"My view of our NHS"

About: Countess Of Chester Hospital

(as the patient),

This is a letter that was recently published in the Chester Chronical comparing my NHS experience with an albeit brief stay in an American hospital.

Dear Sir

The Real State of our NHS

I don’t believe for one moment that this letter will be published, it doesn’t sensationalise our health service in a negative way and “Patient Praises NHS”, isn’t an attention heading headline but nevertheless I feel compelled to make others aware of just what I think of our NHS.

You may ask what gives me this burning desire to tell and what am I comparing my treatment to.

I was unfortunate enough to fall ill whilst on holiday in America, but lucky enough to be staying in Boston, home of the internationally renowned Massachusetts General Hospital. Don’t get me wrong, my treatment was fine, it was the time I spent on a trolley in corridors, receiving it, in the company of drug dealers, pimps and armed guards that left a lasting impression – along with the bill for over $2,700 for a day’s stay. That of course was after my wife produced her credit card to their billing centre, as I was most definitely not going to receive any care until our flexible friend was wielded.

In contrast to this I was admitted and assessed as an emergency patient at the Countess of Chester in about as much time as it took to persuade Mass. General that we did have valid insurance (but they took the credit card details – just in case!).

My stay at Countess continued for 10 weeks, where I saw the workings of 4 different wards and hundreds of doctors, nurses, orderlies, cleaners and other staff, who with very few exceptions were dedicated, caring and worked at maximum capacity and beyond the call of duty in many cases. I was operated on, scanned, injected, fed and cared for within an inch of my life and always with respect and dignity at all times. All without one flash of my flexible friend.

The NHS is not perfect, I am not suggesting it is, but improvement is a question for us all, because if we want a 5 star hotel service to sit alongside the excellent care we are given then we need to provide the resources for this.

My personal experience of the Countess has left a lasting impression of gratitude for so many skilled and dedicated people who cared for me as a person and not a product. Countess you are a star, in fact you are a small galaxy.

Yours faithfully

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