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To be annoyed by obvious waste by nhs

(119 Posts)
Mabel2 Wed 31-Oct-18 19:13:57

After spending the day with my mil at an day surgery in a city hospital I observed two families for whom an interpreter had been arranged. They wore nhs badges so obviously employed by hospital. Now before you all shout racist let me point out that the families all spoke good English except for the patient and seemed more than happy to translate for them. In fact one lady offered to translate for a nurse when the interpreter was not there but was told 'no, I'll find the interpreter'. Why shouldn't the family do this for their relative? It would save a lot of money!

Shazmo24 Thu 01-Nov-18 10:06:27

It has something to do with confidentiality...There will be times when it can only be the Dr & patient and so an interpreter is required and also as someone has said the famiky may not fully interpret what is being said due to them possibly believing it will be too upsetting

Missfoodlove Thu 01-Nov-18 10:22:59

My daughter had her 1st ante natal appointment at a large London hospital, she had left work to attend.
After waiting an hour nothing happening she demanded to know why, she was informed that they were waiting for a Somalian interpreter and couldn’t risk seeing other people until he/she arrived. Apparently if they have to wait they leave!!!

maddyone Thu 01-Nov-18 10:32:42

I agree with you Crystaltips.

Nonnie Thu 01-Nov-18 10:35:47

NotTooOld that happened to DH, 3 times before he had his operation. He also had to go twice each time, once for the checks and a different day for a blood test. They seemed to think this was reasonable even though the journey took 1 1/2 hours and his appointment was at 0830. They were not at all interested in suggestions of ways to improve this situation. One one occasion they sent a letter giving him an appointment on a bank holiday followed by a letter changing the appointment 'due to unforeseen circumstances'.

I can think of several other ways they waste money. A fully qualified nurse calling people into eye consultation but not being part of the consultation, just the messenger. I had a small growth in my mouth and was referred by my dentist. I was seen by a doctor and a nurse who confirmed that my dentist was correct, I had a growth. I had to return to have it removed (took 3 people) and asked why it needed two appointments. The answer was because the dentist may think it is a different size to the doctor! So did this third person agree or disagree and, more to the point, what difference did it make as the treatment was the same? When DH had a suspicious mole the hospital doctor removed it straight away which makes far more sense.

Why do expensive hospitals virtually close down at the weekend? DH needed an investigation and the hospital was doing Sunday appointments in an effort to reduce waiting times which was of course good. However, everything else was closed, the cafe, staff cafe, Smiths etc. Surely there would be plenty of people willing to work weekends to fit around family?

marionk Thu 01-Nov-18 10:51:33

I worked for the NHS for 10 years and all the interpreters were volunteers, the badge is necessary to make them ‘official’

GabriellaG Thu 01-Nov-18 11:01:43

Who wore the NHS badges? The families? You don't make it clear.
The hospital has to have impartial interpreters so that the information passed back and forth is absolutely clear, otherwise, if misunderstandings occur, the hospital could be sued.

Nonnie Thu 01-Nov-18 11:06:00

Some years ago I had to go to the passport office in Petty France. I had to hang around for quite a while so had plenty of time to see what was going on. There were several people applying for British passports who had interpreters which made me think that they were not as British as they might have been. Surely it is reasonable to expect anyone British to speak the language? I have no idea who was paying for the interpreters but they didn't look like family members, different racial origin.

trisher Thu 01-Nov-18 11:12:34

Do people really not undertand how operations and hospitals work? (And it's nothing to do with any of the staff talking to any of the other staff). For non-urgent operations theatre time is assigned and a pre-op arranged at a time which is considered achievable. However theatre time can never be certainly assigned because there may be a number of urgent and vital operations on that day or close to the appointment which take precedent. It may be uncomfortable and distressing to have to go through the whole procedure more than once but the only way to prevent that would be to have a huge investment in the NHS which built more operating theatres. Then there would probably be an out cry because theatres were sometimes standing empty.
Cafes, Smiths etc in hospitals are franchises and pay money into the NHS but are not part of it. If they choose not to open it is entirely their own decision.

sarahellenwhitney Thu 01-Nov-18 11:14:04

NotTogOld.In that case it must differ from area to area as I was given a date for my HR operation and pre op assessment at the same time It was to be three weeks before the op.

sarahellenwhitney Thu 01-Nov-18 11:21:46

Trisher . We in the UK have a health service envied by the rest of the world and yet we have in our midst those for who enough will never be enough.

