Tuesday, 5 July 2011

NHS letters

Today is the 63rd birthday of the NHS - Happy Birthday to this wonderful service that we're blessed to have in this country! I am a huge fan of the NHS - the problems that people have with it are not down to the service but can be attributed to the misrunning of it and the influx of managers that appeared during Thatcher's time. It is a wonderful thing to have - just ask anyone who DOESN'T live in the UK what they think about free (at the point of delivery) healthcare.

Talking of deliveries, I should have sent a card, but in fact, the NHS beat me to it and sent me three letters today. One was to let me know that the blood test plus the other factors that they run through some statistical computer (and do Spearman's Rank Correlation on, no doubt) have come back with the result that the baby is unlikely to have Down's Syndrome. A massive relief. However, I hesitate to get too excited as when you start looking at the development of a baby human, there are myriad things that could go wrong - it's a miracle that most of us are born healthy!!

After congratulating myself on faffing about for a week but ending up saving a couple of quid on my iron tablets, I now find out that pregnant women are exempt from prescription charges as the second letter was a letter enclosing an "exemption certificate". Nobody mentioned that, so for once I now wish I'd faffed about a bit longer and taken advantage of the first free thing I've had in years. I did know that you got free dental care, which I must take up, so I guess I should have worked out the prescription thing!

Letter number three was to tell me that I am "not immune to rubella (german measles)". It goes on to say that rubella is very dangerous to unborn babies in the first three months as it can damage the baby's sight, hearing, heart and brain, but then says that if you're more than 20 weeks pregnant, it's unlikely that the baby will be affected. "In order to protect your next baby, we recommend that you have a vaccination soon after this one is born"....

Er...what is this "next baby" business????

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