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Healthcare - Nocare

(41 Posts)
Nanban Sun 17-Nov-13 17:29:27

Here's a story - a neighbour is in her 70s, has osteoporosis, Crohn's disease and a recently repaired fractured hip. She had a feeding peg fitted and has been sent home to her husband who has terminal lung cancer.

First carer turfed up to set up her night-time feed, sees the peg, says 'well I've never seen one of those before', but not to be defeated out came her Ipad and she found 'feeding peg, instructions for use' - 2 hours of trying later, she left. The feeding bag dangled all night with no effect whatsoever.

Next carer turfed up next morning and admitted to no training, but dismantled the unused overnight feed ready for the evening carer to put a new one up. Heyho, he arrived [young man, old lady] and cheered everyone up with 'I've had a training session now, and am sure I can do this'. Next morning, the carer simply didn't turn up and so my latest news is that late morning she was still wired up .....

LizG Sun 17-Nov-13 17:40:08

This must not be allowed to go on. Call emergency doctor, ambulance, anyone to get help for this lady. What an horrendous situation!

Soupy Sun 17-Nov-13 17:52:01

In my day this would have been dealt with by the District Nursing team!
And it jolly well would have dealt with correctly!

JessM Sun 17-Nov-13 18:06:51

Not carer activity surely. They have no nursing qualifications. Poor woman.

Nanban Sun 17-Nov-13 18:09:37

Can't do it - we have to stand by because only her husband, son, daughter can complain and that is why the NHS get away with hurting, killing people.

Just one small story amongst oh so very many. And inevitably the next post will be from someone praising their NHS care - and I'll say compared with what! Were you able to speak, feed yourself, move. Just because you have survived the NHS does not mean that your experience was as good as it should have been. Just because you are grateful for surviving at all, does not mean that your treatment should and could have been much, much better. Next time, watch out.

The sickest institution in our country is the NHS, and it's terminal.

Sook Sun 17-Nov-13 18:14:26

That is disgusting! Poor woman left in this situation

Mishap Sun 17-Nov-13 20:03:44

There's nothing to stop you ringing the GP and saying how worried you are about your neighbour. No-one should be dealing with a PEG without the proper training - quite ridiculous.

merlotgran Sun 17-Nov-13 20:27:47

Are the carers employed by an agency? Don't be too quick to blame the NHS if the agency is not employing fully trained carers.

janerowena Sun 17-Nov-13 20:39:47

I wouldn't be surprised if they were asked if they could cope at home, and she wanted to go home so much that she said yes. Because i had it happen with my next door neighbour. She was delivered to my door (she had no idea where her key was) in an ambulance in her nightie, at an advanced stage of cancer, I gave her tea and cake and had to send her back again. Her daughter lives in France and she had to come over and sort it out.

I have heard more of that happening from relatives about elderly parents several times over the past few weeks. I think in this case, social services need contacting. A friend of mine who is ill and has MS and no feeling in her extremities has just had to get someone to drive her across the country because her mother told the hospital that her daughter would take care of her at home - so a neighbour rang when said mother aged 96 after a bad fall and attached to a drip arrived home in an ambulance. As my friend has 'flu it's hardly an ideal situation. The hospitals seem to be too quick to take the elderly people's word for it when they say that they will receive adequate care.

Aka Sun 17-Nov-13 21:13:52

I wish I was surprised but sadly I'm not. It's a total shambles.

Nanban Sun 17-Nov-13 22:00:40

Nope, she wasn't desperate to get home, and her husband certainly can't cope so he would rather she had stayed in, and the hospital sent her out with their 'care package' in place. There is no wriggle room for the NHS.

Aka - for sure it is a total shambles and the most vulnerable people, the ones who have no fight in them, or cannot speak, haven't the capability of fight or complain are shunted off.

One day we may all be in that place and we should all be very afraid. This isn't unusual, or a one-off but one of thousands.

Iam64 Mon 18-Nov-13 09:19:22

The age old battle between the NHS and Social Care about who is responsible continues. No doubt someone somewhere (the hospital?) has said the peg feeding can be done by 'any qualified practitioner' and the agency have said they have such practitioners. The agency probably got the work in the area by submitting the cheapest tender.
I once had a stand off with a consultant after we were asked to put services in for an 86 year old woman, with no relatives who the hospital decided to send home at 3pm on afternoon, 4 days after a double mastectomy, because they needed her bed. I was able to persuade the hospital to continue to care for her, so the social care assessment process could take place.
Co-ordination of health and social care is long over due. These border disputes about who should pay for what help nobody.

Maywalk Tue 19-Nov-13 19:20:54

Have they not got an alarm?
I have and if I had been left in a situation like that then I would have soon pressed it and had the paramedics in.
They in turn would have got on to the hospital concerned and things would start moving from there.
Many folks have a lifeline alarm that they either have from Age Concern or their own local council. It does have to be paid for BUT it has saved my life at least 6 times since I first started with Epilepsy when I had turned 80 years of age. Worth considering if they have not got one already and IF they have one and things get too much then I suggest they press it to get help.

grangrumps1 Wed 20-Nov-13 14:52:00


Lona Wed 20-Nov-13 15:32:54

Nanban That is disgusting, couldn't you just call an ambulance for her?

