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man o' the year

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Just thought I would share my experiences of NHS treatment as it has been renewed since the appalling treatment of my father over the past 10 months.

Early Friday morning (4am) Mum, who has dementia and I am caring for, got up and fell. This proved to be a break of her arm (high on the humerus) and a displaced fracture. Surprisingly this is only being treated by having her arm in a sling.

The treatment by ambulance medics was excellent as ever and they were here in 25 minutes which was pretty good for non- emergency. Admitted to A&E majors who were also caring and efficient. Transfer to Emergency Assessment Unit (seems to be a holding and assessment area before transfer to wards. Here the care was variable depending on who was doing it. Some auxiliary nurses were incredibly caring and hard working. Other auxiliaries and qualified nurses were not so. I was there for a long time and noticed that auxiliaries do almost all of the work. The qualifieds spend a lot of the time (probably 50%) at the desk area talking. They were not working and writing as were the junior doctors who arrived in the ward, saw patients and sat at the same desk area filling in notes. There was a lot of socialising going on behind the desk and then all of a sudden all the qualifieds would get up and do some work, attending to patients before returning to the desk for more gossip. I saw the same thing at another hospital when there with dad, where a services trolley provided the same social meeting point between doing a little work. I recall how frustrating this was knowing that my own father was waiting for attention while they discussed their social lives within my earshot.

Today I arrived to find Mum had been transferred to a ward and when I arrived at the ward she was at X ray. When I arrived at X ray she was alone in a public area. In other words a 92 year old woman with dementia left alone in a public area in her hospital bed. Furthermore when the porter came to take her back to the ward I was told I was not allowed to ride in the same lift as her. The jobsworth then complained about me to someone saying I was "difficult". Bloody right I am difficult. I then found this had been recorded in Mum's notes and that I am potentially negligent.

Moral. Don't get old. You and your family will be treated appallingly in a system that not only lacks care but also lacks any authority to make it efficient.

Oh as a punchline I get to pay £5 for car parking every time I visit. Total cost so far this year over £600 including discount for multi buy tickets at Kings Mill hospital Mansfield and Newark hospital. These are not available at Nottingham City hospital where my usual 2 hour stay is sometimes more than £6..

 

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My motto:  never grumble, always complain.

Make a formal complaint in writing to PALS.  Be as specific as possible with names, dates, times, places etc.

If nothing happens take it to the PHSO.  Copy your correspondence to the CQC.

If still nothing happens then write to your MP.

Things will never change unless patients and those who care for them do the above.

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Growing old when start losing things is not fun, lose your strength, lose your memory, lose your health so it goes on.....the most valued people in society are the productive so those who in the the minds of some see the elderly and frail no longer have productivity they believe they are no longer of value.....others do not see it like that they are very much worthy of quality care. ;)

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Not sure why. But everyone from celebrates to people on my Facebook book feed seem to feel the need to refer to the 'amazing' NHS.  To me their service is a joke, having seen Family membes receive bad treatment at their hands.

 

I know a few women that are nurses and midwives.  Basically in each case they came to the profession late, by going through an 'access course' after having kids.  Having been in science class with them at school, I would say they are at best a little bit thick, the sort of people who could easily make a mistake while administering a drug (obviously they could have had a total transformation since we were at school, but I doubt it).  I would seriously not want to be treated by one of these people.  Yet if you follow the standards that the media set out you are supposed to call them 'angels' at every opportunity.  (One other thing, in order to also be there for their families, they generally fit a working week into three days, ensuring they are totally exhausted and likely to make mistakes)

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I already have one formal complaint in the system regarding my father (see my other thread). No longer PALS now PETS. They dare not call it Complaints Department !

Don't get me wrong there are some miracle workers and heroes in the NHS. But the disaffection of many is an embedded cancer and some clearly have no comprehension of what expectations should be and are merely doing as they were trained to and nothing more. I could just see how much a difference it would make if half the socialising time was spent at a patients' bedside asking if they were OK and showing the TLC that is so obviously lacking and pressure of work always quoted as an excuse. A matron to kick ass and the flexibility to get rid of those without the attitude needed is what is required but while they remain desperate for staff they have to take all that are repaired to apply and then still recruit from agencies.

Case in point was 2 junior doctors today in lift discussing the email they had received telling them to use up their holiday accumulated throughout the year and genuinely concerned at having to leave the job to take their earned leave.

 

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Well done OP for looking after your mum. IMO the single most important thing for a patient going through the NHS is to have someone (who cares) to look out for them. Vulnerable patients are routinely neglected if there's nobody around to kick up a fuss on their behalf. 

