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Showing posts with label nhs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label nhs. Show all posts

Monday, 26 January 2015

NHS poor communications

I have concluded (yet again) that NHS communications is very bad. My speech therapy sessions were cancelled out of the blue (no reasons given). When I tried to email the address given it bounced ("not recognised"). So I tried another email address given on their website and again this bounced ("not recognised").

Also, I found out today of someone awaiting a rearranged chemo session for cancer who was asked to phone first but for a whole hour the phone was not answered! The appointment the previous day was cancelled as "everyone has gone home".  Sorry but NHS communications is unbelievably poor. Nobody takes ownership. Frankly it is CRAP.

The NHS needs to smarten up its communications. If this was the private sector, there would be ownership (individual responsibility) and someone would be sacked if things did not improve.

Every day, the NHS probably throws away millions of unnecessary pounds. The sheer waste is staggering.

I believe in the NHS but get very frustrated by the evident inefficiency.

Sunday, 30 November 2014

NHS - more money?

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Apparently the chancellor has found another £2bn for the National Health Service. To me, this seems like cynical electioneering.  Although I fully support the NHS - health care should NOT depend on the money one has - there is no doubt in my mind that billions could be saved each year if they learnt more from the private sector.

In particular, communication within the NHS and to its customers could be vastly improved. From just my own experiences and those close to me, I can see ways to save literally thousands. The more people I talk with, the more waste I hear about.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

NHS woes - yet again

All I wanted was written confirmation of my appointment to have my stomach PEG removed next Tuesday.  20 minutes on the phone, 3 foreign accents, no attempt at "ownership" of my issue before I eventually got a ward nurse who promised me the appointment was on and a letter was coming. I'll believe this when it comes.

Sorry, but this sort of rubbish behaviour is just not acceptable. In private industry we were told to own the customer's problem, seek out the answers, then ring back with the answers. The standard NHS response is to try to disown the problem, or so it would seem.

NHS communications is PATHETIC.

20 minutes on the phone and passed from pillar to post - I had to ring them 3 times -  when all I was asking for was the normal procedure of a letter to confirm what to do, where to go, date, what time etc. It took me all my power not to swear down the phone as I was so exasperated.

Let no-one say the NHS does not need reform! Fix the communications, give customers a better deal and save billions in waste.

They should have (a) sent me an appointment letter weeks ago, and (b) when they'd not, apologised , one single person should have understood my problem and dealt with it. Instead, I was left, yet again, in a state of exasperation. Multiply this 100 times over in a single day and you get some idea of the inefficiencies in their system.

Friday, 24 October 2014

NHS and tablet PCs

Today I read that Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge is to roll out tablet PCs linked to a central database from next week.  Not before time too.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

NHS overhaul - extra cash needed?

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Apparently the NHS can save a lot more money but then needs an additional £8 billion a year  to provide good patent care. Speaking as someone who has had very recent first-hand experience I know that they can save billions every year if they smarten up their communications with patients. Frankly it is abysmal. Wasted ambulance calls - no-one was informed the call should not be made, typed letters posted at great expense for beds not needed as agreed the week before, the endless telling staff the very same data they should already have on hand, physios in the community that don't know when someone is discharged so the patient is "lost" - the list goes on and on. Frankly, the NHS communications is pathetically bad and is in need of "root and branch" overhaul. In the private sector heads would have rolled.  It seems no-one is accountable.  Billions can and must be saved before a penny more is spent.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

NHS - how to WASTE money

It makes my blood boil!

Over a week ago I agreed by phone to change the date of an operation to remove my stomach PEG because the date given clashed with our grandchildren being here over half term. The lady on the phone was very helpful and changed the appointment to the following week. Not only that, we also agreed that a bed overnight would NOT be needed as my wife would be with me at home on discharge. Imagine my disgust to get a typed letter yesterday from the hospital saying the bed was reserved for 2 nights and the appointment was the original date! Of course I rang up immediately and was told there was a mix-up. They would ring me back. Guess who is still waiting!

Clinical care is good but the NHS seems unable to communicate with anyone effectively. Each year the NHS must waste billions because of rubbish communications. Sorry,but the sooner the NHS sorts out its inefficiencies the better.  Let no-one claim that they can't be better. They can improve and give their "customers" a better experience too.

In private industry I would have SACKED people by now.   There really can be no excuse.

The NHS culture needs to change.

