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Jayne, I could not agree with you more.  The cottage hospitals in the smaller towns were fantastic in their day for convalescence.  Many of the staff were older and experienced and found a less frenetic and stressed pace suited them better not to mention the closer proximity of family and friends.The problem is that current arrangements do not have a doctor on duty overnight or weekends so any urgent needs required an ambulance to the main hospital or waiting until Monday or the next day time for a person with the correct qualifications.  For example we spotted on a Saturday visit that 97 M in L was going down with pneumonia and also UTI.  By the time she was seen on Monday, she was not in a good state and required much stronger and more intensive treatment and a much longer stay.I am a strong advocate for the NHS and whilst there are beacons of excellence I despair at the incredible amount of waste both financially and competence not to mention a very mean attitude towards patients.  When you get someone kind, gentle and helpful you are pathetically grateful.  I don’t have private health insurance but to achieve a good outcome before the problem gets worse I will pay.  I have also paid to see a Consultant because a condition was not explained or what the options were to enable you to make an informed decision.I do not advocate selling off bits of the NHS but it really does need a damned good shake up.  First hand knowledge of what has happened to family and friends over the last five years leaves me most concerned particularly for the elderly.

Elizabeth Ross ● 28d