Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Medical care - the good and the bad

Here in the UK we are blessed to have the NHS.

Personally I am extremely grateful and proud of the NHS. I take my hat off to NHS workers whose hard work and care in stretched circumstances make the NHS amazing.

I fear for the future for myself, my children and future generations if the NHS crumbles.

Without it health issues of my loved ones may have ended in a different story.

The worry of paying for medical care and treatment when ill or having experienced an accident is a daunting thought.


Thankfully apart from routine health issues and non-fatal conditions such as PCOS, my personal experience of NHS care is limited to the GP and the odd consultant appointment. “Touch wood” so far I have not had any serious accidents, injuries or sudden illnesses where I have needed immediate, serious health care. My only hospital stays have been the 2 nights when my children were born - 1 night each a few years apart.

Those brief stays in hospital when I was giving birth to my beautiful boys were for me a positive experience. I received great health care and both myself and my baby were well cared for by busy midwives and other hospital staff.

My positive view of the NHS was further validated when Jelly Bean needed medical care when he was a mere few weeks old. GP’s, the Paediatric day ward at our local hospital, ambulance workers and the staff, nurses, consultant doctors and surgeons at Noah’s Ark Hospital at the University of Wales Cardiff all provided great care and helped get my boy better and fighting fit once again.


Whilst the care Jelly Bean received when unwell and in need of surgery was great, during our time at the Noah’s Ark Hospital I saw how busy, stretched and understaffed the ward was.

Even though the ward was exceptionally busy yet devastatingly understaffed the care Jelly Bean received was high quality, through and attentive. The nurses caring for him were diligent, friendly, caring and skilled. From the nurses to the anaesthetist to the consultants to the surgeons, all were more than happy to take the time to talk in detail about Jelly Bean and his care plan as well as answer any queries I had.


Being over 100 miles away from home alone with Jelly Bean and away from Lee and my other boy Bug with a newborn baby who was unwell and needing emergency surgery was a frightening and daunting experience. If the care from the hospital had been lacking it would have made the experience a lot worse, affecting not only Jelly Bean’s level of care and medical attention but also my confidence in the hospital and his care along with my own emotions surrounding the experience. Thankfully though due to the level of quality care given to Jelly Bean and the skilled staff looking after him I felt reassured that he was in safe hands - which thankfully he was!


My experience as a parent with a child in hospital has taught me that you should witness medical staff showing quality, skilled care and be able to ask for information and explanations about treatments and care plans so that you feel happy with a good understanding of the care being provided.

Even though we as a family have had no issues with any medical care we have received from the NHS, as I have personally witnessed how strained and overextended the NHS and its staff are it is sadly no surprise that sometimes care standards may slip or oversights may happen which result in medical negligence.

For example whilst I have personally received good care during labour my sister was not so fortunate. During the birth of her first born due to poor health care provided at the hospital she suffered from personal injuries which not only caused physical issues but has left her with mental issues and anxiety from the experience. Whilst she is relieved that her son was born healthy, the injuries caused to her during labour have caused her long term problems.

Unfortunately my sister is not alone in having received poor care whilst in hospital and suffering the long term affects that medical negligence can cause. In 2015/16 there were 1,811,175 patient safety incidents (an incident that has potential to jeopardise a patient’s safety, care or treatment), 5,569 of which resulted in severe harm and unfortunately 4,371 of which resulted in death.

For patients who has suffered medical negligence and poor health care they can complain to the NHS as well as claim compensation for their ordeal.  In 2015/16 the NHS paid £1,488.5 million in clinical negligence compensation. If you have experienced poor medical treatment and care and need help and advice to make a claim for medical negligence take a look at www.yourlegalfriend.com who are experts in medical negligence claims.

Have you experienced medical negligence?

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