Funnily enough, I didn't set out to be a welfare warrior.
This blog was actually supposed to be about the NHS. I hoped that my 28 years of NHS in-patient experience might provide some solutions for positive reform. If you want to know where the NHS wastes money, just ask us patients.
As of yesterday, my medical team have advised me to stop taking the chemo-shots. They don't seem to be doing anything to control my crohn's disease, and because they are such strong immuno-suppressants, I get every last sniffle the boys come home from school with and diligently nurture them into a chest infections or flu.
I've been ill for months and I'm getting so run down it's now dangerous.
Unfortunately, I've just had a delivery of the injections.
They cost the NHS £1000 each. Yep, every fortnight, I plunge a cool grand into my tummy via syringe. That's 24k a year.
I have 4 innocent looking little needle packs glaring at me from the fridge, sending my natural thriftiness into spasm. That's 4K of NHS budget. In a minute, I will have to take the boxes from the fridge, open each one, and squirt the equivalent of my entire yearly income down the toilet.
No-one else can use them you see as they might have been tampered with. (They weren't) Or stored at the wrong temperature. (They weren't).
They can't go back to the manufacturer or the hospital to help some other disease riddled wretch. I can't recycle them in any way. They won't even make very nice Xmas decorations.
Clearly there are simple solutions : 1) Don't send me four at a time. 2) Allow them to be used by someone else.
But for these 4 shots, there is nothing else to be done. I can hardly bring myself to do it.
When I was in hospital last time round, I was fed by central line with something called TPN (Total Parenteral Nutrition) Setting up the bags of feed is a devilishly tricky procedure and the feeds themselves cost a fortune. Around £1000 and you need one every day. They too must be refrigerated at the correct temperature and only have a 24 hour shelf life. They are mixed specifically for each patient's nutritional needs. Custom made, pre-digested enzymes and lipids, yum.
On three occasions my TPN went to waste. That's another 3K right there. One went to the wrong ward, one was left out of the fridge all night and one just didn't get put up in time.
If I were in charge of the NHS, it is these utterly senseless puddles of waste that I would crack down on. Surely there's a few billion to be saved in that idea George?