Having worked for the NHS for 15 years I am fiercely proud of the services available. Yes, they don’t always get things right. However, some of that is down to resources and funding rather than the people who treat you. The NHS is free at the point of access and whilst we pay for this via our National Insurance contributions. We are fortunate not to have to worry about large bills arriving after treatment.
This week has seen us get our monies worth from the NHS…
Starting with Piglet’s physio assessment last Friday at our local hospital. When Piglet was born she had Talipes in both of her feet, We did physio exercises on them until she was six months old which appeared to correct the position of her feet. Over the past year, we had noticed that her feet were starting to turn inward so requested a review by the physio team. Unfortunately, as she is under the age of eight she needed to be referred by the GP. Finally, her assessment appoint came around and the physiotherapist put her through her paces to see if/what was wrong.
Her feet are fine, however, she has noticed additional flexibility in her hips which is causing the issue with her gout. As she grows her hips naturally want her feet to turn inward as that is where she has the greatest flexibility. However, as she is active during her normal day the muscles catch up and correct her gout. So this is something that we will notice more from time to time as she has growth spurts. The physio said to keep her active – which is not an issue for Piglet!
An A&E visit
Saturday saw Piglet going downhill from what I had assumed was just a cold to tonsillitis and croup with a nine-hour stay in A&E. The 111 service thinking that she required a trip to the hospital rather than an out of hours appointment. With observations taken, nurses and doctors attending to her. Medications given and dispensed to take home with us. To ensure that she makes her upcoming tonsillectomy operation date.
Another day, another A&E visit – a different child
Fast forward to Thursday and Tigger’s turn to feel under the weather. Dosed with Calpol he headed to school as usual, with a word to the teacher to say if he wants to come home then please call me. He managed to make it until normal school collection time rather than staying for homework club. Sending him to watch a film in his bedroom, he didn’t seem too bad – albeit he had a nasty cough. More Calpol at bedtime and he was unsettled by coughing over and over again. When we went up to bed, I checked on him and could hear his breathing fast but swallow. Asking him how he felt and him saying that he felt really poorly had me worried. He very much takes after Mr Boo and never fuses, so to say he wasn’t right is a big thing.
A call to the 111 service, who after many questions wanted to send an ambulance for him. Again not wanting to waste their resources I said that I would drive him as we are a less than 10-minute drive away from the main hospital. Arriving we waited in the main A&E department before heading through to Children’s A&E to be triaged. With his chest sounding clear and his temperature not too high they were happy for us to wait for a doctor. Candy Crush on my phone occupied Tigger and I had thought to pack my book with me to pass the time.
An assessment by the doctor was that it was most likely viral, although to keep an eye on him for the next day or two in case it develops into a chest infection. With further observations taken, we were sent on our way to finally get some sleep.
To finish off the week, Piglet was back at our local GP surgery this afternoon. Paranoid about her upcoming operation date I was keen to get her checked over as her antibiotics run out tomorrow morning. Luckily the GP was lovely and understood why I’d want her checked over. As it was she still has tonsillitis and has been prescribed a further dose of antibiotics. These tonsils can’t come out soon enough!
So as you can see, I’m very pleased our NHS is free at the point of access – otherwise, I’d have some hefty bills heading my way.