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Fuck the NHS

This morning I walked into the doctor’s gaff – it’s just down the road – and told them I want to deregister. I was asked to which practice I was transferring to. I told them none. You should have seen the faces of the three witches behind the desk at that point. They deemed it unpossible but eventually agreed to put a note on my records that I wanted no more to do with them. They seemed to think it might be because I was getting too many letters from them. As I have no chronic conditions and am unlikely (I say “unlikely” because this is the NHS where anything farcical is possible) to be called in for a cervical smear I thought that somewhat odd.

It isn’t the letters I neither need nor get that beckoned me to this tumult in the reception area. I had just had a vicarious sickener yesterday which broke the neck of the cameleopard.

I am, I think, still technically registered. I was told if I was rushed to hospital and wasn’t registered there would be a problem. I replied that I would rather die face down in a gutter than have anything more to do with the NHS. I was very polite and thanked the weird sisters for adding that note. It was a start at least…

What I want is my full medical records so I can use them as tinder for the bonfire and full deregistration from the NHS. Is this possible? Any ideas how that can be done? (My particular area of computational astrophysical fluid dynamics was nuclear combustion so I can manage the bonfire – as long as it isn’t absolutely pissing down).

If it is not possible then we are a totalitarian state and therefore I don’t care a monkey’s chuff for the tender ministrations of the NHS any more than a Jew cared for those of Mengele. I know that was hyperbolic but the difference is a quantative rather than qualitative.

The three witches did though suggest that I would become King of Scotland. So was Idi Amin so fuck that for a game of cribbage which is a game I only ever played once and didn’t much care for.

I’m opting out of the NHS. After I was told this was not possible that only made me doubly quit.

And if this makes me seem like a one-legged man in an arse kicking contest against a porcupine then so fucking be it.


  1. john in cheshire says:

    Have you explained why you want to deregister? I may have overlooked it.
    I also dislike the NHS, so I’m not trying to be perverse. If it’s a good reason, maybe others will be inclined to follow your lead.

  2. Nick M says:

    No I didn’t. I didn’t because patients have to have their privacy respected.

    It is a good reason but I can’t say.

    But it was enough and baby I don’t care….

    The NHS are factory farmers and my wife is, alas, one of their boxed chickens who is happy with her lot.

    So I don’t care.

    Not anymore.

    She can be sheepled by the fuckers until the bedtime of the moos for all I give a toss.

    I did care enormously yesterday. But after that and her reaction to it…

    I don’t care.

  3. alison says:

    Funny. That’s the exact attitude the US medical service or whatever you call that shite took to my sister when she smashed her knee so bad her kneecap fell half way down her calf. In spite of her fully paid up insurance they couldn’t give a flying fuck. For about 5 hours. I guess they kinda opted out of doing what they are paid millions to actually do.

  4. Sue says:

    I recently wrote to my surgery to ask for my complete records and asked them to delete all trace of me on their databases. The reason? Because I intend to stay in Spain and need them here.

    I haven’t heard back from them yet. They don’t have an email address, so it’s gone snail mail.

    So, you could try that, tell them you are leaving the UK for good.

  5. J.T. Wenting says:

    doesn’t matter. They consider the records to be their property to do with as they see fit.
    You MAY have the right to look at them (but even that is no given, despite it being required under EU privacy regulations to enable people to discover errors in their records), but that’s about it.

    Here in the Netherlands my father demanded access to his records a few years ago. In the end he had to threaten the hospital with a lawsuit before they would back down. No doubt the glaring errors and hasty editing were the reason for their attempts to delay the inevitable as long as possible (as he’d expected).

  6. El Draque says:

    Your reference to the chance of being invited for a cervical smear test reminds me that a few years ago, a man took the NHS to court for refusing him an appointment for such a smear test.
    He was undergoing a sex-change, you see, and wanted equal rights. Though no surgery gets you a cervix.
    It cost the NHS £15,000 in legal fees to fight the descrimination case.
    Because all allegations have to be taken seriously, you see. (Can’t you just hear the prissy press release?)

