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To rant about NHS

(27 Posts)
harrigran Wed 04-Dec-13 23:26:40

My sister was admitted, as an emergency, to an assessment unit and was told she would be going to theatre after lunch yesterday. She had had not eaten since Sunday so not a problem, except that she didn't go to theatre yesterday or this morning or this afternoon nor tonight. She rang me at 8pm to say they were trying to send her home to return in the morning when they would put her on the theatre list. She is on Morphine and in distress but has stood her ground and told them she is staying put in case they don't have a bed for in the morning. When I saw this afternoon she was on her fifth litre of fluids, thankfully, or she would be dehydrated too.
The corridor of the ward was littered with equipment and the whole appearance was chaotic. On the way out DH said to me that McDonalds were cleaner and better run perhaps the NHS should recruit from there.

Blinko Sat 07-Dec-13 14:58:02

I used to work in a benefit office. Amongst other things, we paid steelworkers when they worked short time hours. In normal times, the steelworks operated 24/7/365 at full capacity. If a steelworks can do it, why not the NHS?

harrigran Fri 06-Dec-13 23:24:00

My sister went home last night. Today she openly posted on fb that she was ashamed of the NHS she worked for. I asked her if she was going to complain and she said she would be making a formal complaint.
A lady in the ward had been admitted and spent three days in her skirt and jumper in bed, she had no visitors and nobody thought to offer her a gown or a towel so she could wash her face.
The ward she was taken to after theatre was spotlessly clean but it was still difficult to get anyone to help my sister with toilet and so on.

JessM Fri 06-Dec-13 21:09:22

hi janthea and congratulations. Really not good enough. Complain. Copy in your MP.

janthea Fri 06-Dec-13 14:54:46

Two and a half weeks ago, my DD has baby no. 3 by C section. My DD has a heart complaint and is under a specialist at the hospital. She spent 6 hours in intensive care after the c section before being moved to the general ward. She was put in the bed and told a nurse would be with her shortly. After an hour, no one has turned up. I went to the desk and asked when someone would come to see her. The nurse she had been busy, but would come soon. There were 4 nurses hanging around the reception desk! My daughter waited a further 30 minutes before one turned up and moved her catheter bag from the bed and gave her a cursory check. 24 hours they wanted to discharge her!! 24 hours after a major op!?! Luckily when they read the notes, her heart specialist said she had to stay in a minimum of 48 hours.

She couldn't wait to get home. The bathrooms were filthy. There was toast under the bed from the previous occupant and nobody seemed to have time to talk to any of the patients. And this is the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, a famous teaching hospital. Lots of celebs use it, but they are private and I bet the service they get is infinitely better.

annsixty Fri 06-Dec-13 09:11:24

My 84 year old SiL has recently spent 3 weeks in The Royal Derby Hospital which was opened with great ceremony by the Queen in 2010. She had not one good thing to say about her treatmemt and stay and has pleaded not to ever be sent back. When she left she was given a form to comment on her stay and she just wrote HELL across it. When staff saw it someone said "you can't say that, this goes upstairs " to which my SiL replied "good, that is where it should go" but does it, I wonder.

LizG Fri 06-Dec-13 08:01:32

My daughter has been unable to walk now for nine weeks. The diagnosis has gone like this: fracture/tissue damage/fracture/tissue damage. There have been several weeks between diagnosis and no-one realises this is causing major problems. Overall she has been off work now for 13 weeks because she broke her toe prior to this and has been on SSP. All the doctors say is 'we will sign you off' they don't realise she is desperate to get back to work both for the money and for herself. The latest instruction to her is to keep off her foot completely for 48 hours - a single mother with two children, I ask you!!! Her own mother (me) is exhausted too. At no time has any help or support been offered.

Weston Super Mare Hospital has received poor reports and I have made my family promise that should an emergency arise for me I am not to be sent there. The NHS system is one to be ashamed of these days.

Sorry to rant!

Deedaa Thu 05-Dec-13 21:37:56

I think that the two advantages DH had when he was admitted two weeks ago were that I had called the out of hours doctor who was obviously a retired GP, and examined him thoroughly, and had a very clear idea what was wrong before he called the ambulance. And then that he went to the hospital where his myeloma consultant works, and he took a VERY close interest in what was happening.
The whole thing fell apart when he was discharged and joined the people waiting 6 or 7 hours for transport! Don't even ask how he waited that long when I was picking him up!!!

absent Thu 05-Dec-13 20:27:18

Nelliepara10 The so-called jokes about not going into hospital at the weekend were not just an invention of the press. My GP visited me when I had a blocked intestine (v. painful) and begged my "tummy to gurgle" because, he said, if I was admitted to hospital on a Friday, they would butcher me –his word, not mine. Once he heard a gurgle, meaning that it was beginning to untwist, he shot me full of morphine –not something a doctor is supposed to do in the circumstances, but simply to relieve the pain long enough to give me a chance to recover without going into hospital.

