No-one seems to have told the NHS that time costs money; you have to pay staff, otherwise they get stroppy.
This is written after a recent stint in one of the NHS flagship hospitals, showing how cracks in the service are widening out like Donald Trump’s smile. this turned into an expensive exercise (for the NHS), and is written one-handed after I fractured an arm.
After the usual wait in a & e, i was told there was a bed waiting for me. when i arrived in the ward, no-one has inflated the mattress : it lay on wooden bed-boards like a beached whale, with bright nurse saying it would only take an hour to inflate.
if you read about a shortage of hospital trolleys – this is one reason.
The porter had to leave me on the trolley that had bought me up to the ward for an hour, then return – wasting more of his time on a busy Saturday evening. all because, somewhere between A & E and the ward, someone/something hadn’t connected.
Next day charming pharmacist comes to see me. as I had had polio, cancer, etc. the list of my pills is enough to stock an average chemist. Pharmacist and I go through these carefully; she asks me if i have any of these at home. ‘enough for three weeks’ i say. so we agree that i won’t be needing anything on discharge. guess what! discharge day sees me waiting – and waiting for #my discharge medications’. i hit the roof, saying i don’t need them. of course, efficient nurse totally ignores me – i am only a patient.
it happen time and time again, wards don’t seem to be able to communicate effectively; i have even known patients not being allowed to go home because medicines hadn’t been delivered. hence bed blocking. finally, at 9pm, bright little nurse answers my frantic enquiries with ‘we just have to wait for your discharge medication.
no-one will listen to me when i say i don’t need it. after all, i am only a patient. when it does come, most of it goes in waste-paper-basket, as it is all wrong. sorry to pharmacist for wasting her time, but blame the bosses.
i was nearly a bed blocker, but i insisted (totally untrue) that i did have someone at home to look after me, although by that time all my family waiting to help me had gone home – they have lives to lead). but as simple patients, we don’t count. we may be capable of holding down jobs leading a large workforce, or managing several million pounds turnover, but a healthcare assistant in the job for a few weeks is given the power to dictate to us, and we can’t improve the system, because no-one thinks we might have a point.
we all get frustrated when told we can’t speak to someone because ‘they are in a meeting’. perhaps, if they spent less time chatting in meetings and more time working out how run the nhs efficiently, and keep expensive drugs out of my rubbish bin, we might all benefit. and if the nhs would listen when patients try and comment on something which they know could be better organised, there wouldn’t be so many ambulance-chasing solicitors.
i arrived home to find an email from a friend; she works for a massive firm of solicitors grown mega-rich on nhs cases. believe me, she may well have another case to handle.
P.S. they never stop wasting money. back in the ward the healthcare assistant had been unsure how to put on the complicated collar and cuff. she went off to find sister. this sister was far too grand to talk to patients, so gave long distance instruction. was dubious about way it fitted, but no-one to ask. and i was anxious to get home.
next day i was in agony – everything had slipped and i could feel bones crunching away. phoned 111 – they sent out two district nurses at 11 pm – but they were unsure how the sling worked. of course, my arm slipped out of the repositioned sling during the night, so it’s back to phoning my gp’s surgery to get another nurse round. wonder how much extra this is costing the nhs? all because a staff member left a complicated fitting to a junior.