    Personally, I have had no gripe with the NHS – I’ve had brilliant treatment for long-term asthma, the consultant kept trying to find alleviation for the condition and eventually did.
    But the anecdotes to the contrary just build up. And on one visit, I did see a note on the Reception:
    “Please do not speak to the receptionist. Take a number and wait to be called”.
    I felt like shouting “You – ‘receptionist’. Means, you receive people – get it?”

  7. Darren says:

    A man that is prepared to die, pointlessly, for his beliefs. Nice to see fundamentalism is alive and kicking here.

  8. Daphne says:

    Why can’t you deregister and go private? Do you have laws that say you must attend a NHS doctor? I don’t understand this at all.

    The last doctor I’d ever want to see in the US is a permanent government paid quack, they are the worst. Government clinics and hospitals are gross, dishing up substandard care all the way around. Ask a Veteran his opinion if you don’t believe me.

    I like my private insurance, I love having a choice of specialists and excellent hospitals (nationwide) at my fingertips. We pay around $400 dollars a month for full coverage, including coverage for major medical for accidents or catostrophic illness for a family of four. Regular visits to any doctor, for any reason, cost me a $15 out of pocket co-pay per visit and $5 per prescription.

    It seems a reasonable monthly cost to protect my family of four with premium medical care. We get what we need and don’t burden anybody else financially with our health issues.

    Alison, your sister must have some shitty coverage (some policies require you to go to certain facilities only) or some even shittier hospitals in her area if she waited that long for treatment. That sounds just awful.

  9. alison says:

    My sister has about the best coverage money can buy Daphne. They simply refused until she produced her docs. Which in an emergency is an absolute joke. But that’s market based systems for you. They suck. All that choice you mention above is fully available in the French system which is not free at the point of need. That so called government run system runs rings around market based systems like the US one in terms of choice, facilities, care and immediacy. A hybrid system that from experience of UK US and French is simply outstanding. Plus people don’t have to worry whether or not they will get seen or not for serious illness which they then put off and off and off. I won’t bore you with yet another tale of how much fun that can be over there. And in answer to your question for Nick – yes he can pay up and go private if he so chooses – there’s a whole system of private healthcare available in this country. And save the paultry amount in taxes he might pay for emergency care – which he may well one day need.

  10. alison says:

    I’d agree with El Draque to an extent also – I’ve excellent NHS surgery for both a serious and rudimentary care. Even the walk in centre close to work is very good. I’ve never really had any need to dip into my private healthcare save once. Financially it all totals up to less than what Daphne pays per month for full choice in both (with my family private cover). I don’t pay extra for visits to a private doctor of my choice. In France I pay $10 a visit to a doc of my choice and would get that back as a resident.

  11. Nick M says:

    The French system works. I know. I’ve used it. In a small hotel in a small town in France the receptionist phoned after hours and hey presto! A doctor arrives (he speaks excellent English BTW) and not only that but when he writes his script he also gives detailed directions to the nearest 24h pharmacy. And I wasn’t at death’s door either. I just had a sinus infection and if you’ve ever had one of those it feels like you actively want Death to open his door…

    If you are British it is practically impossible to get away from the NHS. I wish I could do something like you but the only member of this family with fully private cover is Timmy who is a cat. And it’s not just that…

    A few years ago a bunch of folks pioneered the “Arts Channel” on Sat/CATV. You paid a subsription and you’d gets shows about the arts and things like live showing of operas at La Scala and stuff like that. It folded within months because the BBC brought in BBC4 with a similar though much less interesting agenda but you can’t fight “free” now can you?

    It’s the same with healthcare. Especially for a lot of really serious stuff there is no alternative to the NHS and in anycase the market is distorted beyond recognition by it’s heffalumping presence in the corner of the room.

    The NHS is based upon a wholy false pretense of equality. I have had excellent treatment and shoddy treatment*. It employs some gifted doctors and diligent nurses and skilled physios and all that. It also employs people who if there were any justice would be on a street corner holding a sign saying, “Will drop pants for food”. But the relentless drive after the great god of equality means the best are fettered and the crap are not dropping their pants for food.

    In London I dated an American and she was shocked by her exposure to the NHS. To put it bluntly (which they did) they wielded a speculum the way a navvie wields a sledgehammer. She looked visibly shaken and said it was very different from her gynaecologist in Atlanta. Quite. The “Dr” in question I had previously espied and not taken for a doctor but rather some sort of hobo who had come in because it was warm. She was wearing jogging pants for a start…

    The NHS will put up with any old shit as long as it ticks the boxes and co-ordinates diversity and produces leaflets in 35 languages.

