The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

I’m Not Religious But Thank God For The NHS …
January 15, 2015, 9:12 am
Filed under: Comment, NHS

Happy new year, how are you all?

First of all … don’t panic. I’m not going to talk about what’s been going on with me over the past few weeks.

Nor am I going to write about how my wonderful son is doing.

And – you’ll be especially happy to hear – this is not the recommencement of my blog [that’s next week, haha] but I wanted to capture how I was feeling because yesterday I was reminded about the difference between people who only work for the money and those who work for a passion.

So without going into all the details, my Mum is going to be having an operation very soon.

A big operation.

The good news – apart from the high success rate – is the wonderful NHS will be providing her this for free.

Yes, at absolutely no cost to her, she is getting an operation that will literally add life to her life.

I cannot tell you how utterly grateful and in awe I am about this.

However, due to the NHS not having much money, she will be discharged after only 5 days.

This is a major operation and given her age, 5 days may not really be enough … so while I’ll be in England to help her recovery … it became apparent to us that we would love it if she could spend another week or 2 in a hospital to help her properly recuperate as well as give us the peace of mind that if there are any side-effects or complications, there are medical staff who can assist immediately.

Now obviously to do this would cost money and of course, where my Mum is concerned I’m only too happy to pay … so last night I was on the phone calling a number of private hospitals in or around Nottingham.

Frankly I was appalled at the service I received.

Either people didn’t care, made things especially complicated or simply didn’t get back to me.

We’re talking about someone willing to pay many, many, many thousands of pounds but the general attitude was apathy.

Now of course I appreciate discussing medical assistance when you’re thousands of miles away is going to be difficult … but all I wanted to do was get some information on how/if it could be done as well as an indication of the cost.

After countless hours calling and emailing, only one private hospital sort-of gave me information and frankly it was like pulling teeth.

Anyway, as I was searching online, I saw that the NHS hospital my Mum is going to also has a small private practice … where the money they raise, goes back to helping the main NHS hospital.

So I rang the number and this lady called Lynn answered the phone.

I told her my situation and she told me the private service they offered was only for people willing to cover all the costs of the stay – including the operation – because beds were in very short supply and they couldn’t spare them just for people needing to recuperate.

When I asked for an indication of the cost to cover the whole period we were looking at, she said my Mum’s operation was very big and very complicated so with no private UK insurance, the financial implications would be huge.

Then she paused and said, “hang on a second” before disappearing.

A few minutes later she came back and said she had an idea.

The hospital has a hotel on site.

Maybe … just maybe … she could organise it so that we could hire a room there and then pay privately for the nurses and DR’s to visit my Mum at this location instead.

She didn’t know if it could be done and she didn’t know what the cost would be but she wanted to help.

She didn’t need to.

I’m sure she had better things to do.

And yet here she was, going out of her way to help.

Sure, you could say she did it because she wanted the hospital to earn money, but you could say that about all the fully private hospitals I spoke to and they didn’t want to lift a finger to accommodate my enquiries … the fact is, this woman – a member of the NHS – had compassion, empathy and a desire to help someone who was worried about their family member. Basically the traits that shows someone who puts the cause before the pay check.

People are so quick to criticise the national health service.

Sure there are problems … sure there is money wasted on needless red tape … sure they sometimes make mistakes … but it is an amazing, wonderful service that should be treasured, revered and invested in.

I still do not understand how so many American’s can regard free health care as evil. As far as I am concerned, it’s the people who think this that are the evil ones.

I hope to god this works out.

Not just because it means my Mum will be able to be treated by the same people who will do her operation.

Not just because it will give her – and me – massive peace of mind.

But because if I’m spending my money on health care, I’d rather give it to a place that believes – and invests – in humanity as opposed to just views patients as a profit centre … and I know my Mum feels that way too.

Whatever happens Lynn, thank you. You made me proud to be British.

25 Comments so far
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Happy new year to you Rob. I agree, the NHS is an amazing gift for society and it should be celebrated rather than criticized. I hope your Mum is OK and I hope you were being truthful about starting this blog again next week. It has been too quiet without you.

Comment by Pete

Thanks mate. It should all be good … it’s definitely a big operation … but they wouldn’t be doing it if they didn’t have a huge degree of belief in its success and the benefit to my Mum. Obviously an anxious time … but it also helps Otis has been born and she is desperate to get better so she can finally meet him in the flesh.

