Reader Julie writes:
I was interested to see the BBC's South East Today programme coming live from Margate's QEQM hospital yesterday, especially as I have a relative who has been there for a few weeks. I was not surprised to see patients saying how marvellous everything was as ill people are often very grateful for whatever treatment they get. However I visit my elderly mother every day and can tell a different story. She has been left in soiled clothing for several hours, and chairs where she has been sitting in soiled garments have subsequently not been cleaned for days. Heart monitor alarms at nursing stations seem to be regularly ignored as the leads come off patients so frequently the staff can no longer be bothered to check whether it is a real emergency. On Thursday they carried out a thorough cleaning inspection but this seems to have been for the benefit of the cameras arriving the following day since my mother had never seen them do it before. I know the place has improved a lot and I am generally a supporter of the NHS but what I have seen has made me fearful for my mother's recovery.
Well, Julie, what you have witnessed is probably a one-off and I'm sure your mother is being well cared for. I personally would not have a word said against the NHS as they have saved my life on numerous occasions. Why, only last year when I was diagnosed with skin cancer (too much fun in the Caribbean sun!), my GP immediately rushed me past a nine month NHS waiting list to a private consultant in Canterbury. By paying out of my own pocket I also relieved them of the substantial burden of having to cough up for a highly-paid specialist! Now that's what I call a health service!