I love the NHS but the people who run it are proving themselves to be, from where I’m sitting, as nasty, sick and cynical as the wretched politicians who run this country.
Does that sound like I’m laying it on a bit thick? You wouldn’t think that if, like me, you lived with diabetes and woke this morning to the horrible sick fear that key parts of the medication that kept you alive were being deemed “low priority” and were set to be taken off prescription.
This morning, it was announced by NHS England that it would stop prescribing “gluten-free pizzas, cakes and biscuits” (as described in their own press release). GPs, they said, will now also be barred from prescribing “silk garments and bath oils, homeopathy and products that are available over the counter, often at lower cost, to treat 35 minor conditions, such as paracetamol and cough mixture”.
Well, thank goodness for that, you might think. GPs aren’t there to prescribe high quality clothing and tasty snacks after all! Surely this message could only be met with positivity! But then you read the fine print. Because down there next to silk jim-jams and tasty snacks are what they’ve now decided are “low priority medications” getting struck off too, such as “blood glucose testing strips” and “needles for pre-filled and reusable insulin pens”.
Now I have type 1 diabetes, which is a life-threatening autoimmune disorder for which there is no cure. Since I was two years old, I have required insulin injections several times a day to metabolise carbohydrate because my body no longer produces the stuff.
Regular use of those testing strips to monitor my blood sugar levels reduces the chance of my contracting some pretty nasty complications. They include blindness, amputations, kidney disease and more besides (which are all fairly expensive to treat).
So you can, perhaps, understand my alarm when I read the news stories, and then referred back to the press release that generated them.