September Health News
Health News – September 2021
2 September 2021
BBC Health News
Health News – November 2021
8 November 2021

Dear Surrey Circle Health reader, as summer turns to autumn, sunny days being replaced by hazy ones, with leaves turning to their seasonal hues of golden browns, chestnut reds and inspirational ambers, starting to fall with that annual inevitability, thanks for paying some attention to October’s Health News!

Leading the front page of 22nd September’s Metro, London’s free daily newspaper, having the largest circulation of any free paper globally, the title was “673 Calls to Speak to My GP’s Surgery”, reporting that anxious patients calling to book an appointment to a GP are struggling to even talk to a receptionist – with one making a staggering 673 calls before joining a queue.

Francine Jury spent 28 minutes repeatedly dialling her surgery before telling friends on social media that she was 9th in line, “waiting a further 20 minutes to speak to a receptionist, only to be told that there are no appointments left, and to try again tomorrow”, the health researcher from Manchester wrote, adding “#primarycare is broken”.

Another called 390 times to arrange cancer medication for her husband at Swindon’s Abbey Meads practise. “It takes a good 1 hour and 15 minutes to get through, then they’ll say ‘Sorry there’s no appointment available today, come back tomorrow’, and you have to start the whole process all over again” she said. “How can though an older person do that? Someone in their 80’s can’t keep trying to get an appointment.”

Industry magazine ‘Cover’s 27th September’s edition ran with an article entitled “NHS to take more than a decade to catch up on pandemic-driven cancer treatment delays” stating that The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) has published a paper that found that the pandemic has “severely disrupted” cancer services in England across the care pathway, with reductions in activity seen in screening, referrals, as well as diagnostic and treatment services. In response to the pandemic the report said that the NHS had to take “previously unthinkable” steps like cancelling cancer treatment.

As reported on BBC 1’s 27th September Monday evening flagship ‘Panoramaprimetime viewing TV programme entitled “NHS Waits: More People Feeling Forced into Private Healthcare”, featuring a family from Northern Ireland who were forced into crowdfunding in order to raise £50,000 so as to send their son to Turkey to treat a severe spinal scoliosis condition, where the spine twists and turns to the side, treatment for which the NHS couldn’t provide for at least 2 years, by which time this curvature of the spine can become life-limiting.

Data shared with BBC Panorama shows on average that waiting lists have grown by 50% in the most deprived areas of England since the start of the pandemic, however even the most affluent areas of the country such as London and the South East have grown by as much as 35%, as reported by ‘The Kings Fund’.

Sofia Jones, aged 36, has endometriosis, being a gynaecological condition that leads to severe pelvic pain. Some days she could barely walk, having to stay in bed all day. Sofia, who lives near Dundee in Scotland, says that she would have to wait 2 years for an operation on the NHS, however felt that that was too long, and so between herself and her partner they decided to take out a £7,000 loan in order to pay to have the surgery carried out in a private hospital. “It was a really tough decision to go private” she says “because we were having to put ourselves into debt, and that’s a lot of money, however you have to have some quality of life.”

A Scottish government spokesman said: “We’re sorry that the unprecedented impact of the pandemic has been the most significant challenge that the NHS has faced in it’s 73 year history.”

Brenda Pugh, aged 61, from Petersfield in Hampshire, had to give up working for a law firm in 2019 after being diagnosed with arthritis. She was unable to work due to the pain caused by the arthritis which was first diagnosed 5 years ago. As the pandemic begun Brenda was told that she needed a double hip replacement, now having to use crutches. When she moves she says it’s like “walking on jagged glass.” The pain is so severe that she has written to her consultant, practically begging him for an operation, pleading “I can’t carry on like this. My life just isn’t worth living.” With the cost to have the surgery privately being around £10,000 per hip, she says that “there’s no way that she can afford that.”

With Brenda being one of 62,000 who’ve been waiting more than 12 months to get joint replacement surgery, the programme went on to report that the Prime Minister has admitted that “waiting lists will get worse before they get better.”

Concentrating this month on what I considered to be the 3 main Health News items of the past month, being – 1) the incredible frustration of trying to see your GP, 2) the pandemic’s long-term impact upon cancer treatments as well as 3) the acknowledgement of the severity of the pandemic’s long-term impact upon the NHS – there is of course no easy overnight, quick-fix solution, however by making a Private Medical Insurance provision, this then helps to dilute a little the immense pressure upon our national treasure that is the NHS.

There are of course many levels of comprehensiveness of Private Healthcare however for an uninsured individual cover can be incepted for as little as the same amount per decade of life ie –

£20 in your 20’s, £30 in your 30’s, £40 in your 40’s and £50 in your 50’s etc, etc.

Please feel free to get in contact for a Quote, be it individual or company paid, currently uninsured or to compare with a current provider, be it at the annual renewal or not, with great flexibility shown by insurers in transferring previously suffered health conditions, which as a small client-centric whole of market specialist brokerage, I’d be delighted to organise such.

Until November good people please continue to stay safe, fit and healthy – socially distanced, healthy diet coupled with regular exercise – not really rocket science hey!

Kind regards,

Daniel Donoghue,
MD, Surrey Circle Health


Comments are closed.