Hello, I'm Chrissie. I can't get over how lucky I am to be living at the seaside - I still love living at Cleveleys after being here for more than 15 years. I hope you enjoy my slightly cock-eyed look at life - come back regularly for a look at living beside the seaside, our mad family life and my view on local and topical current affairs. The weather often features, along with the very different things that you get to see and do when you live somewhere like this.

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Spring Days and Saving the NHS

Customary comment about the weather to start, then onto the NHS - and why isn't something done about the things that are draining it dry?

I'll start with another lovely Spring-like day here yesterday, and another one promised for today.

Beautiful spring day in Cleveleys

My little Koko enjoys sleeping in a patch of sunlight by the side of me, he just loves sunbathing! It certainly is bringing everyone out for a bit of coastal enjoyment, lots of walkers and drivers with the prom filling up yet again yesterday afternoon, a taste of things to come I think.

The garden is bursting into leaves and flowers and my pear tree is getting ready to burst out in its beautiful blossoms. We had loads of pears off it last year which surprised us as it’s not what you call massive and they were really juicy and lovely.

Never, ever, ever...

Again the NHS gets thrown into the spotlight with the news in the Gazette yesterday that there have been five serious errors at the Vic during operations which shouldn’t have happened.

Apparently these are called ‘never events’ which means that they shouldn’t have happened and were preventable and could have caused the patient serious harm or even death. I won’t list the things that went wrong as it would take a while, but it is worrying that things like this could happen in this day and age don’t you think.

The NHS is certainly under the spotlight and not just at the Vic, it’s a countrywide thing with everyone complaining about everything. But when you read some of the things that patients do why aren’t they also taken to task in the same way and told that certain things aren’t acceptable - like missing appointments or going to their doctors or even A&E when they shouldn’t have gone there at all.

I would never go to the A&E with some of the things that people go there for, with the current news being rammed down our throats all the time in the media that the NHS is on its knees, why are people still misusing the service - and more to the point, why are they being allowed to. 

If the NHS is hauled over the coals (and rightly so) for making mistakes and doing things wrong, why do people who turn up at A&E with a broken fingernail get a bright smile and attention? Surely they should also be reprimanded. Even at a basic level they could be given a sheet of paper to take away and read, which explains what they have just done and why they shouldn't do it. It's like people can just do what they want in everything and there's never any reprimand, never any consequence. There's no wonder the world's like it is. 

And another thing, did you know that £15 million of our health budget will go on helping people in foreign countries to quit smoking.

Cigarette - stop smoking

It comes from the Department of Health’s pot for overseas aid, and is part of a figure which has grown and grown over the last three years to what I think is a ridiculous waste of money. £11 million pounds went on overseas development in 2014, £32 million in 2015/16 and an eye watering £149 million of which £15 million is spent on World Health Organisation backed stop smoking schemes for 194 non UK countries! If we've got £15 million spare why isn't it being spent on helping people to stop smoking in the UK?

Of course a spokesman for the Department of Health has said that none of the money has been diverted away from the NHS front line, but what about the ‘back line’ if there is such a thing, because daft though I may be, I thought that this country needed every penny and it does seem odd to me that all this money is to stop other countries to help their citizens to stop smoking!

Too fat

Another thing while I’m grumbling. It seems that some patients are complaining when their GP’s are telling them that they need to lose weight as they are too fat and this makes them feel offended. The GP’s guidelines tell them to encourage overweight people to diet or join slimming clubs which to me is a perfectly reasonable thing to do as it will protect the patients health, but it seems that one in three GP’s have offended their patients by mentioning their weight.

With around two thirds of adults being overweight or obese, it's costing the NHS £30 billion a year with health related problems due to their size so surely it makes sense to first of all get the patient to understand that they are risking diabetes and all their complications, liver disease, some cancers and all the rest that goes hand in hand with obesity - as well as costing the cash strapped NHS a fortune in treating them. It certainly wouldn’t offend me if a GP was trying to make sure that I stayed alive as long as possible, or am I missing something!

Bed blocker

My last ‘moan’ about the subject is a bed blocker with a perfectly clean bill of health who had takeaways delivered to him in his 99 day stay in hospital. The man absolutely refused to leave when doctor’s told him he was perfectly healthy but would only leave when gas and electric repairs had been done at his home!

The man was from Poole in Dorset and cost the NHS £39,600 at an average stay of £400 pounds a day for his hospital bed. They were considering taking him to court and having him evicted from hospital until he eventually left.

The hospital boss said that you can’t just 'throw someone out' but call me awful, I would have had a good attempt if he stayed put in my hospital. I would have called security and had him thrown out from the first day when there was no reason for him to stay, or presented him with bill.

It’s things like this that make my blood boil, when someone who needed a bed was denied because of people like him. I think it’s time that this country got tough on this kind of thing along with making health tourists pay before they are treated and more effort made to reclaim the debts they run up when we are crying out for funds ourselves, don’t you?

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Published: 9th March 2017
Modified: 9th March 2017