Why we only get the NHS we deserve

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Angry doctor
Do they ever treat you like most of us treat them?

Indifference, sloppy procedure, rudeness, improper behaviour.

If that’s the treatment you got every day, how would you feel?

Because, look around when you next walk into an NHS hospital.

Enter, the super-rude

Right across A&E, General Outpatients, X-Ray and all the other clinics, you’ll see the same.

Members of the public treating staff like dirt. Not the other way around.

It may not be abuse or threatening behaviour. But it’s often the nearest thing to it. The pot calling the kettle black.

People acting like hooligans – and that’s just in the reception areas.

Walk to your appointment and you can’t escape it. Because even listening with half an ear, behind closed doors it’s worse.

Swearing, insults, they’re all par for the course.

Death of respect

And – surprise, surprise – it’s not usually your yobs or chavvy mums on the case.

It’s the potty-mouthed posh and jumped-up big deals. Looking like they own the place and don’t want it. “I’ve been waiting here thirty minutes, when will you people start doing your jobs?”

Respect?

It died years ago, if it ever existed.

Every day, staff face a never-ending tide of rude, unpleasant and downright selfish behaviour from people who never consider that others might be important too.

Or even that someone else’s life-threatening condition might be slightly more important than their own twisted ankle – caught in a doorway because they weren’t looking where they were going.

The forgotten magic word

Now ask yourself, is it any wonder when staff get bad-mouthed all the time, that full-service attention is sometimes allowed to slip? Especially at the lower end of the scale, where jobs are often drudges and the only way is up?

Though the public may not believe it, staff are people too. And if your life is nothing but bedpans and cleaning toilets, that extra five minutes on your tea-break can be the only thing that keeps you sane.

Think hard as you walk through the corridors. When was the last time you heard the magic word?

In this world, “Please” and “Thank You” are swearing of the worst kind. (Tweet this)

What the heck, they’re only NHS – they’ll never understand. If you really want attention, best to stand in the middle of the place and yell “Shop!”

OK, there are exceptions. In an organisation of 1.3 million people like the NHS, they’re inevitable. Here and there don’t-care individuals that the tabloids haven’t exposed yet.

But against these embarrassments, most of NHS staff are themselves exceptional.

Because doing this job ain’t the same as your nine-to-five marketing board game.

Dead, or dedication

It takes seven years to become a doctor. Five or six to become a nurse.

Then you’ve got your internship and a whole run of other hurdles before you’re allowed to fly. Not forgetting of course that you have to keep updating yourself to stay qualified.

On top of that, the hours are long, breaks are short or non-existent, you may even forget to know what sleep is all about.

And yet some of them – the more super-dedicated and professional – actually volunteer for more. Hundreds applied to work in Africa fighting Ebola, one of the most dangerous and deadly diseases in the world.

So what have they done to deserve rudeness and four-letter words from their own countrymen who they’re only trying to help?

Looks like minding some P’s and Q’s might be in order.

Complain about the NHS, we’ve brought it on ourselves.

So why aren’t we pleased with it?