Newest Review: ... slurs and the part-time closure of the A and E dept the hospital now faces downgrading. 50,000 people recently marched through Stafford to... more
Back & joint pain = vertigo, according to NHS...
NHS in general
Member Name: clockface
NHS in general
Advantages: Some excellent practitioners
Disadvantages: Some downright useless practitioners who shouldn't be in the job
The aims of the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK are laudable, and if one considers its original inception, this country wouldn't have got to where it is today without it. Despite this, I can't help but feel that it's increasingly lost its way. Like others, my experience has been very mixed, ranging from GP's who've gone out of their way to help me, and consultants who've been completely useless and treated me like an idiot.
The best way is probably to describe some of the experiences I've had, then in that way, I can't be accused of generalisation!
I've been very lucky, particularly over the past seven years, to have had a fantastic GP who has absolutely gone out of her way to help. She's attentive and reassuring, and she will chase up anything which needs to be chased up (test results, consultants' reports etc.). She's always been willing to speak on the telephone when I've needed something clarifying or have needed some advice about something where an appointment wasn't necessary. Likewise, she's always been ready to ring me to pass on information and results. Above all, she's always been there when I've needed her; I've never felt rushed and I've never been made to feel that a particular issue or problem is insignificant, or of low priority.
The problem is that because she's so good, she's in demand, and it's not always easy to make appointments. Sometimes one has to wait 5-6 weeks or longer to see her, and this isn't always practicable, so on occasion, I have had to see other GP's at the same surgery. This is where the experience becomes much more negative. Earlier this year, I began to get a lot of back pain which gradually got worse and spread to other joints. There was no obvious explanation for it, and it was incredibly worrying considering the previously I'd been reasonably fit and healthy.
After the pain had lasted about two months and had begun to get much worse, I was forced to make a reasonably urgent appointment with one of the GP's. The first GP I saw said it was sciatica and nothing could be done for it - I wasn't wholly satisfied with this as from what I know about sciatica it has very obvious pains in the legs which I hadn't had. A week later, I saw another GP who diagnosed Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and once again said there wasn't anything could be done - again, I wasn't satisfied as I saw no reason by IBS should affect my neck and ankles. The third GP's diagnosis was, quite frankly, laughable - she said that I might have vertigo and prescribed some pills to counteract the effects of seasickness.
I think both these instances go to show that whilst in some areas, the service is absolutely superb and better than expected, in other cases, it is worryingly poor. How a GP can diagnose vertigo when the symptoms are back and joint pain is extremely concerning. This inevitably means that the system which the majority of us have no option but to rely on is very 'hit and miss' and this doesn't always fill one with confidence.
I know people get fed up of so-called 'NHS-slamming', but you have to admit that when people experience completely ridiculous diagnoses like these, they have a right to be concerned and upset.
Summary: A very mixed bag, but for most of us, a necessity.