Nanban Thu 05-Dec-13 19:37:13

Okay you lot, have you had a look at the other thread on this topic - Healthcare No Care - or I may have that in the wrong order of course, but you'll find it if you just scroll down.

I shared my thoughts that the sickest organisation in the UK is the NHS - didn't go down well with some but sadly very, very true. A diabolical truth is that sick people go into hospital, are so very pleased to survive, get out, and go home that retrospective complaining doesn't happen. Anyone who survives to tell the tale should tell it!

Do battle with the closed shop that is the 'complaints system' as part of your physiotherapy.

Bellasnana Thu 05-Dec-13 18:03:46

harrigran - what a distressing experience for your poor sister. I do hope she will soon recover from her ordeal.

I am glad I live in Malta where I can find no fault with the health care system whatsoever.

Nelliepara10 Thu 05-Dec-13 16:51:38


I think that using private companies to provide services can be a bad idea. For five months after an op I had to use the ambulance once or twice a week. There are, of course disadvantages to this. They can arrive any time between 8-10am and you sometimes have to wait when you are coming back. They would normally collect 6-8 people. However when they were privatised there would only be one or two of us. I did wonder if the company charges the NHS for how many journeys they do?

Also I went in hospital for some tests I was told to go in Wednesday and would be home Thursday. They were unable to do it Thursday and eventually on the Friday went down to have it done but was told they did not need to do it after all. What surprised me was that I was told I would not be able to go home until Monday. I was in a large hospital but there was no doctor to discharge me. With a lot of wheedling I was discharged by a doctor on the phone. My bed would have been changed three times, I would have had at least eight meals. Such a waste of money. I had always thought the jokes about not going in hospital at the weekend and how several patients were discharged on a Friday was scaremongering by the Press. But the departments and the wards were half empty by 4pm. Why can't there be some kind of shift system relating to doctors, surgeons etc. They are paid a lot of money but I think some patients are discharged to early and that post op care can be inadequate at times. Surely long term this costs more.i

harrigran I am glad your sister is home and hope she makes a speedy recovery.

annodomini Thu 05-Dec-13 14:12:22

In the circumstances, home sounds like the safest place to be if a patient was admitted to a surgical ward with noro virus!

harrigran Thu 05-Dec-13 13:58:57

Just heard from BIL, my sister has returned from theatre and he should go an collect her at 3.30 and take her home. WHAT ?

harrigran Thu 05-Dec-13 13:15:33

moomin yes my sister is in our city, she is actually an NHS manager and not enjoying being on the other side sad
I have just texted her DH who says he has not been able to reach her phone so we hope she is in theatre now, please God they get it right this time, her 14th admission.
There were two people in the ward, admitted in the early hours, one had noro virus and the other turned out to be trapped wind. These patients had scans, x-rays and expensive drugs when all they needed to do was stay at home until it passed. Waste of resources and I am also wondering whether they called an ambulance to get to the hospital hmm

janeainsworth Thu 05-Dec-13 11:42:33

anno re diagnostic skills etc.
I read an article by a senior doctor the other day, lamenting the use of X-rays and scans by junior doctors.
In the old days, he said, doctors took a history, examined the patient, made a differential diagnosis (ie all the things it could be) made a provisional diagnosis, and only then ordered tests to confirm the diagnosis.
Now apparently, because of time constraints in the NHS, the first three steps are often rushed or omitted and the diagnosis is made on the basis of the X-ray or scan results alone, leading to errors in diagnosis.

Mishap Thu 05-Dec-13 11:22:36

The whole system is under such strain on more than one front. I have been a huge supporter of the NHS - indeed worked in it for decades - but things are going so wrong.

Many people will know the hopeless saga of my foot fractures (still ongoing after 14 months!) and the dreadful care that my father received (resulting in a fall in hospital and fractured femur, the surgery for which precipitated his decline and death). So I have no reason to feel happy with the care.

There is so much window dressing - forms, care awards (Investors in People - for heaven's sake!) , protocols etc. - but the substance is crumbling.

