Today, there are widespread concerns regarding the quality of available healthcare in Britain. Thousands of patients; young and old, lacking mobility or mental awareness, are being treated in care homes, hospitals and specialist wards across not only the country, but the entire world. Recent worries have arisen which suggest that the money being charged by these institutions (e.g by care homes) to the families of the terminally ill isn’t worth the service patients are receiving – especially amid recent NHS claims to cut back on spending, which, in turn, means to cut back on treating needy patients.

The current story on everybody’s minds is that, in areas of Wales, patients have been dying whilst waiting for heart surgery. This comes because both workers and resources are stretched beyond their capacity when it comes to treating the high numbers of patients being admitted to hospitals. These patients, whose deaths in total amount to an appalling 29, were spread between Cardiff’s University Hospital of Wales and Morriston Hospital in Swansea – and the number has shockingly risen by 12 since last year. These figures then show nothing but a decline in the effort and care put into patients’ well-being. Extended waiting lists should surely prompt more spending to help solve the problem instead of creating cutbacks? The Royal College of Surgeons has therefore raised serious concerns about these deaths, and it is said that, after notification, the hospitals are beginning to arrange for patients to have work done elsewhere if their resources and staff cannot meet required demand levels.

Not only hospitals are struggling and then coming up with excuses for their actions. Many claim that Accident & Emergency demands rising, paired with lessening budgets, means it is not their responsibility to deal with increasing numbers of patients because they are not liable for deaths or trouble caused by insufficient care. If this is true, and healthcare professionals are not liable, then who is? One patient in particular from Wales, named Ron Jones, waited an astonishing 15 months for his heart surgery before he sadly passed away, still without treatment. His friends claimed care from the hospital which was severely inadequate, and believed that it was obvious he was deteriorating long before his untimely death. Given the correct care, Ron and many patients like him could still be living life to the full, and wouldn’t have faced early death due to the careless actions of professionals.

Furthermore, it has recently come to light that some people have had their human rights violated whilst staying in some of Ireland’s care homes and hospitals. A free phone line is being set up in order to allow patients to anonymously call and give their feedback on any treatment they received, and whether or not they found it satisfactory. This is set to follow-up claims of problems at Belfast’s Royal Victoria Hospital earlier in the year, as well as complaints of some hospitals closing on weekends due to shortages of staff – leaving the locals stranded in case of emergency. Once evidence is given, officials are set to make some important decisions regarding healthcare in Ireland based on the sway of people’s answers. Watch this space for the results!

Finally, and more locally for those residing in England itself, things are said to be improving in terms of the quality of healthcare provided for those of all ages and abilities. St George’s Hospital, located in Morpeth, Northern England, has one of the highest success and patient satisfaction rates. The hospital, which was built as part of a chain along with St George’s London and St Mary’s London, is following closely in their footsteps and aims to provide the best care for everyone. Having undergone refurbishment amounting close to £30 million, this hospital has managed to transform its reputation from the dreaded ‘lunatic asylum’ to being pretty highly ranked in the local area. Providing services ranging from maternity, cancer, depression, Alzheimer’s, anorexia, and many more, this hospital really does it all – and seems to be good at it, too, giving patients one-to-one treatment and where necessary, a quality lacking in many care homes. With over thirty wards specialising in many different illnesses, this specialist hospital can suit people of most needs and aims to make every patient a priority, unlike previously discussed practices.

That being said, it is overly optimistic to suggest that every hospital in Britain has as positive a reputation as this. Reports are forever surfacing about cases of patient abuse, and this is clearly a very serious topic to consider. Patient suffering in any form including; victim of a large waiting list, not receiving correct treatment or being harmed in any way is unacceptable, and this is what governments are aiming to combat. Overall though, healthcare is looking promising, and with the help of committed health professionals such as those at St George’s, the future seems bright for the healthcare of Britain.



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