Every evening, at 6.30 I settle down to watch the local news, and (just about) every day, without fail, the lead story involves failings within the Welsh NHS. It’s disheartening, and is starting to feel like propaganda: designed to make the populace hate the NHS to the point where we will agree to a fully privatised health system. That or I’m paranoid and need to lay off the George Orwell novels and stop listening to Russell Brand. Anyway, here’s what I had to say:
Dear Sir / Madam
I just don’t get it. I moved here almost 3 years ago from my native Cornwall having fallen in love with Wales, and now work at UHW, Cardiff. Not for the NHS, but Cardiff University. So I may not be a medic (I’m actually an elearning designer for health care students. But that’s neither here nor there), but I do see hospital life up close every day.
Ah, the NHS. Now there’s something you should be proud of. Your service here (despite what David Cameron may say) is fantastic. Your doctors and nurses are awesome. You have free prescriptions. GPs and receptionists alike are kind, patient and caring. And you invented it all. The Welsh are awesome.
So why are you so intent on damning it every single day? It started off as a bit of a joke in our house: we turn on the local television news at 6.30 and have a bet that the leading story will be about failings in the NHS. Inevitably, I win. Funny (and lucrative at 50p per bet) at first…but now it is making me pretty fed up. And my partner (who is Welsh) is starting to find it all a bit upsetting too.
The NHS makes mistakes. Though it’s so underfunded, understaffed, over-managed and overlooked, and staff on the frontline so exhausted and demoralised, it’s a wonder it doesn’t make more. What it needs is funding, but just as importantly, it needs support. And to have the same nation who came up with the concept of a National Health Service savage their own system every evening (and, in turn, planting the seeds and then fanning the flames of mistrust and anger in your audience)-it’s like me going back home to Cornwall and telling everyone that pasties are evil.
Flippancy aside, please would you consider turning down the relentless criticism? The NHS is having a terrible time across the UK as it is!
I’m not expecting to receive a reply, and I’m not the type to write letters of complaint – but bloody hell, I feel better for having had a rant!