4allweknow Thu 01-Nov-18 11:26:35

Waste in NHS, DH was in hospital for very detailed pre-op tests. Day of op had his sedation, basically fell asleep, next he knew back in ward with no surgery. The consultant was livid op had to be cancelled. Why, another surgeon was over running and the theatre staff finished work at 5 pm. No staff to assist DH surgeon as he would definitely not finish by then. DH stayed in hospital for a further 3 days, new tests undertaken for op again. Surgery was carried out on 4th day and I am sure this was only due to me insisting I met with Chief Exec, Head of Surgery and Nursing and that DH stayed to save his bed. There is horrendous waste and frustration within the system not just interpreting services.

glammanana Thu 01-Nov-18 11:35:57

I was watching a programme last night about workings behind the scenes at a NHS Hospital.
The Staff where amazing at the amount they saved the NHS .
They are unsung hero's imo,one lady incharge of ordering items found a way of ordering from a differant supplier and saved thousands on the yearly cost of items,its worth watching.
Sorry for going off topic ladies.

knspol Thu 01-Nov-18 11:40:25

After a recent hospital experience I could have done with an interpreter to understand what the foreign doctor was telling me!

trisher Thu 01-Nov-18 11:47:27

Exactly the same conditions apply 4allweknow yes you coud have a system where operating theatres functioned for 24 hours a day, but it would take a massive investment not only in theatre staff but in surgeons and all the cleaning and servicing staff that enable the system to work. And arguably by insisting your husband stayed in a bed and was treated as he was you caused one of the people who had had their pre-op appointment to have their operation cancelled. But of course it wasn't your fault. It was the fault of the surgeon who over ran (possibly because an operaton proved much more complicated than anticipated) and the theatre staff who (how dare they) expected to finish their hard working day at 5pm.

EllanVannin Thu 01-Nov-18 11:52:01

I don't have any trouble in understanding any language. It's our own which can be more confusing at times hahahaha.

KirbyGirl Thu 01-Nov-18 11:55:00

My gripe about NHS waste is to do with the two zimmer frames and one pair of crutches that I was given when I fractured my pelvis. I tried to give them back but the local NHS trust does not want them. I have approached loca MP who has sent me, today, a statement that the national H.S. wants things to be reused.

evianers Thu 01-Nov-18 12:09:12

"envied by the rest of the world"? Not where we live it isn't. In fact, when our neighbours hear about what is going on in the NHS, they sadly shake their heads. And one of them works in the CHUV = university hospital of Lausanne across the water, so knows what he is sadly shaking his head about.

grandtanteJE65 Thu 01-Nov-18 12:15:02

Here in Denmark people will have to pay for an interpreter if they have lived three years in the country and still do not speak Danish well enough to understand hospital staff.

The risks of using an interpreter who is not specifically a medical interpreter are far too grave. Professional interpreters specialise in medical or legal terminology and are assigned work in accordance with their speciality.

Legs55 Thu 01-Nov-18 12:27:32

NotTooOld no Departments don't talk to each other. Last year I had to go for an Ultra Sound at one Hospital & an Appointment to see the Consultant (who needed the results) on the same day at the same time at a different Hospitalconfused

I agree interpreters should be used due to possible embarrassment & to avoid misunderstanding medical terms.

maddyone Thu 01-Nov-18 12:31:35

Grandtante, that sounds a very fair system to me, and I can see no earthly reason why we in the UK should not adopt such a system. But we won’t, there are probably many reasons why we won’t adopt such a system, and I and others most likely wouldn’t agree with any of them, but there it is!

trisher Thu 01-Nov-18 12:42:58

What about the fact that there are few courses available teaching English to new residents maddyone. That even teaching English to immigrant children has been cut and schools struggle to manage. I bet Denmark has courses.

TheMaggiejane1 Thu 01-Nov-18 12:58:45

When I used to take my 91 year old father for hospital appointments the doctors and nurses that we saw had such poor English that I actually had to translate what they had said to my father as he couldn’t understand them. I then had to explain to them what he meant when he answered them. This happening at about 90% of visits. No one seemed to bother about a family member translating then!

EllanVannin Thu 01-Nov-18 13:54:43

As long as I'm treated how I expect to be treated both personally and medically that's fine by me.
The waste comes in when many drunks make a mess in an ambulance which can't then be used until it's cleaned so why not a £10 charge to the drunk ? A taxi charges extra if a person has been sick !

Nonnie Thu 01-Nov-18 13:58:16

trisher I think you misunderstood my meaning, the franchises were closed because the hospital was effectively closed. That was my point. I don't think there needs to be a huge investment to run the NHS 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The infrastructure is already there, it is just a matter of utilising it effectively.

Recently when waiting for DH's procedure I started chatting with a nurse who had just retired. She said the NHS is in a terrible state, disorganised and badly run. She said there was no shortage of money, it was just spent badly. Someone has said they saw a programme where the person buying in services shopped around and saved money. Surely that is their job? Why is is noteworthy? In the private sector it would be expected that anyone in purchasing got the best deal for the company.

trisher Thu 01-Nov-18 14:08:52

Nonnie the hospital wouldn't be 'closed' It may be that certain services were not available, but there would still be doctors and nurses working, still patients in wards for whom services such as scans, x-rays etc would be available should they be urgently needed. I have been in 2 of my local hospitals recently on Sunday and even on Christmas Day and they were still functioning. Yes you could have a comprehensive 24/7 service but not without paying a substantial amount more for staffing etc. Which would mean a tax increase would you be willing to pay?