With a wife a couple of months away from giving birth, it is always disturbing to hear of stories from friends who have gone through a pregnancy recently and have suffered problems.
The latest horror story is a friend of ours, an NHS employee herself so not someone who would wish to denigrate the NHS, who gave birth yesterday. Her contractions went fro every ten minutes to five minutes, so they went to the hospital.
"You contractions are not close enough yet, go home" she was told.
She goes home, then the contractions get more frequent and more painful.
"Sorry, we don't have any beds. Come back when they are every two minutes", she is told
"But they are every two minutes", she replies.
"Well you can come in, but you'll have to go to the ante-natal department as you are still not urgent enough to have a bed in delivery"
So she comes in to the hospital, and is turned away again, this time she is told to "Take a walk around the grounds and have something to eat".
When she almost collapses in agony in the restaurant, her waters breaking, suddenly medical staff can find her a bed !
What is wrong with the NHS these days that women are expected to arrive at hospital five minutes before they give birth and go home three hours later. I've spent longer in a restaurant, and they at least give you a chair there and don't make you take a walk !