Nic Dakin MP

Standing up for Local People

Rayne Killingbeck - Our NHS

My name is Rayne Killingbeck. I live in Ashby and am currently in Year 10 at Frederick Gough School. I'm enjoying my work experience in Nic Dakin's office and this is my blog.

I like books, writing and playing the violin. I am also interested in politics, and the inner workings of our society. It is what helps neighbourhoods and nations function in an ever changing and increasingly tricky to navigate global community. Now more than ever it is important that people stay aware and alert of the problems and challenges that they and others are facing. Young people especially become increasingly vulnerable to a world that changes and restructures itself in complicated and unpredictable ways. Although we are told that politics is only for adults to be interested in, and even then it is a slightly strange hobby to keep up to date with parliamentary decisions and progress (or lack thereof), it is becoming progressively more necessary for us to take it upon ourselves to make ourselves sufficiently knowledgeable on local, national and global areas of interest. The decisions being made will affect younger generations just as much as anyone else and it is in our best interests to make ourselves informed of these matters.

One area that has seen an increase in national interest in recent years is one of our counties most prized possessions: the NHS. Many people have criticized the government for the lack of funding the NHS receives, and many blame the insufficient funds for many of the other complaints people often have, such as the lengthy waiting times often experienced in Accident and Emergency departments. Hospitals are accused of owning out of date equipment, or of spending funds unnecessarily and prioritising trivial and unimportant matters. A proposed solution to this problem is to use a so-called ‘Brexit dividend’ (money saved from not being required to pay fees to the European Union) to partially fund an extra £20bn per year for the NHS by the year 2023. However, the exact details of this plan are not yet known to the public, and many question whether they are known to the government either. It is expected that, to achieve this goal of increased funding, taxes will need to rise. Unsurprisingly, many people are unhappy with the idea of having to lose more of their wages to the government, but no other feasible routes of gaining money for this purpose have been thus far suggested.

What many people seem to forget, however, is that inadequate resources are not the only reason for the struggles our National Health Service is faced with on a day to day basis. The abuse that the service receives from citizens of the UK who take it for granted undeniably contributes to the challenges that staff are constantly faced with. For example, Accident and Emergency departments are often used by people whose problem is neither an accident nor an emergency. This plays a part in increasing the wait times in A&E departments; less than the target of 95% of patients were being seen within four hours in November of 2015. An excuse often heard by those guilty of using A&E inappropriately is that seeing a GP would cause too much stress and hassle, but the cause of this in doctor’s surgeries is often the same as in hospitals. The improper use of the surgeries is commonly the root cause of appointments being unavailable, or waiting times being unacceptably long (a issue similar to the one common in A&E).

People often forget how lucky we are to have access to the healthcare that we do, and consequently the services are taken for granted repeatedly and consistently. The lack of sufficient funds has undoubtedly at least partially caused the problems in the NHS that are obvious today. However, it cannot be ignored that the role played by the general public in helping to harm our healthcare services is a significant issue that needs to be investigated and managed.

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