an amazing thing. The nurses all cared about my feelings, whether or not I was in pain and my dignity. The doctors realised when I was first admitted that my rather boring symptom of an excruiatingly painful knee was actually a sign of a life threatening infection, I hadn't in fact sprained it, and in doing so saved my life. I also got an amazingly clean en suite side room, both times, for FREE. The NHS is the best thing that has ever happened to this country and I can't praise it and all who work for her (including the managers who free up the nurses' time!) enough.
(, Fri 2 Mar 2012, 14:10, closed)
It depends where you go.
My experiences of the NHS had been almost wholly positive until I discovered the joys of the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow which is proud to model itself on Scutari and where the nursing staff seem to take Nurse Ratched as their role model.
(, Fri 2 Mar 2012, 15:55, closed)
Well I was in Kettering
and the town is far from solubrious, the hospital is probably the only good thing there.
(, Fri 2 Mar 2012, 19:40, closed)

Shit man ! Kettering Hospital is famous for that flesh eating bug thing.

But true, the town is shit.
(, Fri 2 Mar 2012, 22:51, closed)
The thing with nurses
is that they're a much more visible presence. People rarely see the hard work managers do, so they tend to form the conclusion that managers aren't as useful.

It's the same logic that makes people prefer police to be out patrolling, even though working back at the station is a more efficient use of their time.
(, Fri 2 Mar 2012, 14:22, closed)
There are some shockingly inept managers too...
...but they're not as much fun to talk about, so people just whinge about the shit ones.

It's like the newspapers not reporting good news
(, Fri 2 Mar 2012, 14:23, closed)
And they are teh slutz
All of them.
(, Fri 2 Mar 2012, 14:47, closed)
I'd have more sympathy if
Notes could get between departments with being lost, appointments weren't fucked up, there's wasn't blood left on the walls for weeks, staff spent as much effort on the job as they did moaning about how 'nobody works as hard us us'.
(, Fri 2 Mar 2012, 14:50, closed)
Fair enough
Notes getting lost is as old as the NHS itself. Not making excuses but with 15 million records of care made per year, this sometimes may happen. It shouldn't but there you go. This was one of the ideas that CfH was supposed to resolve until it went tits up.

Blood on a wall for weeks? Really? Where?

And as for your last point, I do agree that it is like saying you wish to pound the dear dead Queen Mum's decomposing vag to suggest that there are some right lazy cunts who work in the NHS, I really don't think that you can justifiably say that staff sit there drinking tea all day going "ooh me bunions...I work so hard, me."

To give you an idea, in a 12 hour shift I get a single 30 minute break. That's it. I'm not looking for sympathy or a pat on the back - frankly it's a poor worker who goes without a cup of tea or a satisfying poo during their workday, but most of us do work fucking hard. So do other people in other jobs. What's your point?
(, Fri 2 Mar 2012, 15:00, closed)

blood on the wall and curtain next to my wife's bed, notes lost more than once, some poor clinical practice on the ward. Just generally pisspoor.

Or just before Christmas when me mum had a fall and spent an hour lying in pain on a cold pavement while the paramedic who turned up in a in a car and was stuck waiting for the ambulance moaned about how her shift was supposed to be over, because she was clearly the one really suffering in the situation.

Or last year when I put my hand in a chop saw and the nurse who was cleaning up the mess grabbed some opened unused swabs from the treatment tray on the next cubical and reacted like I'd sworn at her when I asked that she didn't put them on my wounds.

My theory about the NHS is if there's an activity that needs five people to be competent, caring, professional, it'll get fucked up along the way, even if the other 4 are doing a good job.
(, Fri 2 Mar 2012, 18:14, closed)
Undercovercarrot never said the NHS was perfect, what he does mean is that having vital medical care free at the point of use is an amazing thing but too many people take it totally for granted and just because it's not absolute perfection whinge about how hard done by it they are.

Which funnily enough you've proved in your post. After all, nobody forces you to use the NHS, if you think it's so shite, go private.
(, Fri 2 Mar 2012, 16:23, closed)
Do you work for the NHS?

