Last year, I was suffering from serious anxiety around my infant son getting ill. It was stopping me sleeping and eating. I had a couple of panic attacks. I ended up speaking to a psychotherapist to help me control these feelings. In retrospect, it feels like a part of this anxiety centred around a lack of confidence in the medical help available to us. My confidence had been eroded by the media picture of the NHS.
Day after day I see the NHS being attacked at every level. The people running it are useless. The nurses lack compassion. The doctors can’t speak English. It goes on and on.
A big thing that helped my anxiety was following doctors, nurses, paramedics and other healthcare professionals on twitter. That might sound trite, but I really think it helped. I could see that there are a huge number of people in the NHS who are really passionate and involved in their jobs.
This post is probably just going to become a hugely involved version of a “follow Friday”, but I thought I would highlight some of the best NHS twitter accounts out there. If I have missed you, I am sorry. If I have got your title a bit wrong, also sorry!
- @DrRanj – a paeds doctor who does a lot of really good TV and media work. Comes across as personable and honest.
- @Dr_Ayan – a GP who is also the BBC World News medical expert. Heavily into evidence based medicine, never afraid to say what he means.
- @kiershiels – peads doctor who you might remember from the first series of “Junior Doctors” on the BBC. Clearly passionate about his work. The most middle class man in the UK.
- @SepsisUK – The UK Sepsis Trust – the account is run by Dr Ron Daniels, an ITU doc. Always willing to engage. Sepsis kills more than 37k people each year in the UK, and for each person it kills it can destroy another person’s life. I urge everyone to take a look at what sepsis is and how to recognise it. Don’t rely on doctors and nurses to pick it up! My partner was admitted to hospital with suspected sepsis and because she was treated promptly and correctly, it was nipped in the bud.
- @DoctorChristian – I might not always agree with him or his shirts, but he does an awful lot to make the public aware of problems and how to solve them.
- @DrCJohn – anaesthetist who seems to need to learn something new each day. Less celeb that the ones above, but just as involved.
- The paramedics – @meditude, @HewettChris, and @StretcherMONKEY. These three accounts couldn’t be any more different to each other, but there is no doubt they all have the same goals.
- And finally, the ambulance control room, @AmbControl999. Honest and informative.
Give these guys a go. Or any of the other NHS staff on twitter. I’m almost certain it will leave you impressed rather than saddened.
Don’t blame what is happening to the NHS on these guys – blame it on our ridiculous government.
Thanks also has to go to the West Middlesex UCC which has seen me and my son several times, and seen us quickly and given us the best possible standards of care.