Yay, it is Friday once again, which can only mean one thing – Fandango’s Friday Flashback. Fandango uses these posts to reblog one of his posts from this day in a year gone by, just to let his current readers see what he was up to back then. I feel like I am on a path of recovery, so the idea is useful for me too because it indicates how I’m progressing along that path.
Two years ago I tended to focus a lot more on my health experiences, where now (I think) I have taken on more varied interests.
Certainly in the UK, our Health experience is very personal. Nobody else knows your health story, not even your partner, if that’s your choice.
Which is exactly as it should be. But the flip-side of this is that we end up living in silos, not necessarily appreciating what other people have gone (are going) through, and making it difficult in particular to spot flaws in the system itself. We will base our judgement on our own experience of the system, whether it is good or bad.
One place where I specifically did encounter other peoples experiences was in the peer support group I used to attend, and this is the subject of my flashback, a post from two years ago today.
My post highlights how the system does not always work as it should. It is variable. In some cases, it varies because human beings are fallible, although other variations (in the UK) are entirely deliberate, depending on whereabouts somebody lives. I argue that there should be a single, consistent standard across the country.
Indeed, taking this argument a step further, I think this issue highlights one of the areas where central planning is absolutely appropriate.
Incidentally, I briefly mention the stroke charity in the post, which I still volunteer for. I must admit that this is one of my pet peeves with them, which has only grown over the years. When I finally decide to stop volunteering, it’ll probably be for this very reason.
I know what happened to me, and I’m quite happy to talk about it. When I talk about my personal experience, which admittedly was four years ago, I am often contradicted by the charity – oh, it is better than that now.
And I look around me, and I see four more years of austerity everywhere. I catch a bus, just into the local city, and if I miss it, I have to wait an hour and a half for the next. So I just think, yeah, right. The Health environment certainly hasn’t improved, so to suggest that our Health Service has suddenly had a brainwave to improve the way it operates, just in these last four years, well….it stretches my belief a little bit too far. Or, maybe I’m just becoming more out of touch?
I was having some coffee with my stroke buddies today. Someone started talking about one of the standard stroke tests. “That’s funny,”, pipes up someone else, “I never had that test.”
It’s funny, because we all had different stroke experiences, but a common theme was that we all felt let-down in some way due to a gap between theory and practise. I’ve said repeatedly to the Stroke Association that, as far as strategy goes, the first thing we should aim for is a consistent experience across the country, from Shetland to Cornwall and everywhere in between, including London. Initially, it really doesn’t matter how good or bad the standard is – it is what it is. The next thing, of course, is all-round improvement.
The Stroke Association, by the way, are every bit as inaccurate as the NHS, in terms of saying “when such-and-such happens, then such-and-such happens in response”…
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