Home > Dorset Chamber News > People Of Bournemouth Say Waiting On The NHS Has A Detrimental Effect On Mental Health

People Of Bournemouth Say Waiting On The NHS Has A Detrimental Effect On Mental Health

Posted on: 01/06/2018

New research released this week reveals one in 10 Bournemouth residents over the age of 60 have waited almost half a year for an operation or diagnostic test on the NHS with one in five saying the wait impacted on their mental health. There was also an emotional cost to waiting – for the individual and their family – according to the results.

The survey, commissioned by not-for-profit healthcare provider, Nuffield Health, found adults aged 60+, waiting for an operation felt “vulnerable”, “scared”, “anxious” and “stressed”, with one in three people from Bournemouth saying they put their lives on hold as a result. One in six also reported deterioration in their health while waiting.

With NHS waiting lists growing for both diagnostic tests and many commonly performed surgical procedures involving hips, knees, hearts and joints, there are alternatives available for treatment.  Private medical insurance is one, but people can also choose self-pay; meaning people can get their life back to normal more quickly and reduce the physical and emotional cost of waiting.

 Having had a hip replacement, Olympic medallist and javelin thrower, Steve Backley OBE knows the importance of dealing with health issues to get life back on track: “Anyone who has waited for a medical test or procedure will know that during this time, your life is on hold. Your health is your greatest asset, so it’s no surprise to see 68% of people from Bournemouth rating their health as more important than happiness and wealth.”

“I was in pain for years before my hip operation and the pain was preventing me from exercising, running after the kids and doing the things I love. I wasn’t able to fully participate in family life. Life after my hip operation has been full of new challenges and experiences that I would have missed out on. I would encourage anyone waiting for a medical procedure to explore all options to get your life back on track as soon as possible.”

Bournemouth residents also said the wait made them less fun to be around (20%) and left them feeling anxious and short-tempered (10%). 30% also said they “didn’t feel like themselves” while waiting with 20% “unable to focus on the here and now”.

Findings also showed the wider impact of waiting on family and friends: for one in three Brits waiting for an operation or diagnostic test, the wait had a negative impact on their families. One in 10 also reported having to cancel social engagements or postpone holidays, with others having to take time off work.

Director of Nuffield Health’s Bournemouth Hospital, David McNair said: “It’s disheartening to know that people can be missing out on major events and activities in their later years, because of waiting for medical tests and treatment. With no waiting lists at our hospitals and a bespoke recovery plan, we’re able to help people get back to being themselves, and getting on with life, as quickly as possible.”

Nuffield Health Bournemouth offers arrange of diagnostic tests and operations with no waiting lists. It also offers Private GP services, Health Assessments and Physiotherapy–bringing together a spectrum of healthcare services.

To find out more please visit https://www.nuffieldhealth.com/nowaitinglist, or call 0300 123 1995.

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