Is the Health Service Looking After Patients or Failing to Care? My BBC Wales Interview

Tonight I was given the great opportunity to speak about something I have great passion for, the topic was patient care for chronic illnesses and the interviewers were the BBC. This Thursday a report will be released on chronic illnesses and how the patients with those conditions are treated by the health service. Thanks to Diabetes UK I was asked within my role as a media volunteer for the charity, to go along and speak to the BBC about my experiences. The interview footage will hopefully be used for a TV program that will be released alongside the report.

Having spoken to the BBC the day before we agreed to meet at the athletics track, often known as my natural habitat and because it gave an unexpected angle to the interview. As some people might assume that someone known as having a chronic illness might not be active as well. So this evening before training I met the camera-man and interviewer at the track to pre-record the interview for the program that will hopefully go out on BBC Wales this week. Giving a bit of background on my diabetes such as having had the condition since I was 13, meant that I could provide an input on the many transitions in diabetes that I’ve been through and also my varied experience on the health service.

The questions from the interviewer were based on whether I felt the services that I’ve received from the health service have been good or bad. I believe my answer was very balanced in that I talked about my transitions through diabetes clinic. Which have been a real mixture having loved my time in paediatric diabetes clinic, had a difficult time in the teenage clinic because of the approach of some of the healthcare professionals there and then having settled okay into adult clinic. Another question was about whether I felt that the medical professionals I’d come into contact with had been well trained enough in my condition. Unfortunately to this I had to answer no, that I didn’t believe that training had been adequate enough at all.

Having had two trips to A & E in the last couple of months I was left very concerned about the standard of care available. The first time I went was due to collapsing from a hypo as a result of a broken blood sugar monitor. On arrival to the hospital I was left for over 3 hours without food and with a communal jug of water for the whole department available, despite the nature of the reason that I’d come in. The second time I’d been close to ketones with the same broken monitor, which was never confronted and again was left in a waiting room after having given a massive correction dose with no food and at a high risk of hypos.

My story and answers will only be a small part of the whole TV piece, but I hope that it’s enough of an insight for those watching to take notice of the fact that it’s difficult enough to live with a chronic health condition. Without poor interaction with healthcare professionals. But it’s not all bad as I’ve met some wonderful medical staff along the way too and Diabetes UK have taken on part of the role of providing psycho-social care for patients, especially in Wales. But the whole thing is definitely a journey and we’re not at our destination of great healthcare yet!


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My blog takes you through a daily look at sport, diabetes and everything in between. As an athlete that lives with type 1 diabetes I want to let you into news, views and all that is important to both of my passions.

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