Monday evening I had a stomach ache. Around midnight this localised to the bottom right hand quadrant of my abdomen. Even though the pain wasn’t that great, this is a classic sign of appendicitis and anatomically a man doesn’t have anything else there, so off the A&E at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital at 1 am on Tuesday morning.
SHO arrives at 5 am, apologises for the delay, but they had five urgent resuscitation cases arrive that night. Results from bloods and a surgeon arrive at 6 am. I am in a ward at 7 am and see the consultant, Chris Halloran – instant recognition, we had met at some basic science surgical discussion group in the past- on his morning round.
At 2 pm I was in theatre, where Chris removed the offending appendix. After a night on the ward and 42 h after my admission into A&E I was back home.
Fantastically efficient, very effective and great care from the ward staff, who are stunningly cheerful and helpful even in the face of some difficult patients. My brother who is over from Canada was amazed at how good the NHS is. The food wasn’t bad either. My fish pie was nice, and well balanced with carrots and broccoli, both nicely cooked (aka not boiled to death, but steamed and firm) and the Spanish omelette was quite reasonable. I have had a lot worse in restaurants!
So why do politicians what to fix the NHS – these doesn’t seem to be much to fix, except for the obvious – we could do with a few more doctors on duty at night and to relieve pressure on hospitals, where is the out of hours GP service? From 10 pm to 8 am there isn’t a GP service in Liverpool so one has to go to A&E. Had there been a GP, I could have been admitted straight to a ward, which would have saved space, time and cash in terms of A&E.
So not much to fix really, except for patient access to out of hours GPs. One might be cynical and consider that politicians are looking for advancement or perhaps a lucrative job in a private sector healthcare multinational when they retire from politics….