Friday, 12 November 2010

I Go Private You Know!

Ah! the NHS, that cradle to grave service that's served me well. I can gaze directly into other people's eyes rather than having them think that there's something more interesting over their shoulder. A good surgeon fixed my squint you see. And I've had excellent treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome, depression and all sorts of aches and pains in the past. Not forgetting the wonderful practitioners who were instrumental in bringing  Louis into the world.  Why would I want to go elsewhere for healthcare when you can get so much for free?

Yet in the last year I've forked out for private healthcare practitioners twice. No, I haven't given up on Anusol and succumbed to the knife for a proper eye job to remedy the bags. On the first occasion 'White Van Man' rear ended me  and I got  whiplash.   I could have waited for an NHS physiotherapist but  I wanted to control the speed of access to a service and take control of my own treatment.  So I saw Sharon, an osteopath who owns  Still Point House in Bovey Tracey.   Not only did I get effective and fast relief from my pain,  she worked in a way that matched my own belief system.

This week I've again taken 'the Harley Street' route.  I have problems with Morton's Neuroma, which causes severe pain in the base of my foot.  I've learnt to self manage this, mainly by wearing a range of ugly but comfy shoes (Think Crocs, Birkenstocks and Dr Scholl).  However the problem persists if I pursue my much loved sporting activities that need specialist footwear. 

Now the NHS has limited resources and I didn't feel that helping me continue my chosen leisure pursuits was a good use of public money, even though I firmly believe that there is a valid argument in some cases for this. After all,  I'm an occupational therapist with firm views about the power of activity to improve health.  But,  I decided to seek private help to help me get the best out of my extra special ski holiday that is planned for January (watch this space!). So I consulted Simon at Penninsula Podiatry who not  only carried out an impressive assessment but also made me two foot orthoses, all for the bargain price of £35.

Both therapists that I've seen provided a holistic service that I felt went way beyond my expectations.  They were both aware of the financial cost of their intervention and were mindful about providing the best value.  
As someone who has previously worked in a fee based financial environment I found this very refreshing!

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