Friday, 4 July 2014

NHS inefficiency

Let me say from the outset that I believe in the NHS (National Health Service) - that clinical care should not be a privilege of those who can afford it - everyone has the right to good care when they are ill. Creating the NHS was a highlight of the post-WW2 Labour government. The idea too that essential public services should be in public ownership is also fundamentally "right".  BTW, I am unlikely to vote for Labour in the next General Election in 2015. Still looking at issues and policies.

What I do have an issue with are the gross inefficiencies in the NHS,  especially when it comes to communications, both in hospital and when people are discharged. I have been involved in a heated Facebook debate over this.

It is my contention that the NHS could save billions each year and give patients a better, more caring service, if they "smartened up their act" on communications. I have countless examples I could give based on my own experiences and those of close friends. You may recall I was in a major UK hospital for 3.5 months last year.

Time and again I get cross when I see gross incompetence.  In the private sector such idiots (if working for me) would have been sacked. There are no excuses - it is not a shortage of staff or overwork - in most cases it is sheer sloppy behaviour and unbelievably bad communications. The NHS needs to sort its communications out and fast. Personally, I think people need to be accountable in a "private sector" way. The NHS needs to get a grip.

Recently it took letters to the NHS bosses and my MP to get action. It worked for me, but it should not have been necessary: poor communication is the single biggest cause of waste in the NHS in my view. It needs sorting.

As an ex-manager in private industry, the NHS is crying out for reform. It has to happen, no excuses.

I could give numerous examples where poor communication was evident. In some cases it was individuals and poor training, in other cases the systems were letting the NHS down.

It pains me to see public services letting themselves down. The NHS could be so much better, and at effectively no cost - just smarten up the systems to avoid waste. Tell me, if the NHS was your business wouldn't you be crying out for reform?  Because it is very large, not bothered about profits and publically owned it lacks efficiency and accountability.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014


For a number of weeks now I have been attended a physio session (90 minutes each week) at a hospital in Ely. These are group sessions (5 in the group) for people like me who have had a stroke or a stroke-like condition. There are just 2 more (of 8) sessions to go. They have been excellent.

When these end I shall continue physio but in Newmarket where there is a small charge. Up to now, all treatment has been free on the NHS. There is a small fee for referrals to Newmarket.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

NHS Communications

As a person at the "receiving end" I am appalled by the poorness of NHS communications. It would appear that the UK NHS communicates, occasionally, by flags, bonfires and pigeons.

When will the NHS communicate between people inside and outside hospitals in MODERN ways e.g. scan barcodes into tablet PCs and databases shared throughout the healthcare industry? Others can do it. Wake up NHS or you DESERVE to fail. Clinical care has been good,but communications is a joke. Except it is no joke if you are not seen,miss scans or worse. I dread to think what it must be like to be 85 and with Altzeimers.

Monday, 1 April 2013

The NHS admin needs sorting out big time

My ham radio friend Julian Moss has a brain tumour which he has been successfully battling for over a year now. Recently he had a hospital appointment to review treatment but reading his blog I see yet again he has, like many I know, been given the "run around" by the totally inept NHS service here in the UK. This organisation needs radical surgery to get itself operating efficiently. Time and again it wastes money by messing up appointments, not having people where they should be, not having the data communicated between staff etc. It MADDENS me that sick people should be additionally stressed as a result of idiots who cannot run a business properly. They would save BILLIONS if patient records were shared electronically between doctors, nurses, hospital staff, consultants and ambulance crews. In the 21st century any organisation as bad as the National Health Service would be in administration by now and its bosses sacked.

NHS sort yourselves out!

Monday, 17 October 2011

Medical Records

Recently my wife and I made requests at our local surgery for copies of our childhood medical records. They were very helpful and managed to produce mine and photocopy them for me. However my wife's records before the age of 20 were missing. There is usually a small charge for copying these but as there were only a few pages of records, plus letters relating breaking my leg as a youngster, they did not charge me.

Recent experience of hospitals - my daughter-in-law in Kent and my wife in Addenbrookes in Cambridge 2 weeks ago - confirm that, although medical care is generally excellent, the handling of medical records data is appalling: how many times do you have to give the same information to different people? Surely in this day and age it is possible to manage a simple database of information on a patient and have this available over a secure wi-fi network in hospitals? OK, grand national database schemes may be too complicated (although I don't see why) but on a local level surely there is no excuse. Not being asked the same questions by a dozen different people when in hospital would surely make the patient experience a better one, and save the NHS both time and money.

At least I now have a copy of my early medical records in PDF format.