It always seems disingenuous to have a moan at the N.H.S in Great Britain, as so many people work so hard on what some would consider little pay to give us the care that they trained for many years to provide. The truth is that they are governed by poor management and weak budgets, a combination that could ultimately cost lives and probably has.
Many of us have to wait in excess of 2 weeks to be able to see their G.P., once of coarse you have bypassed the stereotypical matriarchal receptionist who will ask what your problem is and make an medical assessment based on experience gained watching “Holby City” last week, and depending on the system your surgery uses, “your” Doctor invariably has nothing available any time soon.
Once in, you have between 8-10 minutes to make your case that will justify your time of this professionals busy day, and in my case it would seem it did, by being ordered directly to hospital to undergo 27 hours of tests, some of which were quite “invasive” (no, not that invasive) leaving me feeling that perhaps my wait was impeding any recovery that I was about to endure.
Happily however, although life changing, my diagnosis was not life threatening, and every precaution was taken to ensure my good health whilst within the hospital walls. My care was taken seriously by the friendly and informative staff that surrounded me on every busy shift they completed. The building itself, which is 50 years older than the National Health service, was tired but fundamentally clean.
My latest experience of this struggling system has highlighted to me the flaws that have to be approached vigorously, in order to safeguard its future and success in this country of growing population and increasing elderly residents.
It was my great pleasure to meet two individuals, both from “backstreet” businesses, who were a massive help to me this weekend, providing realistic and free advice on a problem with my car. Although unable to help me practically, it was refreshing to see and perhaps a little humbling, and I have no doubt that their multi million pound competition would have charged for such a privilege.
Transversely, I had a similar experience with a sales assistant, but with a cruder effect. Do not misunderstand me, she was neither impolite or disrespectful, but her whole manner and sentence delivery came directly from the corporate training manual (verbatim). And quite apart from thinking that my money was well spent, I came away feeling as though I had inconvenienced the next victim of the “Headmistress” waiting behind me in the checkout queue, but really had no real cause to complain about my sturdy patroniser.
So while my faith in humanity is momentarily restored by professional courtesy of tradesmen, I wonder that perhaps humility should have a box to be ticked on the B&Q training check list?
Food banks are becoming more and more common in the UK, helping struggling families to meet a basic standard of living, and I am embarrassed that we should need them. These charities are kept running by either a sterling donation or one of food directly, with support from the public, some supermarkets and local churches, and quite apart from fixing the problem, politicians are more than happy to pose for the camera supporting their great work.
In order to qualify for this support, generally, you have to be referred by an agency or such like, social services, Doctors and in some cases the Church. On arrival you are given up to 5 days of food stuffs in relation to the size of family in question, in some cases clothes and footwear are offered, which have also been donated. We are reminded daily by media puppets and their parliament string pullers, of the benefits culture, but some of these families are just low wage earners, who are quite literally working themselves into poverty.
Historically governments have treated the poor and the reliant with an appalling attitude, entire families in workhouses, orphans shipped off to countries in need of labour, and asylums locking away the mentally fragile, and yes, all this in the 20th century. Hopefully the mistakes of the past will not be repeated in this century and to provide help where it is needed domestically before outpouring our resources to the rest of the planet.
In the last couple of decades or so, reality television has captured the public’s imagination, with shows such as “Big brother”, “shipwrecked” and even “The only way is Essex, and as interest has grown so has the format for such projects. But why would anyone want to use such a platform to air their family grievances in front of millions?
Some years ago The Jeremy Kyle show appeared on our screens in the UK and immediately had a cult following, from mum’s returning from the school run to students slowly rising from their slumber, this 9.25am appointment has been kept by the thousands. It also has had no shortage of participants to fill the gap of our weekday lives in order to expose the world to a myriad of characters from a massive topic base, infidelity, parenting and paternal issues, and the occasional heart warming and rendering stories from those desperate for help.
Although any remuneration has been a closely guarded secret for years, we do know that they are often provided with hotel accommodation and treated like chat show guest celebrities, or indeed they are until they try to dominate our living rooms with some of the worst behaviour that civilised humans could display. The host supposedly acting as intermediate to some of societies less articulate, who parade and preform, watched by a sometimes baying crowd. When watching, my spirits are curiously lifted, as I look around me and see none of the traits being broadcast and no intent of a “5 minutes of fame” experience.
Such as the popularity of these programmes on both sides of the pond, that we have a new contender for life’s forgotten few to find recourse in the form of legal shows, “Judge Rinder” is out of the same barn that gives us the “Kyle” show and is dedicated to resolving court issues in the comfort of our sitting rooms, and no doubt educate a generation of “Barrack room layers” that every public house has stood at the bar.
In these days of modern enlightenment on the various medical conditions that have gone unrecognised for decades, we are now able to treat young people for a myriad of behaviour changing ailments for which we now know to exist in our society. And being aware of these problems allow us to tolerate such debilitating diagnosed mental issues in a sympathetic way, but are these simply lifestyle choices that a few children have been allowed to make?
I will not dispute that these conditions are real or that families suffer greatly from a child suffering from them, I perhaps do not agree that all are genuine or as extreme that some would like us to think they are. Punishing a 21st century child is a far escape from that of not so long ago when corporal punishment was given freely in schools and in the home, with little in the way of reason, this almost expected form of discipline was often the result of a military background, and produced similar offspring.
Those methods of yesteryear have quite rightly been outlawed over the years, mainly due to the severity of some cases, but has created a scenario where the child almost chooses their own punishment without fear of physical contact, and at the same time giving them the choice of misbehaviour that they will perform in order to receive their “Grounding”.
Again, I sympathise with those who struggle on a daily basis and hope they are given help by all of society, but it is a shame to think that some could be “cured” by the touch of a hand.
I recently lost 16 followers on the micro-blogging site Twitter as a result of a comment I made in the aftermath of the news events in France. In a period when tensions were running high and the internet is awash with the latest footage and anti-Islam rants, as always happens when such acts are committed, we should stay aware that it is the fanatics that are to blame and not normally the families that live with-in our communities.
The comment I made, was it so dreadful?
So as you can see, I was purely “holding a mirror up” to Islamophobia as I have done many times before against racism, and yes such events we have witnessed are truly awful, but so is a shallow mind.
In the first part of my campaign (almost a social experiment) to make a local area safe underfoot for all pedestrians that I have embarked upon myself, I have contacted the local council. Not being sure at what level I should start, I began with the parish/borough department that deal with repairs, and found a website quite easily, and although I should have left my personal details, I raised a concern for the area.
This point of information also gave a telephone number and name, of which I should probably contact to give my details, in the interest of fairness.
After taking my pictures to document any issues, a local councillor (but not a borough councillor) appeared on Twitter, the micro blogging site, with a picture of a pothole and asked if anyone could better this, I replied, but sadly have had no answer.
So, look out for the next update in the quest to make our world a safer one.