One of my first posts a few years back was about a government TV advert in the run up to Christmas warning us not to undercook our turkeys as we could kill our families. Just what you need to build a happy Christmas atmosphere. It didn't apply to us anyway as we were having goose. A fine example of the nanny state in all its glory.
Currently there is a ridiculous state sponsored NHS advert warning us that we could be dying of bowel cancer if our 'poo' is a bit dodgy. Yes, nanny even calls it 'poo', as if preaching to a nation full of three year olds. I assume it is aimed at adults as all the sorrowful looking faces in the advert of the people who have been told their 'poo' indicates terminal illness are pretty old.
Yesterday I accompanied somebody to the local hospital. It involved spending a lot of time sat in the out-patients waiting room. If you ever have to spend time in a hospital waiting room please do not read the notices on the walls. Stare at the floor or ceiling or bury your face in a 1999 copy of National Geographic that you'll find on a formica table. The notices could quite easily induce a frightening level of paranoia.
To give you a flavour I saw Vera Duckworth on one poster informing me to be careful if I get out of breath when walking, it's probably not age or lack of fitness, it's probably emphysema. Another warned me that if my pee has changed colour, or I'm peeing more than usual, I probably have bladder cancer. There was another regarding my pee that warned I might have prostate cancer. At least the ones warning me I might have bowel cancer used the words 'stool' and 'faeces' rather than 'poo'. I was also invited to an information session on drug and alcohol abuse, warning me that if I drink more than so many units of alcohol a week I'm probably dying of cirrhosis. Yet another warned me that if I have a pint then drive I will kill a child.
The problem is that the nanny state behaving like this doesn't exactly put patients at ease when they sit reading all this just before seeing a doctor, especially when they are pretty nervous in the first place. Strangely there wasn't a notice about paranoia or hypochondria.
I couldn't help wondering how much all this crap costs. Money that could be spent cutting waiting lists or, in our case, just getting the local NHS Trust up to an acceptable standard as it is currently 'in crisis'.