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Well done (as whitevanman just posted) for keeping up with the clinical care of your mum and not taking any sh!t.  I'm not surprised by the nurses, auxillaires do a hell of a lot of work, nurses are treated as semi-medics now. They have a degree - why I do not know as most nurses are thick as pig sh1t.  It's not a degree subject.

I would second the complaints route, what a terrible attitude of the porter.

disclaimer: I work in the Christie hospital (I'm not clinical staff, I'm IT/geek staff).  I'm shocked by the standard of care you have received ... maybe that's because we are dealing with people in very stressful situations (although your mother, suffering from dementia is to my mind in the same vulnerable situation!), our staff really do go the extra mile.  

It's when you hear of the variable state of care you just get really p1ssed off.

Oh and I totally agree about the car parking - it's immoral that you are charged. No other staff that I know off thinks this is acceptable - it's a management 'issue' and for that read the politicians. They could quite easily outlaw it , the sh1tes.

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46 minutes ago, paulokes said:

lets all volunteer at our local hospital and show them how it should be done!

P

I don't think I would be very good at it.

 

:(

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9 minutes ago, MrPin said:

I don't think I would be very good at it.

 

:(

My mum volunteers at a checking in desk for a clinic. 
I'm not sure I'd be very tolerant of people being moaning bastards.

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11 hours ago, SarahBell said:

My mum volunteers at a checking in desk for a clinic. 
I'm not sure I'd be very tolerant of people being moaning bastards.

The daffodil café at Kings Mill hospital run by volunteers is efficient friendly and good value for money. Many of the out patient clinics are run efficiently and in a friendly way. I have first hand experience of the pacemaker clinic and speak of this in particular.

The main problem lies away from day to day view of the public.

Today's contribution is the ward supervisor (Matron or whatever) who went out of her way after yesterday's fiasco to tell me that she was concerned and responsible with the smooth running of the ward (ward 51) was sat for 20 minutes with 2 other staff laughing and joking within my sight while I had pressed the buzzer for Mum to go to the toilet. She then arrived with a scowl on her face. I said nothing and we left fearing how bad the "care" may get when we aren't there.

The 2 junior doctors I spoke to were professional friendly and thorough.

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Broken bone so needed to be seen on a semi regular basis for a number of weeks.

 

turned up for an allotted time for an appointment. This was just after the lunch break so thought that there would not be much of a que. Lots of people waiting though.  

I sat for around half an hour.  Then a nurse/administrator came into the waiting room and wrote on the whiteboard the times that the clinic started.  This was half an hour later than my appointment. Lots of howls from those waiting as lots had appointment times for before the clinic was scheduled to start.

to get something so simple as allotting  appointments wrong takes serious effort 

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I think part of the problem is that everyone tends to be aware of the appalling way people fall through the cracks of the American healthcare system (continental European healthcare systems don't seem to crop up on most people's radar as a yardstick as they're not English speaking.)

It's great that in this country people don't have to face the extreme hardship of struggling on because they are unable to afford a basic operation, as witnessed in the US. However, the absence of this I think then leads a lot of people to the conclusion the healthcare system, in this country, is fantastic when, in reality, it has plenty of basic failings that could be easily remedied. 

 

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7 minutes ago, SNACR said:

I think part of the problem is that everyone tends to be aware of the appalling way people fall through the cracks of the American healthcare system (continental European healthcare systems don't seem to crop up on most people's radar as a yardstick as they're not English speaking.)

It's great that in this country people don't have to face the extreme hardship of struggling on because they are unable to afford a basic operation, as witnessed in the US. However, the absence of this I think then leads a lot of people to the conclusion the healthcare system, in this country, is fantastic when, in reality, it has plenty of basic failings that could be easily remedied. 

 

And if you ever think the NHS is bad I find 10 minutes looking at US health care and I'm glad to live in the UK. Here's an example from Twitter earlier tonight (yes In know its Zero hedge but sometimes its on the point).

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-11-02/us-healthcare-system-summed-1-stunning-bill

$14,000 for a 45 minute session to repair a cut finger or two...

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I have to admit, I was a put put off by the hospital losing my mum's hearing aids, and clothes.:(

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11 hours ago, man o' the year said:

The main problem lies away from day to day view of the public.

Today's contribution is the ward supervisor (Matron or whatever) who went out of her way after yesterday's fiasco to tell me that she was concerned and responsible with the smooth running of the ward (ward 51) was sat for 20 minutes with 2 other staff laughing and joking within my sight while I had pressed the buzzer for Mum to go to the toilet. She then arrived with a scowl on her face. I said nothing and we left fearing how bad the "care" may get when we aren't there.


I do wonder what counts as smooth running of the ward. If it wasn't for those troublesome patients being ill it'd be a lot easier.
 