    And then there are so many more annecdotes… My Great Uncle was killed by the NHS. It was an epically cocked-up (I was at the inquest) bowel cancer surgery. It was early stage and easily resectionable but a surgeon in Hartlepool managed to sever the blood supply so a few weeks later he went into septic shock. They lied from day one and they lied at every level because everyone was covering everyone else. In the end he was transferred up the A19 to the QE in Gateshead with a fucking police escort with motorbike cops as outriders to clear the traffic. This was presented to us as “a super new dialysis machine” (his kidneys were dog food by that point – not that they admitted to that). The truth is Hartlepool General didn’t want him to peg out on their patch (NHS league tables and all that). The consultant at the QE was fucking furious.

    I’m sure the QE ICU did their best. He died surrounded by what looked like Mission Control in Houston. How much did that and the police escort cost? A lot more I’ll wager than just doing the fucking job right the first time.

    Compensation was paid. I don’t know how much but not a lot because my Great Aunt for some reason employed a “lawyer” who would make Lionel Hutz look like Alan Dershowitz. A shambling wreck of a human being in a tatty sports jacket and scuffed brown shoes.

    *My own personal example. I once saw a GP who when taking the history asked what I was doing. I told him. He said he wished he’d done that and only did medicine because his mother wanted him to. He then proceeded to perform a desultory abdominal examination and concluded with the line… “Well I didn’t feel anything that made me go woo-woo!” I might as well have taken a goat out the back, slaughtered it, and examined the fucking entrails. He was being paid 80 grand a year (that was then – they make over a 100k these days) for such epic shit. I do tech support. Can I get away with charging you twenty quid for suggesting you might want to try turning it off and then on again? No I can’t.

  12. alison says:


    Man I know the French system inside out and it is second to none. When you are seriously ill as my father was (French national) it’s standard and long term care is exemplary.

    I’d also disagree with you re speculums which since you mention it Ive never ever had a painful or uncomfortable experience with!

    Equally you CAN get away from the NHS if you wish to pay for it so Im not sure your angle there.

    Ill give you another two examples – though inevitably this winds up sounding depressing or one ‘woe is me’ story after another but is not intended as that.

    I attended a US medical centre in Washington state for an eye infection while on holiday. I walked in to the swanky centre and made an appointment. How are going to pay they ask. With a credit card for whatever amount as Im insured I reply. I sat for 3 hours in the clinic and when I was eventually seen the doctor managed mmmm all of 5 seconds with me? He made a number of dumb jokes, barely looked at my eye and then told me he had no specialist knowledge of the problem. No shit. It was a fucking cyst – hardly unheard of. I told him creams would make no difference, it needed to be removed and as a simple prodecure in day care he suggested he could refer me to an eye hospital but then insisted I was wrong and sent me off with a cream I knew wouldnt work. In fact it made it so much worse that my eye closed up. I got home, went to my doctor who correctly diagnosed it, advised me that the prescribed cream had actually simply spread the cyst fibres around in my eye, sent me off to the eye hospital to see a specialist the same day. I was offered the day surgery the next week. I called up my private care and provided I was happy with a local anaesthetic it could be done the next morning. I chose the latter. Had the infection only been with me for a day or so I would have chosen the NHS appointment but for the fucking stupid doctor in Washington state I had to endure that ugly painful bastard for a week and a half.

    My mother was involved in a serious road accident 10 years ago which left her paralysed, with a missing ear, smashed pelvis, deaf and with a palsy on one half of her face. The NHS not only saved her life and provided amazing intensive care treatment, through progressive care they partially restored her hearing and over the course of 18 months gently got her back on her feet when the initial prognosis was beyond dire.

    I don’t mean to demean your own or your friends experiences but in what way is being left on a trolley in a corridor with no painkillers and no attention for 5 hours as my sister was in NYC (she is a US resident with full work health coverage) indicative of the success of a market based system? I work in a US company where exchanges are frequent – we had one guy here who had to use the NHS system and came away asking what the “fuss was all about” as he had heard so much shite.