(, Fri 2 Mar 2012, 18:42, closed)

Oh good. Good logic. If somebody defends an organisation, that can only be because they must have some personal investment in that organisation. No such thing as objectivity. Well done.
(, Fri 2 Mar 2012, 19:42, closed)
I don't remember ordering a retard.

? denotes a question.
(, Fri 2 Mar 2012, 20:11, closed)
No, I don't work for the NHS.
And I don't know anyone who works for it either, before you try that tack. I have been treated a few times and never had any problems, though. MAN BIASED DUE TO SATISFACTORY NHS TREATMENT SHOCKER! Oops, that's me caught out!
(, Fri 2 Mar 2012, 23:59, closed)
Calm down
I was just wondering what you were basing your opinion on.
(, Sat 3 Mar 2012, 9:06, closed)
My Mum is a nurse
And is greatful for the work you admin staff do so she can spend some time actually doing what she trained to do. I couldn't agree with you more.
(, Fri 2 Mar 2012, 15:07, closed)
I've seen a bit too much of the attitude
that says "You don't pay at point of use for the NHS, so sit down and shut up, scum, and put up with whatever level of service we can be arsed to give you."

In this I may be a little biassed by the appallingly crap care my aunt got in the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow recently. Dear Nurses, when a doctor says that an elderly lady with a broken pelvis is to get morphine every hour, they don't mean "Every two and half hours if you feel like it". If you decide to shout at the elderly lady when she asks, in extreme pain, for the drugs she has been prescribed until she's reduced to tears, at least have the sense to do it when there aren't three visitors are her bed, eh?

And ... relax.
(, Fri 2 Mar 2012, 15:26, closed)
I've just realised
that if you try to prounounce 'NHS' phonetically it sounds like 'nurse'.
(, Fri 2 Mar 2012, 15:34, closed)
I'm British, but don't live in the UK. I'm staunchly on the right when it comes to political views (without the nationalistic/racist tendencies) and I have never used the NHS for a single thing. I have had several operations done in the UK, and all were covered under extensive health insurance.

BUT - I believe that the NHS is one of the finest institutions that the UK has to offer, and that the people of the UK can and should be exceptionally proud of it. I disagree with a lot of what Aneurin Bevan said, but in pushing the Government forward into the creation of the NHS he did a brilliant thing, which revolutionised the standards of care within the UK.

Today we still have free healthcare across the board. Yes - you may have to wait a few months if your operation is not critical, but what would you prefer? A long waiting list, or no chance of being able to get the operation done without putting you or your family critically into debt? Look at the US system. If you're rich, you pay for a Doctor. If you're middle-class you buy insurance. If you're poor you get shafted. If you do not have the money to pay for an operation, even a life-saving one, you are out on your arse. The US criticism of the NHS during their own Obamacare debate was, quite frankly, abhorrent.

The NHS has its faults - as every large Corporate or Government sponsored service provider does, however the overriding fact is that the service that it provides overall is astonishing. Providing free (FREE) healthcare to 60,000,000 people. Simple economics dictates that the NHS should not work (infinite supply should cause infite demand), but the fact is that in the majority of cases it provides life-saving, life-altering and life-long care.
(, Fri 2 Mar 2012, 16:06, closed)
i was in the first category.
and it wasn't about money, or really even me (although my care was at best slapdash and at worse, downright dangerous). it was about how the little old ladies on my ward were treated as if they were just a nuisance. i can stick up for myself - some of them couldn't. so i complained, and the nurse concerned was taken off sister duties and sent back to training. the 'matron' actually thanked me as the nurse in question was newly-qualified, and had been stopped before her attitude becqme entrenched. SO FUCKING THERE.
(, Fri 2 Mar 2012, 16:22, closed)
It's an old chestnut, but still true:
if we could just lock all the doors, and keep all the sick people out, the NHS would be perfect.

