Political Promise

Praise be the NHS

In David Brownsey-Joyce on October 19, 2010 at 1:01 pm

A sharp pain above a tooth brought a new level of appreciation for the NHS from David Brownsey-Joyce.

This last week I had what can only be described as a rather painful experience, an abscess in my mouth presented and produced pain, puss and opportunities to look like an idiot; it also made me appreciate the NHS more than I had in a long time.

Going about my working week I developed a slow pain in my upper left jaw, above a specific tooth, that by confession suffered a little (well more than a little) during my time at university where literally a third of it fell out and was subsequently replaced by a rather large filling. Well above this specific evil tooth, my gums started to present swelling and then form into a rather nasty lump that would eventually ‘pop’ and distribute large quantities of bacteria based puss; all rather disgusting and if you are eating whilst reading this I apologise.

After a while I couldn’t take it any more and escaped the confines of the office to seek immediate assistance; having searched Camden Council’s website for information on dental services, thank you Camden, I left for an emergency walk in centre in Kentish Town.

On arrival I was immediately informed that I could be seen that day and proceeded to fill in a number of pieces of paperwork including the acceptance of NHS dental charges, boo, but then again £16.50 for a check-up with no notice seems quite a bargain. I was lying down being examined, prodded, x-rayed and shown images of the abuse that I had done to my tooth within two hours of rocking up at the dental centre.

The staff were excellent, providing nothing but first class care, a joke or two and reassurance that it would all be taken care of. I left the centre completely at ease, with a diagnosis of a mass infection in the roots, of my evil tooth, a prescription for antibiotics (these are making me rather goofy, not to mention suffering dry mouth) which I picked up from the local chemist, a list of local NHS dentists in the area, and all of this without having to register, without having to give notice.

I even had time to turn up at the nearest NHS dentist to where I now currently live, check if they were taking on new NHS patients and arrange an appointment to have the offending area checked once my infection has died down, and hopefully have the evil tooth vanquished once and for all; an extraction seems drastic but once your root is infected you have a choice of extraction or root canal, and the roots in question were rather small so success is not guaranteed.

It could of course been a totally different outcome, up until I moved to London I lived in small towns that did not have that many NHS dentists available, in fact my previous dentist would not have been able to help me as they do not carry out extractions and most likely would have directed me to another dentist or tried root canal even with it’s small chance of success in my case.

It is unfortunately the case in many of the smaller areas of the country that they do not have that many choices available to them and this is unlikely to change. The same could be said of GP surgeries, A & Es and specialised medical treatment centres; all of them tend to congregate in large cities and towns, providing the greatest care to the greatest disposition of people.

I have nothing but the highest praise for our NHS dentists and medical staff as a whole they work long hours, under immense pressure and have to deal with us the British public.

They are our greatest public service the one that allows us to be born healthy, immunise us from childhood diseases, help us get back to work when ill and to finally die in peace. They are not perfect and there are those that would disagree with me about the level of competence within the NHS because they have both strong and weak staff but ultimately they try their best to help us out of a sense of pride and service to the people of this country.

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