Thursday, January 25, 2007

Needless Operations....Not for the Squemish!

Since the birth of our son, the missus, has suffered from really bad HMB (Heavy Menstrual Bleeding), not something that would have concerned me prior, because I am a bloke. Funnily enough I think most men tend to put the idea about periods etc into a box labelled women's problems, and shove it to the furthest recesses of our minds. Not because we don't care, but we were told it was none of our business as we were growing up, if it was ever mentioned at all. Ask any man who has grown up with sisters, you soon learn that women's periods are none of your business. Which is part of the problem, we blokes don't really know enough and from experience women don't really feel comfortable about our knowing.

However I digress somewhat, basically women have been suffering from bad periods, and please no PMT or PMS jokes, this is serious.

In the past the only ways to deal with the problem was either grin and bear it or take the Uterus away, a hysterectomy! No looking at the causes, next to no research etc etc. Again basically because it was a taboo subject!

Now in Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport there is a surgeon who can and does operate on fibriods, he studied in the USA holds many diplomas and qualifications, and removes the Fibriods through keyhole surgery. Andy Pickersgill is the Consultant and he is extremely good if not one of the best in his profession. His expertise in itself causes problems, as the local NHS Trust is more than a little reticent about paying for his work, the Trust argues that he can do 6 Hysterectomies for the cost of doing one keyhole fibroid operation.

Now whilst I can see the reasoning of the Trust, with regards to funding and the cost of the operation, I also can understand the difference these operations would and could make to countless women suffering from fibriods. Can it really be that easy to condemn a woman to life without her uterus because of financial expediency? Is not a woman's quality of life, after bringing in to this world new life, something that can be merely dismissed as unworthy of our help?

Surely if money can be wasted on new offices for the Chief Executive and the NHS middle managers, plus the greatest waste of all, meeting unwanted and ill conceived government targets, then money can and should be found for these operations.

After all in order to reduce the waiting lists so as to meet governmental targets, NHS Trusts over the country are paying the private sector to do hip and knee replacements, in Private Hospitals that charge upto £300 per night, plus the costs of the actual operations.

The NHS is making front line Nursing staff redundant as they cannot afford their wages, but at the same time paying Agency Nurses who are paid two and three times more, to cover the supposed redundant posts.

Our Mothers, Sisters, Wives and daughters deserve better from us!



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