What’s this about?
This is the UK website for Peter and Maureen Scargill. We live in the Northeast of England and also Andalucia in Spain.

Read through the blog entries, menu-accessible pages and archives if you're interested! Welcome to Peter and Maureen's website.

Get in touch via Facebook My Facebook Page
You should follow me on Twitter Follow me on Twitter
Join my LinkedIn network Join my network

Pete's Online CV

Quality of Medical Service in the UK

In the Northeast Journal newspaper today, vet Neil Murdock wrote “When animals are ill they are often seen by several vetinary surgeons throughout the course of their treatment, which can be highly unsettling for both them and their owners”.

Well, I’m not convinced our cats could give two hoots who they see but of course this is something we just accept as people in the British National Health system. What worries me more than seeing different doctors – is being treated by doctors with WILDLY varying skills and the total lack of continuity caused by this practice.

I’m in my early 50s now and when I was in my late 20s, having worked in engineering for many years, I teamed up with a fellow who became a business partner and is now a good friend. I’d been into electronics for some years as an amateur but just then moved into it professionally. We were in the middle of a project with a lot of construction in it – and took a break to go to an “amateur radio show” in Leeds.

Half way through I had a horrendous pain in my right eye – as if it were full of sand. Over a short space of time, the eye got worse and the turned bright red. Seeing there was a problem, the guys insisted I go to the hospital – where they gave me some drops and recommended a trip to my doctor.

I went to my doctor who said I needed a specialist. I went to the Newcastle hospital to see the specialist (all the time my eye was bright red and painful) and he said I had “euvitis” – an inflamation of the eye. I ended up with steroids and a derivative of deadly nightshade to freeze the eye muscles. A week later I was fine – but not without blurred vision throughout and I’m convinced a minor but measureable drop in eyesight performance every time.

This re-occurred every 6 months or so and before long I knew what to look for – and how to handle it – for the first few times I saw specialists – a couple of times this led to an injection straight into the eye – other times drops. The purpose of the drops was two-fold – reduce inflamation- freeze the eye to stop further agro. Leave it too long and…. the needle! Not nice.

On one occasion a female doctor took a look and insisted I wear an eye-patch for 2 weeks – apparently no-one told her they stopped doing that in the dark ages. I insisted on drops – sorted the problem.

I got so disillusioned with the variation in doctors – after a couple of years I simply asked one of my “family doctors” if I could have a repeat subscription for the same stuff I knew worked – from there on I could solve the problem on my own.

One time when my wife and I were in Northern America my eye flared up – and the doctors there were great – they spotted the condition immediately for the first time ever insisted on a complete bank of tests to find out what caused it – the UK doctors had NEVER attempted to do this. Sadly I was only there for a couple of days and there was no time.

Around the year 2000, I stopped doing manual work in electronics – our incompetent civil servants and their passion for regulation made it too much like hard work to produce small numbers of prototypes of the kind of work I used to do – so I moved onto my other passion – software.. and lo and behold, no more eye problems. It occurred to me with a little research that it was the solder flux from spending a good amount of time with soldering irons that was the cause. In 8 years I’ve had no problems of any kind.

Now in all those years you would think that ONE doctor, somewhere would have twigged – but because I got a different doctor almost every time – and because they seem to be pre-occupied with a quick fix rather than finding out what’s wrong with your lifestyle – it never happened. I had to stumble across the cure myself after 20-odd years of suffering.

Life for many could be so much better if we could just get our national health act together! I wonder to this date, had I stayed in the USA a little longer – if they’d have narrowed the problem down.

Leave a Reply