I crashed down on the unforgiving pavement
And lay there, waiting for a kind stranger to call an Ambulance. One duly arrived, scooped me up and delivered me to the local Foundation Hospital.
In A & E got my first inkling of how NHS is now dumbing down.
David Cameron didn’t have the guts to tell the British public that we, as a country, pay less than most European countries for our healthcare. We need to pay more, but instead he appoints Andrew Lansley and then Jeremy Hunt to oversee the dumbing down of the service, so now we are at the bottom of every table that evaluates European healthcare.
So I end up in a hospital – well used by Cameron whenever he wanted a photo-opportunity, such as this one. Babies supposedly give his caring image more street-cred.
If I do something, I do it properly
I had managed six fractures, including three to my pelvis. So was moved to the Assessment Ward, and waited.
Meantime the family were frantically negotiating with medical insurance to see if I qualified. As I waited, I could hear two nurses loudly discussing the patient in next door bed – apparently she had ten different conditions, from dementia to incontinence. Eventually I managed to attract their attention (difficult, when you can’t turn to face them, and don’t want to wake the rest of the ward). They were rude, but as word came through that I was being transferred to private wing, I was wisked off.
Private Care in NHS Hospital
As nurses transferred me into bed, something seemed wrong. The transfer was painful, but I thought this was due to my broken bones. Next morning, as I was moved, I thought to ask the nurses when had they done their training in handling fracture patients? “We haven’t done it yet”.
I then find out they are not nurses, but Healthcare Assistants, training on-the-job (i.e. me). The private ward had allocated untrained staff to deal with me and all my broken bones. Luckily for me, I could remember how the nurses had turned and moved me when I was treated in a properly-run NHS hospital, in the days when Matrons, not CEOs, ran hospitals. The poor HCAs were then instructed by me – put my right leg on top of left leg – roll up sliding sheet and tuck it close to my body – put a pillow between my knees, etc.
Then I got cystitis (so I thought). Asked to see a doctor, but it was weekend, and finally on the Sunday I couldn’t bear pain any more, and sent out a friend to buy something over-the-counter from the local chemist. This gave me some relief, but I was never told actually I had picked up a painful hospital infection.
Going Fully Private
There was lots more that was wrong, and when I was told that my insurance had run out, I had the option of transferring to an NHS ward, as I needed to be flat on my back for another few weeks. Or paying the same daily rate in a fully-private hospital.
ff things were bad in the private wing, and un-disciplined in the Assessment Ward, this didn’t bode well for care on an NHS Ward, where friends had told me how bad was their NHS care on these. So a phone call to my Bank Manager, and apparently I had enough left from a precious inheritance to spend it on three weeks care in a private hospital. I transferred there, and from the moment I met their professionally-trained nurses, I knew I had made the right choice – nursing was fantastic,professional and caring.
Waiting to check me out was a shoulder surgeon – he had operated on me previously in the NHS hospital where I had been treated. I had asked for him to check me over, but my request had been ‘forgotten’. I was then in the hands of a very well-known fracture specialist, who was gentle but very thorough. I knew I had been right to transfer; having worked out, if I wanted to live a comfortable life I needed to have the best medical care to set me up. Then I met up with the doctor who would be overseeing my care; he had a fantastic sense of humour, and said I would have to behave otherwise he was sending me back where I came from. After that, it was blissful care with lots of smiles. Oh. and I was prescribed a daily anti-blood clotting injection whilst I was bed-bound – I should have been receiving this (£10 aI shot), in the NHS hospital.
Eventually all I need to do is bed rest until the bones finally knit.
Whilst in hospital, I was reading articles about patients who chose to have ops. such as cataracts, hips, etc. done privately as they couldn’t wait – and being charged up to four times the going rate if they used an NHS hospital. So I would say to anyone choosing private care, and paying themselves, to check up costs in locsl fully-private hospitals. And ask your friends. Personal recommendation is best.
But it shouldn’t be like that – what is wrong with today’s NHS that it is trying to overcharge us and provide untrained staff?