By the way, I have witnessed blood up the walls, and such like, but this is what happens when you privatise the cleaning services.
(, Fri 2 Mar 2012, 19:37, closed)
fixed up my little boy's cleft lip and palate, professionally, untiringly and perfectly. I didn't have to pay a penny, and the staff certainly knew how to look after a worried dad during the surgery.

I'll never knock the NHS. Where would my son be without them?

The haters are just as bad as racists.... I mean, they have one (maybe two) bad experiences with the organisation, and that's it.... Tar all the hospitals and all the staff with the same brush. Morons.
(, Fri 2 Mar 2012, 21:47, closed)
We're you born without a critical thinking gene or are you drunk?
(, Fri 2 Mar 2012, 23:36, closed)
They're probably not a cunt...
Unlike you, Powindah.
(, Sat 3 Mar 2012, 0:01, closed)
What is it? Wife gone, bullied at school, shit job? You can tell me. If you want I can stoke your hair and make all the bad feelings go away
(, Sat 3 Mar 2012, 10:59, closed)
You are aware
That "Ring Of Fire" and "ringofyre" are two entirely different posters? The second one doesn't even live in the UK.
(, Mon 5 Mar 2012, 16:15, closed)
Am recuperating after having my shoulder reconstructed a week and a half ago in a private hospital, although funded by the good old NHS.

My bed came equipped with three buttons on the end of a remote lead, one to turn on/off the light, one to call a nurse and one to order tea or coffee. The nurses working there seemed surprised that I might feel that pressing the drink button outside of the hours of normal rounds an unreasonable use of their time...I surely cannot have been the only one.

I only used the "nurse" button once to request some painkillers, which duly turned up within thirty seconds. Do people really confuse a hospital with a four-star hotel?
(, Fri 2 Mar 2012, 22:59, closed)
Did you point out the blood on the walls?
If you did and they didn't clean it, did you take it up with someone higher? If you didn't you are just as bad as them for not cleaning it.

Woo the NHS, Doctors, Nurses, Admins, Paramedics, Cooks, Cleaners, Porters... they may not be perfect but what is in this world?
(, Sat 3 Mar 2012, 0:08, closed)
There is no such thing as a 'useful' NHS manager.
Therefore this story is all lies.
(, Sat 3 Mar 2012, 1:10, closed)
So, should I complain?
Hi Undercovercarrot

I read with interest your comments about Chase, having recently had a Chase experience of my own. I seriously fucking hope, for the future of the NHS, that my experience is not typical of all hospitals in the UK. My wife was taken ill with suspected food poisoning, After three days of being ignored, fobbed off and patronised by NHS direct, i eventually called an ambulance. The ambulance didn't come, but we were eventually visited by an out of hours doctor, who after examining my wife did call an ambulance. I could probably write a book about all of the shit my wife and I went through, over our week long stay at Chase Farm but Here are a few of the low-lights experienced:

1. Not seeing a doctor for a day and a half, despite repeated requests to nursing and admin staff to see one.
2. Most importantly, repeated misdiagnoses of symptoms, so that suspected gastroenteritis eventually turned out to be acute appendicitis
3. Repeated requests for nursing staff to insert drip in arm after it had come loose/give pain medication/empty catheter etc. Typical Response "Oh yes, yes, we'll do it right away", 2 hours later...
4. Generally being made to feel unworthy and undeserving, as if we were just malingering parasites who were taking up a hospital bed for someone who was "really ill".

Which is shame because many of the staff there were great. I didn't like having to hassle staff and I tried my best to be assertive without being rude, but sadly, I was continually forced into a situation of conflict with staff. I would hate to think what would have happened if I hadn't been there to hassle staff. I suspect she would have been left in her room to rot.

So what do you think, should I complain? Not really interested in any compensation, and I'm not really convinced that complaining will improve anything if things have got as bad as you say. There's a lot of local opposition to the hospital being closed down but I beginning to think maybe it would actually be for the best if the turned it into a polyclinic and made everyone go to North Mid or Barnet.