    I say this not to ‘compete’ but (and I say this fully ackonwledging there ARE issues with the NHS), I always feel that somehow personal anecdotes about market based systems count for nothing and yet personal anecdotes about the NHS do and are used as indicative of the ‘system’ as a whole. When sob stories are conveyed about the US system they are generally dismissed as “lies” or infactual in any debates I follow on US blogs around this topical..topic. But then I’m not sure if this debate here is about the advantages of so called “socialised” medical care versus market based “care” so Ill shut up now.

  13. alison says:

    I should also add now Ive had a chance to tot it all up that combined – my NHS contributions plus the private plan family care for up to 4 people I have which entitles us to both systems total less than Daphne’s $400 a month. I also don’t have to pay any extra for private out patient care or private doc visits.

    And on a lighter note:

    “Can I get away with charging you twenty quid for suggesting you might want to try turning it off and then on again? No I can’t.”

    Yes you could and companies frequently do. And you/they can charge way more than that Nick!

  14. Daphne says:

    I have no knowledge of the French system, although I have heard from dozens of people around the globe that it is excellent. I have heard good and horrible about the NHS. The Canadian system appears to be total crap from anecdotal hearsay.

    Nick, so there is little alternative in the way of medical care outside of the system? That’s lousy. You have coverage for your cat? I could use a policy for my menagerie, the vet bills are killer.

    Alison, I carry little laminated insurance cards in my wallet that give any medical provider/hospital all the necessary info on our coverage. It’s pretty simple, whip it out and get treated. One of the problems with emergency rooms in this country is the long waiting times for non-life threatening issues. The places get crowded with people who want to be treated with minor ailments, like ear infections, because they know they must be treated irregardless of ability to pay or insurance coverage. It’s easier (and more pleasant) than hiking out to the slums for the FREE clinics that are intended to deal with such issues.

    It’s not perfect over here, we have bad doctors and crap hospitals, but we do have choice and I’d like to keep mine, even at a cost of $400 per month. I don’t trust our government to develop a French system, the more likely outcome of Obama’s grand plan would be total shit care for everyone and my taxes going through the roof.

  15. Daphne says:

    Oh, forgot to mention something. The walk in clinic I had to visit on Sunday? I didn’t actually get a prescription for the high end antibiotics I needed. I lied on my post.

    The doctor gave me a bagful of freebies, probably $150 bucks worth of pills on the uninsured market. He was an awesome doctor and a nice guy.

  16. alison says:

    Yes she carries the same card. Unfortunately you cannot whip out your card when its in your bag in your room and you are writhing around on the floor outside in agony drifting in and out of consciousness with someone unable to find your bag for you. Things happen and the system in an A&E situation must surely account for that – but apparently not. It would have been easy to treat the woman and get the card later. I always imagine my mum in that situation. Presumably they would have left her under the vehicle until someone found her bag. Which they never did btw. It was knocked clear out of her hand and out of sight.

    The point you make about long lines and who uses the hospitals etc and free drugs even (which we get here in many situations) – surely the US must realise it is running a massively expensive universal socialised system with health tourism thrown in. Which in turn means you are paying the extra in your taxes somewhere.

    The French system does offer you full choice. You get to choose which doctor you see, change doctors whenever you want, choose your hospital, choose your specialist, your hospital, your room style. It would also be the simpler system for either the UK or US to adopt as it works on a hybrid private public system. You would keep your insurers and since you are already paying massive unknown taxes for the underinsured or uninsured, by not being “free at the point of need” the system would give you control. Instead of running the systems parallel as we both seem to be doing and having the enormous pressures (for you finanicially and for us servisewise) of health tourism and all the associated garbage. It must make sense to look at systems which work beautifully – given all systems are costing us all dear.

    Nick does have an alternative as I mentioned – he can go private. Google Bupa, PruHealth, private walk-in clinics, private healthcare UK and have a look around. Id run a post to pick the bones out of all of this but I’m feeling too lazy. Maybe next week.

  17. NickM says:

    No. I can’t go private. Not for everything.

  18. IanB says:

    I should also add now Ive had a chance to tot it all up that combined – my NHS contributions plus the private plan family care for up to 4 people I have which entitles us to both systems total less than Daphne’s $400 a month.

