Home > General > I am spitting nails

I am spitting nails

I can’t believe what I have just heard. Maybe writing on here will help me to vent my anger.

Over a week ago my auntie died in the UK. She was 95 and had a stroke a few months ago, as a result of which she was transferred from her home of 60 odd years to an old people’s home near her birthplace of Lowestoft. We were never very close due to distance but I did have a soft spot for her as she was a loving gently person, with a great lust for life. However, at 95 the loss is not so painful as she had a wonderful life. (Her husband only died a couple of years ago)

The funeral will be in January some time. This will be over a month after her death. When I enquired why the delay I was told that her doctor (the one that saw her in the home) is now on holiday until the new year and all other doctors at the practice refuse to sign the death certificate as she was not their patient.

The next time someone tells me that I should be proud of the NHS they will receive a punch on the nose.

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Categories: General
  1. December 21, 2014 at 10:13 am

    Commiserations, gaz. Bureaucracy has no soul.

  2. Boadicea
    December 21, 2014 at 10:41 am

    I got back from the UK about five weeks ago.

    For those I told I would finally get to meet – I spent much of the time dealing with the NHS on behalf of my mother – who cut her leg through to the bone the day after I landed…

    My experience with the emergency services was (as it has been on former occasions) fantastic. How on earth they all remain so cheerful and caring is beyond my understanding.

    The follow-up service was excellent – most (not all) of the District Nurses who came in to dress the wound were incredibly efficient and helpful.

    But, as far as I’m concerned, the GPs in the UK need a darn great kick up the proverbial… Mum is 93, virtually housebound, hard of hearing (although she blames me for speaking so quietly!) and she cannot get a face-to-face appointment with her GP, who will only give telephone appointments, refuses to give referrals and just dishes out pills with no tests to check that their telephone diagnoses are correct. I find it appalling that she has been given pills to deal with ulcers when all she did was to tell her GP over the phone that her stomach was upset.

    It does not surprise me one bit that your aunt’s funeral has had to wait for a death certificate from the ‘right’ GP.

  3. Pseu
    December 21, 2014 at 11:17 am

    I completely understand your distress. It is very frustrating that this has happened, but I understand that the rules on completing a death certificate are strict and this was maybe to avoid a post mortem?
    English law – ….does require the doctor who attended the deceased during the last illness to issue a certificate detailing the cause of death. It can get complicated f for some reason the patient wasn’t seen within 10 days of death.

  4. December 21, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    I think it is the British public and the media, rather than the doctors themselves who are to blame for this state of affairs. One mistake, and a doctor is likely to be branded ‘the new Doctor Shipman’.

  5. December 21, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    20km run cooled me down 🙂 Thanks for the good comments. I guess I am too used to the German system, which it seems is more relaxed about death.

  6. christinaosborne
    December 21, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    Can’t say I blame you gaz, totally ludicrous situation.

    The whole NHS is far too ‘hit and miss’ for my liking. Some people seem to get excellent treatment and the rest absolutely disgusting.

    My cousin told me a beaut this week on the phone. Her husband at 80 had been diagnosed with dementia based on some silly 20 minute word test. A social worker barged into their home, seriously fancy coastal property on the IOW and made snotty remarks that the system would require half his assets for care. My cousin threw him out! She went back to the doctors and asked for proper diagnosis, like a scan only to be told scans and medicine were unavailable for 80 year olds. She paid privately and it transpired that nothing was wrong except a pharmaceutical clash of some of his medicines for other conditions. The private specialist recommended changing his medicines and the problem was resolved. She intends to sue the NHS for the cost of the private medicine which should have been available on the NHS and quite right too. The man had paid his contributions and those of his employees religiously all his life. Totally disgusting.
    Interestingly the bill was about 2000 sterling for scan and doctor’s fees at the Priory Southampton. That is nearly twice the price you would pay here! I have CT scans annually, so I know the price!!

    I suppose I am too used to the USA but they sure as hell would never get away with that kind of crap over here. Were I ever to come back to the UK, I would make damned sure i kept a large block of money easily available. and run screaming for a private hospital were it necessary, forget the NHS in Wales, kill a damned sight more than they cure!

    Bo, sounds like you need to change your mum’s doctor! Sounds like malpractice and negligence!

  7. December 21, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    CO: be careful with your predictions. My mum works in the US medical system. Since Obamacare took effect things have really started to go downhill. Unless old age pensioners have private health insurance they are unlikely to even be able to make appointments with GPs unless they are able to pay out of pocket as more and more doctors simply refuse to accept Medicare. Save for life-threatening conditions many doctors, GPs and specialists, will not accept an Obamacare plan, either. One of my friends has a co-worker whose son was rejected by hospital for treatment because they did not accept his insurance plan. Unless things are worked out soon, it promises only to get worse. The said co-worker lives in Texas, incidentally.

  8. December 21, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    Pseu: under California law it is almost exactly the same. If the recently deceased did not receive medical treatment within the last two weeks of life a post mortem is legally required. If the last attending physician is unavailable, a post mortem is required. Even if it is usually pro forma and very cursory, it still must be done.

