The National Health Trust (NHS) is a publicly funded national healthcare system for England, one of four healthcare systems in the United Kingdom. It is the largest and oldest single payer healthcare system in the world.
The NHS does amazing things for millions of people every single day.
They provide care for newborn babies and make the terminally ill comfortable in their last moments. Furthermore, the NHS tends to those least deserving and staff often put up with abuse whilst simply trying to help. The doctors and nurses in our country can often be found working from dawn till dusk.
In many ways I am thankful to the NHS. For the several x-rays performed during my childhood, for providing urgent care to my newborn son when he was born limp and barely breathing, and for all they have done for him since then.
Sadly, the negatives massively outweigh the positives.
I have suffered with mental health issues for just under 10 years. A decade. Since my early teenage years I have expressed a desire for help to the GP. Often I have been referred to a telephone consultation service who spend 5 minutes speaking to me on the phone before deciding I am fine. I’ve been going round in circles for a VERY long time. It wasn’t until 6 months ago, nine and a half years after the problems began, that I was finally referred to the young person’s mental health department.
Quite frankly, I think this is disgusting. The stigma around mental health in the UK is already heightened without the need for help being down played by medical professionals. I am sure that my wait is not the longest, sadly I believe many are consumed by their poor mental health before any form of help is given. I no longer feel able to discuss even the most basic issue’s with my GP, the faith has gone.
Theo would not be here today if it wasn’t for the NHS, just recently we suffered a huge shock when he stopped breathing in his sleep. The ambulance crew arrived swiftly, they were kind and friendly and got Theo to the local A&E department as fast as they could. On several occasions they have come to our rescue.
We’ve battled to get this far, for the first six month’s of his life Theo was so very unwell. He was covered head to toe in eczema so raw it would crack and bleed. Theo’s little body was grey. He was not the bonny thriving baby I had spent 9 months imagining. It took hundreds of visits to the GP to make them listen, to make them see that my baby was poorly. I’ve lost count of the different doctor’s we have seen. We were told he was suffering with reflux and/or colic on numerous occasions. I knew it was more than that, I knew my baby was suffering.
It wasn’t until we saw a new doctor that we finally got somewhere. She took one look at Theo and made an urgent referral to the pediatric dietitian. It was then that we heard about CMPA (Cows Milk Protein Allergy).
The first weeks and months of a child’s life should not be spent this way, knowledge is power. Why did the doctors not know about such a common childhood allergy? Why wasn’t anything done sooner? Like with my mental health, Theo now rarely visits the doctor’s surgery. I don’t trust them with my baby, I don’t trust that they know the complexity of his health issues.
Of course I feel sad that I can’t place my trust in such a huge industry. I will be eternally thankful to the NHS professional’s that have helped us and to those that undoubtedly will help us in the future. But I can’t turn back time, we will never get those precious years back.