NHS - A frightening experience.
On early Monday morning, I took my wife in for an eye operation under general anaesthetic at Leicester Royal Infirmary. We were told she may be able to come home same day. Later that day, I was advised that she could be collected from the ward between 3:30 and 4:00 pm. The surgeon had seen her after the op., and she gave my wife this news.
About 2:15 pm., a nurse (I assume) rang me and (insistently) said to fetch her now. I said I would come to the nearest car park (opposite A&E), but told her I knew parking would cause some delay. I arrived outside the hospital at 2:55 pm, and it took me one hour to park and reach the ward on the 6th., floor. Getting to that floor, I identified myself. At first they could not find her, then a nurse said she had taken her to the entrance/exit near A&E and had left her there. On saying they had better find her quickly, this nurse went with me to this entrance/exit. My wife was standing in a sagged manner near to the taxi pick up point. We got her back inside, the nurse found a wheelchair, and I had to take her through the hospital to a far car park where it was the only place to park.
On the Wednesday morning, I decided to make a complaint on the NHS review forum. My wife, who doesn't like fuss, said she may have caused some confusion - don't know why - this was some 24 hours later, when she was more lucid.
I said that under no circumstances should she have been taken and left alone, in the cold, after dark, barely 3 hours after coming round from the anaesthetic. I dismissed any question of her being the cause of what happened, because she was clearly in a confused, drugged state. Proper procedures were clearly breeched.
I got an email reply from the NHS, and given the name of the Lead Nurse and her phone number, and told to contact her. She was not available, so a deputy took the call. I explained that as, very fortunately, no damage had occurred, I was not looking for anyone to be seriously disciplined, but I did expect the nursing staff to be written the riot act to ensure that no other patients were put through this neglect. Ability to park anywhere around this hospital is a known nightmare, and the time it took me was not abnormal.
The Lead Nurse was supposed to have been asked to call back to speak to me, but it hasn't happened - after a further 24+ hours, it obviously will not happen.
One interesting point. During our conversation, and my criticism of the parking chaos, I was told that the hospital (presumably their admin) had asked Leicester City Council for improvements in parking facilities, but this was turned down on the grounds that they (the council) wanted people to be encouraged to use the bus.
Don't these incompetent fools realise that patients are brought and collected by car because they are ill or badly incapacitated? Even under hospital guidelines, collecting patients by bus is a definite no-no.
We had a similar experience when my wife was being discharged from hospital, I went to collect her, as arranged, but just we thought we were leaving, they said that we had to wait for her prescription meds.
They had already given her bed to a new patient, and my wife was left sitting in a hospital bed for 3 hours, which was uncomfortable for her, we waited, and waited?
Then I lost my temper and told them I was taking her home right now! They asked me to come back later that evening to pick up her pills, (as they were really important for her health)
I went back later, as requested, and still no pills, in the end I had to go back the next day, and after yet another hours wait, I got them?
People take up a job for all manner of reasons. After the obvious one, which is to earn a living, it can simply be because nothing else is available. Where the care of the sick and infirm is concerned, if thoughtful care of patients is not part of that worker's ethos, then disgraceful situations are almost certain to occur.
Recent terrible revelations in the care homes for the elderly have shown how easily evil-minded staff can get onto the payroll of these establishments. Are there any secure precautions to ensure that hospitals are a different matter? I'm thinking of the reports about patients actually dying of dehydration, simply because they were not given water.
In my experience (over my 64 years) it is now my impression that young staff in the NHS just have no understanding of care or courtesy for older patients nor their families.
For example. An elderly relative of mine with a broken leg had been taken in by ambulance for an Xray to monitor progress of recovery. As she was being booked in by the receptionist on that Department, I was with my relative to help answer the questions, but the receptionist told me to go and have a cup of tea in the adjacent cafe. How she got any coherent answers from my relative, I just do not know. Anyway, when I returned to X-Ray my relative had by then been transferred to A&E, where we then had a completely uncomfortable and unneccessary wait.
What has gone wrong with the NHS. is it a training or a recruitment problem?
I am not sure if it is some kind of change in human nature, or the fault of successive governments, but I do not see any signs of people having a 'vocation' any more. People just consider themselves lucky just to be in employment, and will seem to take the first job that comes along. As an example, I have met a few people who have undergone full degree courses at univertity delivering pizzas and the like. I wonder if the lack of self-respect and self-discipline plays a part?
I last spent any time in Hospital over ten years ago. I felt the need to point out on a few occasions that I was not one of a herd of cattle, and that I would not be treated as such, although on some occasions I was a little more diplomatic about it.
I think this is one of the main problems"full degree courses at univertity " not enough hands on in the wards,best treatment I had in my local hospital was by military nursing staff,the head nurse on the ward was a RN Sister,who made sure the staff gave the best treatment,oh and I was a 70year old civvy
And there has still been no reply!
Originally Posted by Snowball
Only recently - I can't remember if it was a news item, or a programme actually about hospitals - but it was said that when a nurse was asked to help a woman who had been sick, the reply was, "I'm a graduate - I don't do 'sick'!"
Originally Posted by davesdad
Quote......."What has gone wrong with the NHS. is it a training or a recruitment problem?"
In my experience, it was being given impossible dead lines, and poor planning, that made it impossible for us to give the care and attention to the patents that we would have liked to.
Managers who had no experience of "hands on patent care" or even experience on the road, who were in charge of road crews?
In our case, smudger, the nurse, in doing what she should not have done, used up more of the "time they don't have" by not following procedure.
I find the treatment of your wife after a GA is bad. I was a critical care nurse and had the authority to discharge patients after certain criteria were met. 1. the surgeon was not allowed to discharge on the day of operation if it was a GA only the anaesthetist or myself if the anaesthetist had given me permission to do so and any wounds stable. 2. No patient over 70 was allowed discharge until later in the evening after GA. If the op was pm then it was next day. Any patient having opiate pain relief (eg Morphine) was not allowed home that day either. 3. The only method of allowing someone home was by car, ambulance or taxi accompanied by a responsible adult. The bus was NOT an option. Your wife sounded as if she had not fully recovered from the anaesthetic. Regarding the current method of nurse training I can only say that there are good and bad. Some are too cocky for their own good (and the patients). I actually had to warn a nurse who had just qualified that if she tried to look after a critically ill patient that had arrived on the unit, on her own, I would report her to the NMC as she had not got the experience. Just because the sister had told her to. (This was a bank shift for me in another hospital) I also had a quiet word in the anesthetists lughole to point out that he would be reported to the GMC for bullying her to take the patient. 20 years in critical care gives you that edge of speaking out if necessary.
Last edited by Trainman; 20-12-13 at 15:19.