I am happy to report that after our experience with the incompetent administrative side of the National Health Service we were very fortunate with the doctor that saw our son. We arrived at the hospital to be greeted by an extremely friendly receptionist and were then ushered into a clean, bright waiting room. There were toys for the children and magazines for us as well as efficient and friendly nurses.
The doctor who dealt with son#2 was lovely. She was warm and understanding and made us all feel confident. My son, who had been quite nervous at the thought of going to a hospital, was put totally at ease.
We are very lucky in this country to be able to go and see a doctor whenever we want, without charge. I have had good experiences, on the whole with medical staff, and, as my dad was a GP I have seen life on the other side of the fence. But I have still written a letter of complaint to my local health authority. If they don't know about the places they are failing then how can they improve ?
I have also written to my GP enclosing a copy of the complaint letter, stressing that I have no problem with my doctor's surgery or any of the doctors involved. It is purely with the admin side that I am vexed !
We are in a very fortunate position in that my husband has private health cover. In the past we have used this when it came to referrals. This time we did not because of worries over my Man's job. In future we will use it. A large part of me is against private health care. It means that if you have the money to pay or your job pays you get quicker help in a more comfortable setting. If you cannot afford the cover or don't have company health care you have to take your chances.
The thing is that you would see the same doctor, just quicker. You receive the same standard of care, but in plusher surroundings. When I had my first son we did not have private health care and I had him in the local hospital. Looking at the photos of us in the ward people were asking if I gave birth in a war zone - the wallpaper was peeling off the walls and the ward I was in looked decrepit !!
My advice to anyone is to be on the ball and do not sit and wait unquestioningly. Ask questions and don't just trust someone because they are wearing a stethoscope and a white coat. I am not a natural complainer. I am always polite and respectful, but I will not put up with incompetence - especially when it comes to the health of my children.
Thank you all for your comments. I do appreciate your kind thoughts and advice