    Just on a general point, nobody pays “NHS contributions”. National insurance doesn’t pay for the NHS (or welfare either) for instance. They’re paid out of general taxation. According to the NHS website, the cost works out at about £1500 per annum for every man woman and child in the UK. But of course rich people are paying much more, and poor people much less than that. On average, for a family of four that’s £6000 per annum.

  19. IanB says:

    On average, for a family of four that’s £6000 per annum.

    Actually that’s not true is it? :)

    Children don’t pay anything, pensioners don’t, people on benefits don’t, people paid by the State don’t. So it’s the cost, about £100Bn, divided by the number of private sector taxpayers. I have no idea what that figure is. If it’s 25M private sector taypayers, that would be about £4000 each, for instance.

  20. Monoi says:

    Oh yes, the french system is exemplary. Yada yada yada.

    It’s a bit of downer that it costs the country both arms and legs, and is always in deficit. By a few billion euros a year. For God knows how long. But hey, we all know money comes down from the money tree so who cares!?!

    There is also the small matter that when you get paid, about 20/25% of your salary is taken out to pay for it (I have left France 20 odd years ago and it was 25% then). Income tax you have to pay later obviously.

    You still have to pay a fee for using the system though.

    Obviously, for the people working for it, there isn’t enough money.

    Nick, a doctor will come to you because unlike here, you do not have to register and you can go to any doctor you want. So if the doctor wants your business, he has to make some sort of effort. That is definitely one aspect of the system that should be copied here. With one caveat: the french are the most medicamented people in the world. Next time you’re there, look at the number of “pharmacies” and note how they are all gleaming. The reason is that to keep your custom, doctors will prescribe willy nilly. Not their fault, but most people think that no drugs means no treatment.

    If you had any idea of the waste in the system, you might be less in awe. That said, I have friends who work in hospitals over there, and funnily enough, it seems that money is running out. And guess what, there is a shift towards a more market based system. Not that any politicians will ever admit it though.

    You can never leave the system either.

    Have a look at this:

    So yes, it works, the only problem is that it is reaching a point where the illusion becomes very difficult to maintain.

  21. Kazevans says:

    Well said!!! My hero>as far as I’m concerned the NHS are fucking twats that need knocking on the head!Fucking bastards the lot of them – the sooner the whole fucking lot is privatised the better!!!!!!

  22. dfg says:

    Here’s a thought folks – How about looking after you’re OWN health *shock horror!*?

  23. Michael says:

    I think you’re absolutely right and I have been thinking of this for a long time myself. I never want to see a British GP again. I never want to be subjected to ‘care’ that is simply surveillance. And if it means losing the possibility of emergency treatment, so be it: I believe that my health will be better for never having to deal with these people or their fat idiot receptionists or their queues or their overpaid semi-educated chinless middle-class google-friendly GPs again.

    Anyone got a good reliable formal answer as to whether we can actually leave and have our records destroyed, please let us know.

  24. sangar says:

    I have been having chest infection for a few times in 3 different years, so technically I know where it hurt and I know what type of antibiotic it works for me, but every time when I go to see GP they prescribe me with the one that does not work , even though I inform them about it. so I have to finish the course of medication that does not work for me then go back to the fucking GP and then get the right one, BUT still they always not prescribe me with enough antibiotic so I have to make an appointment again which is a nightmare these days, go there and get some more, this happened 3 times 3 different year. WHY WHY WHY… is so fucking upsetting to suffer knowing that they just don’t want to listen.

  25. shela says:

    I feel exactly the same. have been hoarded by nhs to a point where its suffocating. Its like talking to a brick wall and my privacy invaded and has left me feeling degraded and humiliated. Im desperate to get out of it . help with any sugestions. phew!!

  26. shela says:

    I feel exactly the same. have been hoarded by nhs to a point where its suffocating. Its like talking to a brick wall and my privacy invaded and has left me feeling degraded and humiliated. Im desperate to get
    out of it. any sugestions. phew!!!!

    whats the answer n whos replying

  27. Nick A says:

    IT would appear that you can not de register from the NHS. The records are the property of the state and as such are about you and NOT yours.. All I can suggest you do is simply NOT go to the doctors and if asked who your doctor is say Not known. OR Not applicable.

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