I’m going to open a whole can of worms here, but that’s what blogging’s about, being honest and sharing your thoughts, so here goes…..
Here in the UK, we’re lucky enough to receive free health care from the NHS. When I say free, obviously I don’t mean ‘free’- free. We pay our taxes in return for this care. But does that mean you should expect only the basic of care? Does the very fact we don’t have much say in where our taxes end up mean we should shut up and be grateful that we get any NHS treatment?
I don’t think it should.
The professionals who care for you when you require of any type of medical attention have trained long and hard, so it would make perfect sense that they are appreciated for what they do to make you better, and I am grateful for that. I’m grateful that they have entered into a profession and studied to ensure they deliver the best possible care. There is a flip side to being grateful however, and that is when things go wrong. I’m not grateful when you have trust in a service, which you have paid for, and receive only the minimum of care in return.
Because that care can go wrong, for a number of reasons.
Take the birth of my 1st child for instance; A long gruelling labour that was scary and very nearly had a bad ending because of bad judgements. My poor little baby had an awful journey into the world and I have no doubt spent most of his first few weeks in pain. Then there was the aftercare from that labour; a night spent on a ward with minimum staff unable to answer by calls for help or being able to care for a new mum meant my care was none existent.
Is it any wonder I suffered anxiety and put off having another baby for a while?
I fully appreciate that the people who are paid to treat and care for us are only human and there’s always the argument for human error. No one’s perfect. But when that treatment is poor and patchy it verges into neglect. Blame overworked staff, managers expecting too much out of people, the list can go on, but there’s no denying that when you’re suffering and patient safety is compromised, it’s the long-term damage to the patient that the focus should shift on. It’s the compromise to the healing process, PTSD, anxiety, loss of earnings and overall safety which should be taken into consideration.
It was nearly 24 hours until I was offered something to eat after the birth of my 1st baby, I was unable to walk to the restaurant thanks to stitches, catheters and an epidural, when I was finally able to make it out of bed, I had no idea where the restaurant (or bathroom!) was. It was that basic care of food and water which was missing. So should I have claimed compensation? I have no doubt that websites such as Your Legal Friend would’ve helped answer a few of those questions. I’m pretty sure they would for a family member who will be giving up work very soon thanks to a monumental medical cock up!
Who’s to say that my career path in life would’ve been different if I’d not been so traumatised by the birth of my first child? If I’d relaxed a little more and enjoyed parenthood and made sure I’d made time for me and my husband?
Anyway, like I said, a whole can of worms there to gather up and throw back in. And dollop of ‘what ifs.’