While the NHS are amazing, they really do make a difference, sadly every time I’ve ever been in a hospital or received care more than just getting a simple prescription, it’s been a horrible experience. Most of my family work for the NHS and I know how tiring the hours are. One of my sisters works 90 hours a week, I get it, I really do.
I have been invited to share some of my experiences of the NHS and Private by Your Legal Friend, who specialise in medical negligence claims.
NHS Care – Birth
No one can fault the NHS for what they are doing, the staff are overworked and underpaid and they don’t often get the appreciation that they deserve. Without the NHS our son Joshua, who is turning 3 years old in September, would have passed away at birth. We literally owe our sons life to the NHS and for that, I’ll be forever thankful.
It’s hard to then move on to the next bit I’m going to write but… however, during the birth of my son the NHS were pretty much useless. Of course, we all have an idea of what the birth is going to be like and it rarely goes to plan, but the birth of Joshua was one of the worst experiences of my life which could have been made much, much better by the midwives.
I won’t go into great detail about our birth story, you can read a bit about it here, but when Joshua was born it was clear that he was struggling. A team came rushing in and worked to save his life for what seemed like hours to us and they did a bloody brilliant job. They knew exactly what to do and acted as quickly as possible. What they did during those moments is what saved our sons life. But once Joshua was breathing and everything was okay, he was plonked on the scales and left there naked and crying for ages while they found the time to stand around joking and laughing with each other. We were left on the other side of the room, alone and without our newborn son. No one offered him to us and they did the first nappy change, put his clothes on and gave him his first bottle – everything we planned to get pictures of.
During the labour, despite contractions having ZERO gap, the midwife refused any pain relief. As soon as they switched over, the new midwife rushed to request an epidural, exclaiming that she’d never seen anything like it. At no point was the birth plan ever discussed or kept to, a water birth was part of the plan but was never mentioned – not even to say it was unavailable. We were also kept in the dark with the progress of labour other than being told, “he’s ready now but we’re going to wait for 4 more hours to push” which we didn’t understand why.
Throughout the entire time we were there, we were left to get on with it by ourselves, refused necessary help and pain relief and they just didn’t bother to give us time with our newborn son. What was meant to be an amazing experience felt very impersonal and as if we were just another family.
Private Care – Surgery
My experience with going private was a completely different experience and positive throughout. While everything did go perfectly and having surgery is incomparable to a birth that almost resulted in the death of our son, the standard of care was so much more.
I was sent a car service to pick me up and drop me back off, which was a lovely extra that I didn’t know about as it took the stress off. The waiting times were practically non-existent and I was only waiting in reception for 15 minutes before being prepped for surgery. All the staff were friendly and had a good old laugh with everyone they met. The entire atmosphere of the hospital was just amazing.
There were never more than a few minutes where I was alone and had no one to ask questions or for help if I needed, it was a much more personalised care. The surgeon was marking me up and talking me through the procedure in great detail within a few minutes of be getting dressed and his manner had he at ease. It was major surgery and had many complications and risks involved (hence why I chose to go private in the first place) but he was so genuine and caring that he took some of that away from me.
I even ended up going down to theatre hours before I was due to. While it all happened quick, at no point did it feel rushed, it was all amazing!
Would I go private again? DEFINITELY! If I could afford it, I would go private with all major procedures because the standard of care is brilliant and incomparable. But then you do pay enough for it, so why wouldn’t it be? Private staff are not rushed off their feet and aren’t overworked so of course the process would go as well as you’d expect.
The NHS and Private are both amazing in their individual ways.
What do YOU think? I would love to hear about your own stories – what standard of care do you expect to receive?