Ranty rant after an NHS experience (not about the NHS!)

So my poor husband found himself back in the NHS system this week after the wound from his emergency knee op went red and hot and starting oozing.Yuk! Apologies if you were eating!

The journey from his "fat chair" (so called because all he can do is sit in it and try not to get fat) to isolation room started with a text to my friend who unfortunately is a GP. I say unfortunately meaning unfortunately for her because the poor woman is besieged with apologetic texts and queries from her friends keen not to bother their own GP or the overstretched staff A & E.

I try not to bother her but on Sunday she happily gave us good advice to not wait to try and see the GP the next day but to try out of hours doctors on 111, a service I had completely forgotten about!

Off we went to our out of hours surgery where we were given a prescription for antibiotics to fill in the morning. But by the morning the situation was much worse so again on her advice we shlepped off to the hospital.

I was surprised to see how busy the accident and emergency department was at 9.30am on a Monday morning. We spoke to the receptionist and took a seat waiting for Triage and it was then I overheard a man moaning about the car park.

Now at our hospital you pay for parking. I don't entirely agree with it but it's kind of a fact of life nowadays at many hospitals. I don't think the charges are too OTT and I know if you are admitted or you have someone close in hospital you can ask for a discount pass or even a free pass.

This man was apparently waiting for an X-Ray for his elderly companion and was bemoaning the fact it was going to cost £3 for his stay. This set lots of people off moaning about their car park bills which peak at £9 for 24 hours, comparable to most shopping centres out of London and a lot cheaper than parking in London.

Unlike the shopping centre however this man was getting medical attention and an X-Ray. I did a bit of research and it seems the cheapest X-ray in the USA costs around $70 (around £45) up to well over $1000 (around £630) for a two-view X-ray in an Emergency Room. £3 not looking so bad now is it......

man after knee surgery in NHS bed
Free healthcare on the NHS -and lunch!

Moving on after husband's two view X-Ray and moving away from moaning man, the Registrar decided husband needed to be admitted. We were asked to sit in a corridor waiting area which wasn't riveting I grant you but it was warm and quiet and there was free internet.

A mother sat next to us with a child of about 10 with a grazed knee which needed dressing. What I'm trying to say is she was not badly injured and in fact after her third trip to the vending machine did not seem to even have any trouble walking on her injured leg.

What I'm tutting about here is actually nothing to do with the NHS but the way some parents allow their children to speak to them.

This child made demand after demand with no sign of a please or thank you. "Get me crisps", "I want a drink NOW" and after ordering her (I presume) mother to re-arrange and straighten a display of information leaflets answered her mothers refusal with the shout "DO IT!"

Mum had said no to crisps citing imminent tea-time as reason. After a stamped foot and pouting and shouting from the girl mum sighed and fished in her purse and gave her money for crisps. The nurse appeared in our corridor to treat the child at this point but the girl told her in no uncertain terms that she would have to wait as she was going to buy crisps then ran off. I was embarrassed on behalf of her mother.

Obviously I have no idea of the background of the adult or child. I'm aware some differently abled children with invisible conditions can present challenging behaviour but this really did just seem to be a spoiled little girl well used to getting her own way.

There is lot to be said to starting your parenting journey as you mean to go on and being determined to remember who is in charge even when the demands and tantrums and slammed doors leave your resolve weakened. It'll be worth it in the long run.

In the meantime I am congratulating myself for not tutting or shaking my head like some smug patronising old bat or turning to that woman and asking "What the actual f**K do you think you are doing? Get a grip and tell her NO!" I hope for her sake that it was temporary indulgence in consideration of a scraped knee.

Rant over. *breathes satisfied sigh of load lifted*


  1. Great post, sometimes you just need to get these things off your chest – and well done for not tutting or rolling your eyes, because I don't think I could have! Hope your hubby is feeling better, though. #PoCoLo

    1. He's making a very slow recovery but at least we are moving in the right direction again now thanks

  2. I had a really awkward parents evening once when the boy started having a go at his Mum infront of me and she let him! I ended up telling the boy off!?! How is that right? xx

    1. I have to bite through my tongue sometimes to avoid telling other peoples children off.

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  4. We actually went here cuz my son needs operation and in my country it would cost me half a million pesos while in here since my son is a British citizen he will get it for free. When I arrive here I can see the difference of the third world country (mine) and UK. A lot and people here are so lucky for having free medical services. I am still forever grateful for that. #pocolo

    1. I wish more Brits would stop and realise how lucky we are. I know we pay for it indirectly and it's not a perfect service but still I am very thankful for the times it has helped us.


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