My View, Bill Morrison - We must fix our NHS services

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The NHS for the most part is a good integral part of modern society.

But every now and then you hear stories which cause you concern, which brings me to my rant for today.

Bill Morrison, Chair of Doncaster 50 Plus.

Bill Morrison, Chair of Doncaster 50 Plus.

A substantial number of complaints have come to the attention of us at the 50Plus group and the nature of some are, to say the least, frightening.

We have heard of one practice that has seen a number of partners leave, five to be exact, in the past 18 months. Why?

More recently nurses have left. Why? Now I hear that two more senior practice staff have gone, namely the practice manager and a senior medical secretary.

This practice currently operates with two doctors and a recently appointed practice manager.

Additional frontline staff are thin on the ground. Why?

NHS England and the CQC – Care Quality Commission – have reportedly looked into the structure and service delivery from this practice but I am not aware of anything changing.

Anything that affects our health as older people deserves action.

It should be immediate and not months after numerous deliberations.

There are other NHS issues that concern me too.

I hear complaints that home visits have been refused to the housebound or terminally ill or put off to another day, often resulting in the patient calling the ambulance service because their doctor cannot help with their needs. Staff are told ‘tell them to go to 8 till 8 or A&E’. And sometimes, having done so, they end up seeing their own doctor who was too busy.

There are other things that also cause me concerns. More than one individual has told me that they prefer to see an unknown locum as their own doctor can be both rude and dismissive.

What is happening to our once proud NHS?

It feels as though hardly a day passes that we don’t hear or read of another scandal involving the hospitals.

Great plans are to be put in place to make doctors more accessible. But why? I thought that’s what the out of hours system was supposed to do.

If it’s failing, mend it.

Don’t replace it with more of the same but with a fancy new title.

When we take into account all of the above, and that’s only part of it, what are we going to do?

Are we prepared to wait until someone dies – and maybe it has already happened – because the doctor did not respond to a call for help?

Doctors take the Hippocratic Oath which for many is sincere and they live and deliver it. But sometimes it can feel as though what is said and what is done can be worlds apart.

I applaud the many excellent doctors and nurses within our NHS. I deplore those who find care and compassion difficult.

* Bill Morrison, Chairman, Doncaster 50 Plus Group