HOW WE CAN FIX THE NHS?
WHERE would you spend Gordon Brown's extra pounds 1billion for the NHS?
MEL HUNTER and CLAIRE DONNELLY asked the people at the sharp end: The doctors nurses, union reps, carers... and, of course, the patients.Sarah Hayward, 28, is a casualty nurse from South London.
"Staff are the backbone of the NHS and we need to attract, train and keep them.
"I started on pounds 12,000 a year and after five years still earn only pounds 19,000, less than half the salary of most of my friends.
"I don't know anyone who can afford a house, particularly in London.
"A huge chunk should be used to recruit nurses, especially in London, with a realistic starting wage, like pounds 20,000."
Dr Chaand Nagpaul, a GP, of Stanmore, Middx
"There should be a commitment to increase the number of GPs by 10,000, or 33 per cent.
"The current situation means GPs are forced into having huge patient lists. It's the conveyor belt philosophy. I have to see a new patient every eight minutes.
"We are providing a second-rate service. The public is short-changed by seeing their GP in a rushed environment. We also need to double the current number of 17,000 practice nurses."
ANN Leedham-Smith, head of services for the West Midlands' Royal College of Nurses
"We need to put money into educating the public.
"People need to take responsibility for their own health and for the health of their community.
"Rather than fire fighting we should be going back to grass roots health care.
"The only way of investing in the health of the nation is by investing in better education."
SHARON Liefer, 37, recently had a baby at Whittingdon Hospital, North London.
"We get what we pay for, which at the moment is a very poor service, second-rate and chronically under-funded.
"We need more medical staff and more auxiliaries to help them. I was in a post-natal ward for two nights after I had Joel.
"They like you to stay for four but I went home because conditions there were so bad.
"It was like trying to recover from having an operation onWaterloo station."
Myra Davidson, 56, cares for her husband Roy, 69, who has had Parkinson's disease for the past 19 years.
"It doesn't cost a lot of money for doctors and nurses to recognise carers - but it would make a huge difference. There are six million of us who are saving the country a fortune, but we often feel ignored.
"Once I asked to speak to the consultant but he said he was too busy - he was drinking tea.
"I would like to see some training for doctors and nurses so they know how to talk toand respect carers."
CASH: Ann; GP: Nagpaul
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|Publication:||The Mirror (London, England)|
|Date:||Nov 29, 2001|
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