Tuesday, 11 January 2011

NHS - There when the chips are down!

After suffering from severe pack pain for the last six weeks I was admitted to hospital last friday morning. I have to say the idea of staying in an NHS hospital was absolutely terrifying. Fortunately my health has been pretty good so I hadn't had much reason to be in, or to use the emergency services for a long time.

When they decided to admit me my first thought was - oh no! I can't stay here! Hospitals are awful, they have MRSA, the nurses are mean and they don't look after you properly. How wrong I was.

You see, up until three years ago I'd had private health care and always sworn by it. My concept of the NHS was that the media must be right - there's no smoke without fire after all...

And, we're all guilty of it. We're are constantly listening to the media when they slag off our health service. Even some of my American friends have said to me how bad the NHS is. Well I'm happy to say that, as of now, I really don't agree. It's far better than you might imagine.

Other than sharing a six bed ward with two other ladies it was pretty much like private medicine. I really couldn't have been better treated. I had blood tests, urine tests, scans, blood pressure, monitoring. I was monitored regularly throughout the day, and best of all, actually given some medication that worked to relieve the back pain.

Results for the tests were on the same day - not sure that actually ever happened when I was private. And when the first scan was inconclusive I was given a CTU scan on the Saturday morning. The staff came in just to make sure that I didn't have to wait until Monday for the results. Did that ever happen in private? Actually, I don't think it did. The private hospital would have just earned more money by keeping you in longer.

I was very impressed also with how clean the wards were. There was no 'hospital smell' and the dedicated staff were working all day long, wiping down surfaces, mopping and disinfecting floors as well as finding time to smile and chat to you.

The nursing staff were the most caring people I'd ever met. Always having time for you, making sure that you were regularly monitored and not in pain and were on hand for anyone who felt a little overwhelmed and needed a hug as well.

I want to say this - and it's my little tribute, such as it is. Glan Clwyd Hospital is fantastic. Thanks to the staff on the Ward who made my stay so easy and bareable. If there is a next time, and I'm really hoping it's not any time soon!!, I won't be so worried about staying there again. All their hard work is constantly being criticised and it's about time we gave them credit where it's due.

Well done NHS - you're doing a good job!

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