Saturday, 22 August 2009

Lost for words

Still very traumatised by the experience so just copying my feedback to the hospital, hope to do more detailed bogging about it later.

What more could we have done?

You could have given me pain relief when i asked for it the first night i was in with an untreated broken leg.

You could have x-rayed both legs when common sense would have suggested that they were both broken.

You could have given me pain relief after major surgery and not left me for 11 hours in excruciating pain despite repeated requests from myself, my daughter and my husband, for medication.

You could have taken non ambulent patients to the loo the minute they asked and not left them on the loo waiting and pleading for rescue for up to 45 minutes with broken limbs dangling.

You could have listened to what patients said far more carefully.

You could have treated the elderly in a far less patronising manner, this seemed endemic and unconscious.

You could have have systems which don't waste eons of time and money while leaving patients with the bare minimum of care and sometimes not even that.

I never wish to set foot in an NHS hospital again.

What did we do well?

A few of the staff, often in the lowest ranks still exercised consistent compassion.


Merry said...

Oh Marie :(

I've had excellent and awful experiences with the NHS and i do think they have a shocking tendency to treat adults as inhuman bits of meat, even when they do children pretty well. Pain, waiting, humiliation, lack of privacy, lack of concern for your plight - these are all things that come second far too often to paperwork.

Many gentle hugs for a speedy recovery.

Jax said...

So sorry to hear that this was so bad for you, can only hope that now you are home this can start to recede into the past and you can begin to do the real healing you need.


Working Dad said...

Good to hear you are back home and hopefully on the mend.

Sad to hear that your time in hospital was so bad, I think they have got themselves lost in management and politics and completely forgotten that they are there to care for the patients, the lower grade staff are often caring and compassionate but the doctors and administrators seem very disconnected from the patients they are there to serve.

Take care of yourself and best wishes from us all.

Maire said...

Thanks Merry, pieces of meat or bits of furniture was exactly what i thought of when they manhandled my newly broken legs as if the nerves were broken too. I was never left waitng on the loo though, I immediately learned that you could use an upside down loo brush to push off the breaks on the commode and scoot out of the loo. They were not nearly as keen to leave you hanging about in the corridors. I even made it to the bed and back in once or twice. It was the older women in their 80s and above that they almost took pleasure in making wait.

Thanks Jax if it hadn't been for the almost criminal neglect in witholding pain relief it would have been an unpleasant but manageable experience that i would have turned my back on easily. As it is I feel i must put in a complain, yet more focus on the negative along with Badman, hope to move out of this phase soon.

Maire said...

Thanks Working Dad, you are so right, when I complained about the lack of pain relief to the registrar he got very upset and said i needed to move on(the day after the event), that the NHS was a finite resource and there were bound to be some gaps and i should just accept it.

Can't see him accepting a reasonable salary as one of those unavoidable consequences of finite resources funnily enough.

Deb said...

"You could have treated the elderly in a far less patronising manner, this seemed endemic and unconscious."

This part (well, all of it) just broke my heart. I have worked in too many nursing homes to know how true that statement is, and it's shocking that it's seen as normal and nothing is ever done.

I'm so sorry you had the accident in the first place, and that your treatment at the hands of the NHS has just added insult to injury. I hope you can heal well. I hope you can feel better. Like others I have had good and bad experiences in the NHS. It must have been just awful for you. ((((hugs))))

Maire said...

Thanks Debs, I admire people who work in these conditions, i feel my total inability to do so is a form of cowardice.

My experience of the NHS has been mostly that at its best it does the job it is supposed to do and wants excessive praise when it does. At worst it is beyond appalling.

The one thing that stands out is the excellent repair to my eldest,s club foot that has meant that it has not been an issue in her life, I am very grateful for that but had to change consultants to get it. A very scary thing as a naive and inexperienced 24 year old to do.

Ceri said...

I'm so sorry you've been through this. It brought back some very unpleasant memories for me, I must admit. I have had some horrendous hospital stays; once after major kidney surgery I was left sitting in a chair for 2 hours with the bell on the other side of the room. I had an epidural so couldn't move. Oh, and chronic diarrhea from the anti-biotics I was on. They eventually heard my sobs as I'd levered myself up onto the bed and came to clean me up.
Another time I was left without pain relief as the consultant had written no more strong painkillers and no paracetamol; the only other painkiller on my chart contained paracetamol. He was most upset to be called back from the golf course. That was in HDU.
I've also had to feed elderly patients in the beds next to me as the trays were just being left at the end of their beds where they couldn't reach them.
Sending you healing vibes both for the trauma of the breaks and the trauma of the hospital stay.
Ceri xx

Elizabeth (My Reading World) said...

I'm sorry to hear your treatment was as painful as the injury! I'm glad you're home though, and that hopefully you'll be on the mend soon.

I have as yet to find anything good about the NHS--I try, I really do! I was in tears of pain and frustration over it again this week--I would never have to put up with any of this back home. I'm sorry--but good experience in NHS hospitals should not be random acts of kindness-the systme needs a major overhaul. And it's the workers that are and make the system. So yes-there may be a few good ones, but there are far too many bad ones. Sorry--but I think I hate the NHS far more than anything the Badman can do to me. I just dread the day my kids need the NHS.

Maire said...

Hi Ceri
Sorry to bring back bad memories, this sort of thing should be such the exception that it warrants something like a serious case review, or certainly an investigation that has consequences but sadly like abuse in schools it is accepted as par for the course whatever their policy documents say. These government institutions are so willing to accept and understand their own failings, perhaps it takes their mind of them to try and control us to the nth degree.
So glad they got your consultant back from the golf course, words can’t express my disgust at the hierarchical structure that leaves patients needs at the bottom of the agenda. I have been looking at investigation documents from the hospital I was in and guess who the stakeholders weren’t?

Elizabeth, I totally agree, the NHS might not be entirely malign but that is hardly a vote of confidence. I think they may be better with kids and of course you are there to intervene for them, they do still allow parents to stay I hope. Where are you from, what sort of system do they have there?
I truly dread being old and immobile and at their mercy, maybe I need to start campaigning about it now.

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