And I was being semi-truthful. Hey, I’m in advertising … what else would you expect. Ha.

Comment by Rob

you fucking crawly prick. and where the fuck was my christmas present. you sent one to bonnie but fuck all to me. dont you realise i made you who you are today. i know its not much, but you should have seen what you would have looked like without my guiding fucking hand.

Comment by andy@cynic

Concerning news about your Mum but I am sure all will work out. I agree with you about the NHS, brilliant organisation. I also agree with Pete, it’s been too quiet without you but I’m assuming you would not say that about Otis screams at 3am. I hope write about your early days of fatherhood and not purely because I am sure it will amuse me.

Comment by George

Funny you should say that. I woke up this morning wondering if I’d got up in the night only to be told I’d changed his nappy at 4am. I couldn’t even remember doing that. I am officially a brain-dead robot.

But so far so good … though if you asked him, he may have a different opinion.

That said, if I do write this blog more regularly again, I would write something about my early days of Fatherhood because quite frankly, it’s been both a revelation, petrifying and confronting all at the same time.

I’m sure I’m not telling you anything you don’t know, but since when has that stopped me. Ha.

Comment by Rob

just skip to the bits where you tell us how otis has pissed and shit all over you. thats the only stuff we want to know about because were jealous he got to do what weve dreamt of doing to you for fucking years. and unlike billy, its not for some fucked up sexual kicks. fucking perverts.

Comment by andy@cynic

Everyone missed the brain-dead robot/planner open goal.

Comment by John

Nice to see you haven’t let your brain go rusty while I’ve been away John. Unfortunately. Ha.

Comment by Rob

see my comment to pete. its the same fucking one to you. and having us over for thanksgiving doesnt fucking count. deal with it.

Comment by andy@cynic

you crafty exploiting fuck. write a post about your mum because you know we wont take the fucking piss that youre blogging again. best bit of fucking planning youve ever done.

mrs c will be ok. she is fitter and healthier than the whole fucking lot of us put together. and since i saw you wrote a blog post, im feeling even more fucking ill than i usually am.

Comment by andy@cynic


Comment by DH

It is a treat to see you have written again Robert. As others have stated, the days have not been the same since you went on sabbatical. I am very sorry to hear about your mothers health, but I am sure she will be fighting fit in no time. You are a good man. Otis is a lucky little boy.

Comment by Lee Hill

Thanks Lee. Not sure Otis would agree [he tends to cry when he sees my face approach, but then who doesn’t] but I’m doing my best.

Comment by Rob

HNY Rob. Sending your Mum good thoughts.

Comment by Bazza

The very best to you and your Mother.
And what great subject to talk about too.
The twatterweb has missed you.

But don’t pretend you’re coming back for any other reason than to abuse me about Queen

Comment by Northern

Queen? What has he done to you?

Comment by DH

youre so fucking lucky having a brain the size of a fucking peanut so you can forget all the shit that appears on this shithole again and again and afuckingain.

campbell is sending groper to see fake queen in fucking concert and the daft twat is going. ive tried telling campbell id hate to go to the fucking maldives but the tight fisted fucker never buys me a ticket for that. prick.

Comment by andy@cynic

pretty much sums it up

Comment by Northern

What a bastard.

Comment by DH

Hope your mom is OK. When is the op? It could be because you caught me by surprise but I like what you say in this post. I’ve been in the US 15 years and I still meet people who don’t understand why we have the NHS. Funny because that’s one of the things I miss most about the place.

Comment by DH

Oh how we all laugh. Well if you think writing about my Mum’s impending operation forced you to be nice to me, then maybe this will make you give me a hug.

It’s a year old, but today is his anniversary:

Comment by Rob

It has been an emotional couple of days for you Rob. Take care, give you mum a kiss from us and know it was very nice to read your words again. I hope we have more soon.

Comment by George

Take care Rob.

Comment by Pete

It might be my sunday but its your monday and there’s no new post. Phew.

Comment by DH

[…] cannot tell you how traumatic it all was – or how grateful I am to the NHS as it genuinely was touch and go – but what this means is a week from today, she will be […]

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