On the day the Conservative Party conference in Manchester hails that the NHS is safe with the Tories, is by coincidence is the day my 83 year old grand-mother travelled from Preston to Manchester for an eye operation.
She got up at 5am, and headed to Manchester for the operation. She arrived, was gowned up and prepared for the operation. (On a side note the junior doctor made a mess of the back of her hand inserting the cannula). After waiting in bed for an hour another doctor came and told her that she would not be having the operation. Apparently the anesthetist refused to do the operation because my grand mother has had a stroke and therefore because the operation was a risk they would not proceed, and that this “should have been seen in notes”. So she dressed and headed back to Preston, no apology, no negotiation.
But the indifference in the NHS extends well beyond this, appointments at GP surgeries are at the whim of receptionists, dental waiting lists lost because of a computer error, discipline and appearance of staff.
All this goes well beyond Labour / Conservative, Left or Right but the absence of some basis compassion and pride in what people do. The NHS is in for some tough times ahead as the Health and Social Care Bill will further bureaucratise it. Localism works, only if residents and patients become involved and informed and feel their voice actually counts, so I guess the indifference is just as much on the patient side as the clinician side.