Apologies for the lack of blogs over the last couple of weeks but I have once again been engaging with the NHS on behalf of another close relative. The operation was fairly major one, and the whole experience has once again highlighted the best and worst of our healthcare system.
The best clearly comes from the skill of the surgical team and the immediate post-operative care in the hospital. The ward based care was also quite good although I am not sure that hospitals will ever be the best places for recovering patients after their initial acute care is no longer necessary. Where the whole system seems fall apart is once a patient is discharged back into the GP system.
I fully understand that the best care does come from family and friends, and that it is unreasonable to expect the state to provide equivalent care. As such we have been doing our utmost to help the patient get back on their feet and continue on the road back to full health. Yet it seems to me that we have been pretty much left to our own devices, expected to scream and shout very loudly if we do require anything. Moreover the psychological needs of the patient and carer, that constant reassurance that we are doing the right things, and that progress is being made have been totally lacking.
It seems odd that having invested so much effort and resource in the initial care and treatment that the ultimate success of such treatment is put at risk by the failure to put proper systems in place once somebody leaves hospital. I am sure that health professionals everywhere will agree that post-operative care outside of hospital could be better but will then point out that the resources in this field are very limited and will remain so unless more cash is forthcoming.
I guess this could be seen as a natural lead in to the current newsworthiness of tax, the debate that is raging about the morality of avoidance schemes (that remark will come back to haunt DC make no mistake), and whether tax cuts or tax increases are the best way to get us back on track economically. However that is probably best left as the subject of another blog.
What I will say though is that in business we are always encouraged to emphasise the benefits rather than the cost. As anybody who pays out for private medical insurance will tell you, the return you get for your taxes as regards health care when you really need it is for most people a bargain. Maybe the tax argument would be so much easier if everything could be explained in such simple terms. Or looking at the plans for an annual personal tax statement maybe not…..