  9. christinaosborne
    December 21, 2014 at 9:06 pm

    christopher Texas is a republican state that deliberately did not implement Obamacare as it was intended.
    Washington did.
    Net result virtually everywhere here, WA, in the medical system takes medicare (retirement account virtually free care) and with a top up insurance our medical bills are ridiculously small. Literally a few dollars only.
    Plus our private premiums for health insurance have dropped dramatically.
    Things vary state by state enormously. Texas is a rat hole unless you are dripping money. Look how they managed to kill off their ebola cases! After boasting of ‘world class facilities’! my arse! Note they weren’t allowed any more victims!
    Min wage there is in the region of $6/hour, up here in Washington it is $10! Texans really know how to grind the faces of the poor, beats me why anyone stays there! The amount of locals that think Dallas is wonderful a world class city- it is a mucky disgusting decaying third rate hovel of a city that needs nuking and starting again! spousal unit lived there 25 years and I did a year there, we couldn’t get out of the place quick enough! I’ve never been back, we prefer to pay the airfares of family there to visit us!

  10. December 21, 2014 at 10:33 pm

    CO: the minimum wage in Texas is $7.25 per hour. That is the federal minimum wage. What you say might be the case in Washington, but it certainly isn’t the case in California which also has its own state exchange. I checked on Covered California, California’s exchange, and I would have to pay more money for a policy there than I would in Germany. Never mind that my German policy, €160 monthly, covers vision, dental and health care needs with unlimited GP visits and visits to specialists. I frankly don’t understand why anyone wants to stay anywhere in the US at this point. The cost of life is outrageous. If anyone wishes to build a career it requires living in a major urban area which, frankly, are no cheaper in the US than in the UK or, in some instances, Scandinavia with far higher crime rates and much less value. I’ve lived in US cities, no need to argue the point with me — I’ve had to pay the rent and fees.

    Perhaps one can potentially make more money, but even that has grown questionable. I will be content when my final transcript will finally be delivered so that I can have everything accredited in Germany. Even if Germany isn’t my first choice, given a choice German pedantry and regulation or US delusions, crime rates and astronomical costs of living I’d much rather take the German option.

  11. christinaosborne
    December 21, 2014 at 11:44 pm

    Well I do think that California is very expensive compared with Washington. Look at the property prices alone! I have to say that Washington is incredibly reasonable compared with further South and NW Europe.
    I can’t believe the prices in the UK, a miserable couple of bags of groceries never seems less than a hundred sterling! There are an awful lot of immigrant labour that is not making minimum wage in Texas, too many illegals who work for anything literally, enforcement is lackadaisical to say the least, none of them complain because it means instant deportation!
    I expect Germany would be cheaper on insurance. It is mandatory is it not? Bigger pool therefore more amortised. Here people are still uninsured, smaller pool. Trouble with Obamacare was that it was never implemented fully with a federal insurance to keep the private sector in line. Big mistake!

  12. December 22, 2014 at 8:26 am

    CO: property prices in California vary greatly. Seattle-Tacoma is really little different than the SF Bay Area or Los Angeles and, after that, there is very little in the rest of the state. The cost of housing in Bishop or Barstow is little different than the cost of housing in Spokane or Walla Walla. California simply has a much larger, better developed economy than Washington State and it has a number of viable economic regions hence the greater chance that something will be more expensive there than in Washington.

    The cost of food in the US is also higher than it is even in the UK. It didn’t matter if it was California or Minnesota. A piece of cheese that costs £2.50 in the UK would cost $4.00 in the US, at least. I was pleasantly surprised to see how much more reasonable the cost of food was in the UK as compared to the US. Then again, food inflation is terrible everywhere which really no government seems to pay attention to.

    There is a lot of illegal labour everywhere. It is even worse in major tourist and agricultural regions. And being deported from the US? Please, there are more illegal immigrants in the US than there are people in Australia and both parties have been fighting for yet another amnesty for years. Only the very real possibility of being votes out in the primaries has kept enough Republicans in check.

    As for being uninsured — the number of uninsured has actually grown since 2009, not shrunk. To avoid having to pay inflated premiums, many employers are making sure that their employees work 27 hours weekly to avoid having to give mandatory coverage. The only time I’ve ever been without health insurance was after Obamacare took effect. I went to Germany and it was sorted out within 10 minutes. In Germany, coverage is mandatory but privately administered. The insurance market here is highly regulated and subsidised. That said, the quality of the insurance varies by company. The best is TK, which is only for tradesmen/women. The next is Barmer GEK which I have. The worst is AOK which everyone hates. They are the closest to US companies in always trying to get people on technicalities to avoid paying. Re your remark on having a federal health insurance — if it would work as well as Medicare perhaps it is better not to have it. But that is typical for Americans. They don’t bother actually fixing their problems, they just create bigger disasters and scream “MURCA MURCA MURCA” when anyone bothers to point that out.

  13. December 22, 2014 at 10:36 am

    MURCA? Que?

  14. December 22, 2014 at 10:39 am

    Janus: ‘Merica has grown too difficult for many to enunciate so they’ve changed it to “MURCA”.

  15. December 22, 2014 at 10:44 am

    Oops! Sorry, didn’t get the twang! 😟

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