Also what are your thoughts on the new Health Bill? Will it improve things or just be another attempt at reinventing the wheel and cause yet more misery?
(, Sat 3 Mar 2012, 9:13, closed)
I shall PM thee re the first bit.

Regarding the second bit, I find it bizarre that the government are trying the whole "oh people don't really understand it, that's why they don't want it." Leaving everything else aside, look at how many professional bodies are opposing the bill: BMA, RCN, RCPCH... if nothing else, these people ARE the NHS clinicians and are many things, but stupid they aint.
(, Sat 3 Mar 2012, 11:09, closed)
I'm a GP reg and I support the bill.
As do a couple of the royal colleges you didn't mention.
I can understand the concerns about some of the finer details of the bill will work but the basic principle is sound and has worked before. The reforms were not the government's idea, many GPs have been pushing for this for years. They may have finally been accepted by the government because of the potential to save money but the bill was not created in order to privatise the NHS and there is an awful lot of scare-mongering from the media.
(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 1:20, closed)
...but the Royal College of General Practitioners do NOT support the bill and believe it should be withdrawn in its entirety.


Anyway, despite what many of them believe, there is more to the NHS than General Practitioners.

The Royal College of Surgeons are holding an EGM as they are unsure whether to continue supporting the bill, as are the Royal College of Physicians, 92.5% of whom reject the bill.

Nobody disagrees that there is a need for reform in the NHS, but a massive restructuring going against many of the guiding principles of the NHS.

I assume when you suggest that "this has worked before" you are talking about GP fundholding which turned out to be a total fiasco.

This is NOT just media scaremongering. Support for this bill from professionals across the board is waning. The government are NOT engaging with the public or the professional bodies.
(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 12:00, closed)
The RCGP does not represent the opionion of all GPs. Throughout my training it has become clear to me that the college only has it's own interests at heart.
And I don't know what you're basing your opinion that fundholding was 'a total fiasco' on unless you are referring to the way that the Labour goverment decided to abolish it without any evidence that it wouldn't work.
(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 13:33, closed)
Don't live in ponders end then you fucking pikey

(, Sat 3 Mar 2012, 16:30, closed)
Tell you what Rory...
I won't live in Ponders End if you stop being an Ignorant presumptive cunt. Oh. Too Late.
(, Sat 3 Mar 2012, 23:32, closed)
^^ fucking this
I've had a brain haemorrhage, 3 pneumothorax episodes, epilepsy, asthma and various other shit - and all the care I received was absolutely spot on.
(, Sat 3 Mar 2012, 19:45, closed)
Holy shit, that's pretty unlucky. Glad your experience has been positive.

(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 1:03, closed)
Oddly enough. Chase fucking farm...
Where Best Beloved was bussed at monstrous speed after a nasty but not immediately life threatening motorcycle accident.

Where, since she was supposed to go for surgery, a "nil by mouth" sign was hung over her bed.
For four days.

If I hadn't fed myself every evening, once I'd found out that she wouldn't actually be going in for surgery at her scheduled time or indeed at all that day, she wouldn't even have been given water.

It was an utter fuck up of a place. I can only hope it's improved.
(, Mon 5 Mar 2012, 17:39, closed)
Leslie Ash getting millions in compensation pissed me off.
The stupid bitch destroyed her own career by having plastic surgery that made her look like one of the Riddlers and then blamed it on the NHS, without which she would be dead. As it turns out she is still able to earn plenty of money but noone has made her pay back the millions she has spent on a fucking chalet which might have been better spent on cancer treatments.
And the example this sets is that anyone who puts themselves in hospital (which she claims she did through a sex accident) and becomes more unwell while they are in is entitled to sue the NHS for their misfortune.
Utter, utter bitch.
(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 0:49, closed)
The problem is...
Too many managers is really a symptom of too much government interference and bureaucracy(c.f. the hours of paperwork). The problem is, the way government tends to deal with things is to create yet another layer of departments and bureaucracy. It's the only thing they know how to do. Thus, inevitably, the NHS is doomed.
(, Wed 7 Mar 2012, 18:19, closed)

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