photo by Richard Holden via PhotoRee

I often wonder how the provision of H&S care is seen by the general public. I get the impression that once people are purchasing a service that they stick with it, thinking that bad service is the norm. There needs to be more awareness of care and the fact that you purchase it like any other service. I mean, how many people will stick with the same company if they are unhappy with the service? Probably too many.

I also wonder if care is seen as a valuable comodity like a good builder or garage. Do people place a high value on a service that looks after them or is a care service like a utility; ‘bad service but it’ll do, I can’t be bothered to switch’. So this is the question that I am asking: Do you switch? If the service is bad and you are not getting what you want, are you going to try another company?

I think that many people do not realise what care is all about, so they accept whatever service is given. The public perception of care isn’t the same as inside the industry, not everybody knows what to expect from care. It seems that care has fallen into the medical trap – even if the service is bad, we still accept it because at the end of the day I came out alive. It doesn’t seem to matter that the whole experience was degrading and uncomfortable, and that I wasn’t treated like a human being; ‘they were busy and had much worse off people to deal with’.

A few years ago the government decided that we could ‘Choose & Book’ our own medical services, but when there is a monopoly on those services what choice is there really? Not many people can afford to purchase expensive medical services, so that choice is taken away from most people; It is the same with care. People don’t understand it and they don’t see it as valuable, which means that some services will remain poor at best.

I fear that until the profile of health and social care is raised and competition drives up standards, people won’t switch because they don’t know any better.

Now I’m not saying that there aren’t any good services out there, because believe me, there are some excellent companies around. It is just that, the people that I see and speak to don’t seem to be using them. Perhaps it is just the position that I am in or the people that I speak to, but there is a definite need for those people to switch to something better. In fact, there is a definite need for those people to value their own care at least as important as their car or house.

Come on people, you deserve better so make sure that you get it. Is it time for you to switch?