Nanban Wed 20-Nov-13 17:46:05

Elderly people - really elderly - come from a stoic generation who don't want to be a bother. It isn't possible to over-ride their feelings and complain on their behalf, call paramedics etc because they would feel embarrassed and upset and all sorts and it would make a bad situation worse. Which is precisely why the NHS gets away with their rotten service.

I have an elderly aunt who had trigeminal neuralgia; into the local elderly 'care' hospital she went and dosed up on diamorphine. We lived 100 miles away. I had a phone call, she was at home!!!! She was hallucinating, had walked off the ward, onto a bus - in her hospital clothes with slippers - had no money for fare, got off and crossed a dual carriageway to her home and thankfully telephoned me.

I rang the hospital who had not, to that point missed her, and then sent someone out to take her back. When I complained, I was told that only she could make a complaint and they could not discuss her with me because of the Data Protection Act! Voila!

ninathenana Wed 20-Nov-13 17:49:10

It's a disgusting and shameful situation but also slightly puzzling. When they talked about DGS having a PEG fitted DD was told the district nurse would call and oversee things.
Are we looking at another postcode lottery for care I wonder.

wisewoman Wed 20-Nov-13 19:16:38

I think the NHS in England is much worse than in Scotland - further down the privatisation road! It used to be district nurses who did this sort of care now it is untrained underpaid carers. Am currently reading a book called The Plot Against the NHS by Colin Leys and STewart Player. It discusses the creeping privatisation of the NHS in England and everyone who cares about the NHS should read it. The authors claim that creeping privatisation is happening so gradually that we don't realise what is happening! At the moment the NHS in Scotland is much better but where England goes we will no doubt follow. It is scary for us oldies.

Eloethan Wed 20-Nov-13 22:59:30

re: the new laws that are being discussed at the moment to enable NHS staff to be prosecuted and imprisoned for poor care, does anyone know if this only relates to the NHS or to private providers also?

Nanban Thu 21-Nov-13 20:41:14

The District Nurse certainly does oversee things - but in reality that means he/she calls once every now and again, is usually late, rushed to get through the 'to do' list and thinly spread.

The NHS is the sickest organisation in our country and whenever nurses want a pay rise what do we see on TV, paediatric intensive care. When was the last time during a pay dispute we saw geriatric, psychiatric or home care. No threat of legal action will change attitudes. There are too many shift changes, staff passing through for firm finger pointing. The person whose name appears over the bed should be the person responsible - but we all know that's not gonna happen.

bluebell Thu 21-Nov-13 21:05:46

Nanban - you are being really unfair with your blanket condemnation. Of course there are problems with the NHS but your hyperbolic comments do not contribute to any form of rational debate

Iam64 Sun 24-Nov-13 18:41:09

Wisewoman - I agree with you that the NHS in England is a long way down the privatisation route. That is confirmed by friends who work in the NHS and my own experience as a patient. The real problem is how any future government will find it possible to re-establish a properly funded NHS for the future.

Wheniwasyourage Sun 24-Nov-13 19:01:00

Can I just put in a word for some of the NHS at least? I am in Scotland, which helps, and it worries me that reports from England are so bad.

My mother died earlier this year after a fairly long decline, mentally and physically. The district nurses who helped her with her catheter were kind and caring, but the small local hospital where she spent the last 4 months of her life (she should have gone into a home, but by the time we found a place she was too ill) gave her the best possible care involving a lot of pretty heavy and personal nursing. The staff, nursing and medical, were kind to her and also to us, and as we all came from a long way from where she was, in the Borders, they allowed us to visit at almost any time (except, understandably, meal times) that any of us could manage. The care could only be described as wonderful.

The NHS in England is sadly disintegrating and I don't know what you can do about it, but I hope you can find some answer.

Nanban Sun 24-Nov-13 19:58:09

bluebell - I speak as I find and it has opened up a debate which appears quite rational, for pros and cons - you may notice, mostly cons. From your reaction could it be that you work for the NHS?

gracesmum Sun 24-Nov-13 20:08:58

WhenIwasyourage was your Mum in the BGH? I ask because both my parents died there and while the hospital might not have been at the cutting edge of the most advanced developments in medicine, they received cheerful loving care from local nurses- most of whom knew them personally as everybody knows everybody in the Borders and while Dad was dying, my sister (who was over from Canada) and I stayed over for the final 4 nights in the little side room they gave Dad, we had reclining chairs, enough cups of tea to sink the Jeanie Deans and were (absolutely accurately) advised when we could safely leave him for a shower, bit of a break etc. We managed to be there at the very last and when he had died they let us stay with him (bringing us more cups of tea) and showing great tact and humanity in all that they did. I could not have asked for more.