Our local district hospital, which serves a huge rural area, was built under PFI funding. The health authority will finish up paying billions of pounds in rent - many many times the cost of the original build. And when those payments come to an end (2028 I think), the whole shebang belongs to the builders/investors and they could simply close it and use the site and buildings for some other purpose - they have a 95 year lease on it. More likely they will choose to rent it back to the health service at an even more exorbitant rate, as they will have them over a barrel.

And in the meantime, the company providing maintenance is failing to perform and it was found that a theatre ventilation system intended to hoover up bugs was pumping them round the rest of the hospital!

We have an example of appalling GP and NHS Direct care on our doorstep at the moment - I will not give details as I do not want the people involved to be identified. But, suffice to say, without the input of a close family member who is medically qualified, the outcome could have been fatal.

annodomini Thu 05-Dec-13 11:13:24

I was talking last night with two friends, one of whom is a sister in a coronary care unit and another whose daughter is an exhausted junior doctor in A&E. Among many alarm bells I heard, the message came through loud and clear that senior medics are leaving far too much to their juniors. Newly qualified doctors should not be left in full charge of a busy A&E all night. The diagnostic skills of consultants and senior registrars should be available to them day and night, but they aren't. The other alarm bell was that too many GPs are not taking responsibility for the care of their patients which leads to the overcrowding of A&E and consequently the greater likelihood of misdiagnoses by overworked junior doctors.
Keep well, my friends!

janeainsworth Thu 05-Dec-13 10:59:40

I do hope your sister is getting better care today harrigran and awful for you to see her in pain.
Unfortunately I think that the good things we hear about the NHS often happen despite the system and not because of it.
I think that the targets and the cost-cutting must be very demoralising for the staff, but at the end of the day they are professionals and it doesn't excuse callousness and a lack of care.
I would like to see the Royal Colleges coming out and saying loudly that the system is rotten. We know what happens to whistleblowers - there is not much that individuals can do without risking their jobs and future prospects - but at present the Royal Colleges seem remarkably quiet. They need to support their members by making it clear that Government imposed working conditions are damaging both the NHS workforce and patient care.

moomin Thu 05-Dec-13 09:55:39

What a nightmare for your sister harrigran. Yet another sorry tale to add to the others I've heard. I'm seriously worried about OH or me needing medical care in the future.

I know you are a NE Gnetter, is you sister in our area as well? Maybe she'll get the treatment she quite obviously urgently required now, but what an awful experience for her.

JessM Thu 05-Dec-13 07:48:46

Oh dear harrigran this is a bit of a sorry tale. Hope the care she is getting improves with the day shift.

nelliepara - don't understand your remark about greedy.

glammanana Thu 05-Dec-13 07:38:56

harrigran so glad your sister was in hospital when this happened she would have found it hard to cope otherwise it's bad enough happening on the ward,really I would have expected some sort of drain fitted or the decision for a repair to be done asap,how do they expect your sister to sleep when this has happened poor lady she must be so uncomfortable.

harrigran Thu 05-Dec-13 01:14:34

My sister rang me at 00.30 to tell me that the abscess had burst and she now has a recto-vaginal fistula. If the staff had got their way she would have been at home and in shock instead of in the hospital bed. Did she get tea and sympathy, I think not, nurse told her to just try and get some sleep. The ward is full of bleeping machines and they are taking admissions 24/7 as the hospital in next city is closed to emergency admissions today.

Nelliepara10 Thu 05-Dec-13 00:25:08

I have always been a supporter of the NHS. Until two years ago when I realised that, like so many other businesses, private and public they have become greedy.

I have had a horrendous time and have felt abandoned and neglected. This is not a criticism of staff. Yes there a few bad apples. Some act as though they were brought up on 'Cold Comfort Farm', others obviously excelled at 'charm school' were they learned how to smile without it reaching their eyes. But in every organisation there are good and bad.

I have watched the care given by nurses who sometimes explain things better than any doctor. I have enjoyed the jolly banter from ambulance men/women and porters.

The problems for me, all happened after I was discharged. Poor administration, wrong diagnoses, departments working separately and not knowing what the other one is doing. The general staff work under a lot of pressure, there are not enough of them and generally do not appear to be appreciated by the hierarchy.

I do not trust the NHS anymore and what is even worse I am frightened of those who don't care.

grannyactivist Wed 04-Dec-13 23:48:09

What a sorry tale Harrigran. I think it was very sensible for your sister to insist on staying put or there's no telling when she might have been recalled. I think the NHS is becoming more and more like the Girl with the Curl; when it's good, it's very, very good and when it's bad it's horrid.

LizG Wed 04-Dec-13 23:43:17

That's awful harrigan, no you are not being unreasonable.