My mum had a leukaemia relapse. We asked about a bone marrow transplant on 15 April and agreement to fund the cost of a transplant was given to us a week later. Within a month she'd had the transplant.
Sounds good, doesn't it? There's only one problem. The whole story reads like this:
My mum had a leukaemia relapse. Her consultant said that within a year she would be dead, thanks to her PCT's decision not to fund a bone marrow transplant. We appealed, but the PCT denied the appeal, despite the fact that many other PCT's fund bone marrow transfers.
We asked [a charity that I know a member of] about a bone marrow transplant on 15 April and agreement to fund the cost of a transplant was given to us a week later. Within a month she'd had the transplant.
This is not a very well-known charity. They don't advertise on TV, they don't accept money from the government and they don't have famous people advocating them or brightly coloured bangles that you can buy. It is, as far as I can tell, exactly what a charity should be: it takes voluntary donations from people, has real people who listen to requests and decide the merits of each case very quickly. They don't "chug", they don't even have volunteers shaking collecting cans outside supermarkets.
And they can do a better job in individual cases than the NHS, as could many other charities of the same kind. If people weren't funding the NHS, these charities could get some of that wasted money and use it to provide targeted care to people who needed it.
Because even with the billions of pounds that the government throws uncaringly at the NHS, the NHS is in too many cases not delivering what is needed by the people who need health care.