When I first met Tracey and people who were already familiar with her, I had no idea of all the hard work she had been putting in over the years for free! Her compassionate approach was outstanding and although not a nurse or a health professional she had a vast knowledge of B12 Deficiency. This had developed from her own research into symptoms that the doctors had no explanation for. Tracey’s narrative can be read on her website here – B12 Deficiency .
Tracey is arguably a very compassionate person as she shares a universal understanding of the problems people with this disorder can face as well as the diversity of different people’s needs. Tracey is also able to help other people to recover by sharing her knowledge and experience and supporting them in navigating the complex health care journey.
I have been fortunate to learn from Tracey and her compassionate approach towards raising awareness for people with B12 Deficency, who might also have been misdiagnosed with Dementia, Depression, Psychosis, Confusion, Anxiety and more.
At a recent training event Tracey told us a weekly injection of B12 costs 55 pence, often bought online because health professionals cannot or will not prescribe it. That works out at about 25 pounds per year ??? That is the cost of compassionate care, by listening to the patient and identifying universal goals, diverse needs and genuine or authentic, person-centred recovery outcomes.
The cost of compassionless care is far more, while patients are put through needless investigations and possible hospitalisations costing thousands of pounds every year. The Kings Fund (2011) estimate that over 1 billion pounds per year could be saved by cutting the use of emergency beds and consequent hospital stays due to falls, confusion, dementia and delerium all of which could be caused by B 12 deficiency.
The real cost however is to individual people and their families as they lose precious time together due to fatigue, illness and even death. Compassionless care has huge costs for all of us and it will not relent, until we start listening to people and caring compassionately about what they are telling us.