Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The NHS is wonderful except for–Blood Pressure

nice blood pressureAnd choice, I’ll make no bones about it, the NHS is blimin marvellous except when it isn’t and unfortunately we have no choice, its an authoritarian take or leave it service.

No surprise then to read that millions are being wasted on misdiagnosis of blood pressure problems, apparently patients give false indications (white coat syndrome)  when present in the doctors surgery or hospital.

It has been suggested by NICE, the organisation that advises the NHS on such matters  that rather than rely on testing in the surgery, which is the case for most, that  in future, patients should be monitored for 24 hours using a special gizmo designed for the purpose.

Now it seems obvious to me, that patients blood pressure is raised attending surgery, given that medical centre’s appear to be run for the convenience of staff and medics, not consumers, most of us, will have had a hard time getting an appointment, either due to criteria such as “You’ll have to ring in the morning” (to find if lucky enough to get through the telephone lottery, that 5 minutes after office is open there are no appointments) or  “is it an  emergency” ( you tell me?) etc.

I’m sure many people, in middle age, are subjected to routine blood pressure tests in surgery’s and I just wonder if any of these readings are a true reflection, many tests are done using grubby machines (presumably for cost reasons), placed in waiting rooms, they have, rather optimistic advice, relax and wait 5 minutes, how you relax in a busy thoroughfare is never explained.

I have no illusions about the health service, all those, clichés in TV dramas of caring medics, might have a tenuous link with the truth (who doesn’t want to do a good job in their work), however it seems to me the rather saintly view doesn’t hold water, I used to think that G.P. stood for general practice/practitioner, now I’m not sure it isn’t gross profit.

I don’t think I’ve seen my doctor for some years, its too difficult, earlier in the year I had an ear infection, after two days I saw the out of hours one (job done in three minutes), it seems like a major trauma, to conform to whatever the criteria is for arranging an appointment, this is down to the command economy of the NHS, like most I’ve paid for a service, to which I’m disconnected, as there is no link between service provider and consumer. Everything controlled by well paid Muppets who can go private.

General Practitioners are well paid, and so they should be, although a witless Labour government, probably overdid it on pay and decreases in hours, which explains why if you have some pressing health problem, the chances are you’ll have to see an out of hours doctor, who has kindly flown in from Lithuania for the weekend.

There needs to be some balance between what patients expect and what doctors can deliver, at the moment health industry in the form of the NHS has us consumers by the dangly’s there ought to be some element of rewarding good service or discouraging bad, maybe patients could be required to give marks out of ten, the health authority could then reward.

When I next have to do a blood pressure test, I shall try to relax by thinking happy thoughts, as how things should be and ignore the conversation 3 metres away, as some naive patent tries to arrange with the receptionist, that appointment “next week” which the doctor convinced them was so necessary. Anyway I shall keep taking the tablets.

Guardian Story


  1. Home blood pressure monitors are now not too expensive. Amazon has one similar to the one I have used for the last 10 years now on sale for £14.

  2. Dr Hilary Jones, Years ago, had his BP taken on live TV to show there is nothing to it. His BP live on air came out at something like 200/130 and he had to start blathering that he was under the studio lights under pressure stressed blah dee blah.

    White coat syndrome is something I have argued against my GPs for at least a decade. I have a home monitor. I refuse to attend hypertension clinics. I refuse to have my BP taken at surgery. I refuse cholesterol tests. I now refuse statins.

    I think it was the Joe Weider organisation that independently researched the height weight chart guidelines and found then seriously flawed. Including that medical research had failed to distinguish between those who became obese becuaes they ill as opposed to those who became ill because they obese.

    Now the tyranny of the aerobic stick insects may at last be approaching its ends with research showing that a heavy musculature is a boon for those of us with lung damage. Because the muscles contain two supplementary energy systems.

    Hence the sort of training in the gym for us old lungers is akin to MMA gym training. Bodybuilding lifted the bar on nutrition knowledge. MMA is lifting the bar again as we now know it is not as simple as strength and cardio. It should include "Strength endurance".

    At the gym I use there are MS sufferers, industrial and military service lung damage sufferers, right through to Mr Great Britain standard bodybuilders and amateur boxers and MMA lads. It is great.

    The NHS is great but it is vulnerable to the pharmaceutical giants using tainted research as a marketing tool for "Preventative prescribing".

    I think on statins a study of two groups of 800 over five years shew the untreated group had 13 cardio deaths. The treated group had 7. So over five years in 800 people statins prevented, on the face of it, 6 deaths. But the study did not show how many of the treated 800 had developed kidney or liver or muscle or tendon or ligament probs from the statins.

    Put in a nutshell statins benefitted about one in 800 people in any one year. The other 799 endured the side effects for no clinical advantage.

  3. My blood pressure only goes up when a nurse takes it, very strange.

  4. Spot on post Tony. Personally, I think the best form of healthcare is of the preventative variety.

    There is enough information on the web these days to enable one to avoid going to the quack for anything, other than a broken limb perhaps.

    Fact is, the reason for the malaise in the NHS, is that it is absolutely designed to be this bad, and as you pointed out, those responsible do not travel 'cattle class'.

    The NI premium is nothing more than another tax. The same old faces, hidden behind the pharma corporations, filling their bottomless boots under the guise of helping us get better, while at the same time hastening along their beloved eugenics agenda.

    Retired has nailed it too, fitness and diet are all important. I heard that statins are harmful to the brain, as the brain needs cholesterol to function properly.

    Student doctors are being taught how to diagnose symptoms and prescribe drugs to treat those symptoms, rather than identify the cause.

    It's just another racket, I'm afraid.

  5. You ought to consider doing yoga and Transcendental Meditation. Both can lower blood pressure.

  6. Far to many 'common purpose' graduates for my liking and thats before you take into account the amount of staff that belong to the secretive masonic orders which is enough reason to find alternatives wherever possible.

  7. Tea & toothpaste contain sodium fluorideFriday, 26 August 2011 at 10:22:00 BST

    I'll second that 5:32.

    If anyone needs any evidence of the evil intentions of some of these 'medical' people. First read this:

    Then watch this:

  8. actually very good post, BP are sky high when seeing the doctor or nurse and Peter Checkfield, I am 40 + and not very glam. and my DH got to know me in my 20's, I remember the day a mate of his he looked so glum and said "I always fancied nurses, the first time she came home covered in blood and the smell of sick... no! not nice"
    it is a real problem for HCP of all ranks and as nurses we tend to do several in a consult, that said my cut off is 3 as in the more you do it, the more stressful it is, I tend to find the 3rd is lower, but you do a high.
    if you as a consumer of the NHS are not aware we are aware of the White coat symdrome, then we have failed, but there again you could pay $1100 a month with a $2000 excess for a family of 4, and still wait 2 hour for your GP, or more because you can't actually make an appointment, you have to turn up.
    or 5 hours in a hospital where you have an excess of..$2000 dollars... the doctor I saw cost me $255 for I swear 20 second, give him some slack a minute!

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