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It seems like it's becoming self-service.

I was surprised earlier this year when I was sent a do-it-yourself enema kit before an hospital visit. Today I was talking to some friends whose daughter had a baby by Caesarean last Wednesday. The Mother was sent home Thursday with a kit of 8 daily injections. 

Maybe we should all apply for the NHS staff discounts? http://www.healthservicediscounts.com/a-z-browse

 

 

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What gets my goat is their ability to ignore patients .... until that patient shows up with someone who is remotely competent.   Simple example - my mother (85) takes herself to A&E with chest pains.  Sits there for about 4 hours, and gets told to bugger off (politely).  

So the next day she shows up with my father in law, who is a very capable doctor, now retired.   He doesn't like her story in the slightest.    He doesn't go all arsey on them, just uses the right language.   4 hour wait is turned into 30 minutes.   Proper attention this time, they discover that her blood pressure medication (un reviewed for 4 years) is utterly wrong, and that is causing her blackouts as well.   All fixed.  But if she'd not had someone who gave a s**t with her, she'd probably be in a box by now. 

Similar example when same parent had a (thankfully very mild) stroke.  She'd basically had her arm go numb, it was sort of coming back to life, but I've spent enough years in radiology departments to classify that as "not good".  Drove her straight to the nearest teaching A&E, dropped her right outside the doors and went to dump the car.   By the time I had come back, she was on a seat in the "drunks and low priority" queue.   So I dragged her back to the desk.    Receptionist/Triage person clearly pissed off "look, I've already told you to sit over there...".    Magic words needed:  "83 year old, history of high blood pressure, complaining of her hand going numb and floppy, then coming back to life, what do you reckon, because I reckon she should have been in the CT 10 minutes ago".  That got the required result.  

I could talk about the good friend of mine who had his cancer missed over a course of several months and visits - until it was too late.  He had a complaint upheld on that one, but it didn't really help him.  They'll try better next time. 

The relative with bowel cancer who was fobbed off for a year until it was very nearly too late. 

Oh, yes, the time I had blood pouring out of my **** only for the GP to tell me not to worry - paid a man with a camera 2 grand to make sure, and he chopped a load of stuff out of my lower bowel that he said would have caused no end of trouble in a few years time.  

Honestly, for anything remotely serious,  I'd rather be insured and in the US than over here.    They undoubtedly do all sorts of wonderful things, but the basic level of care is shocking.

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On 02/11/2016 at 9:45 PM, man o' the year said:

The daffodil café at Kings Mill hospital run by volunteers is efficient friendly and good value for money. Many of the out patient clinics are run efficiently and in a friendly way. I have first hand experience of the pacemaker clinic and speak of this in particular.

The main problem lies away from day to day view of the public.

Today's contribution is the ward supervisor (Matron or whatever) who went out of her way after yesterday's fiasco to tell me that she was concerned and responsible with the smooth running of the ward (ward 51) was sat for 20 minutes with 2 other staff laughing and joking within my sight while I had pressed the buzzer for Mum to go to the toilet. She then arrived with a scowl on her face. I said nothing and we left fearing how bad the "care" may get when we aren't there.

The 2 junior doctors I spoke to were professional friendly and thorough.

Yep, reflects my short experience as an HCA (auxiliary to you). We did all the work all the time. Some qualifieds chipped in, but most were so demoralised they skived where they could.  And the moment an HCA finished any job, they were summoned to the next. Nurses disappeared, and they were the ones caught out in snap inspections.

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20 minutes ago, rxe said:

What gets my goat is their ability to ignore patients .... until that patient shows up with someone who is remotely competent.   Simple example - my mother (85) takes herself to A&E with chest pains.  Sits there for about 4 hours, and gets told to bugger off (politely).  

So the next day she shows up with my father in law, who is a very capable doctor, now retired.   He doesn't like her story in the slightest.    He doesn't go all arsey on them, just uses the right language.   4 hour wait is turned into 30 minutes.   Proper attention this time, they discover that her blood pressure medication (un reviewed for 4 years) is utterly wrong, and that is causing her blackouts as well.   All fixed.  But if she'd not had someone who gave a s**t with her, she'd probably be in a box by now. 

Similar example when same parent had a (thankfully very mild) stroke.  She'd basically had her arm go numb, it was sort of coming back to life, but I've spent enough years in radiology departments to classify that as "not good".  Drove her straight to the nearest teaching A&E, dropped her right outside the doors and went to dump the car.   By the time I had come back, she was on a seat in the "drunks and low priority" queue.   So I dragged her back to the desk.    Receptionist/Triage person clearly pissed off "look, I've already told you to sit over there...".    Magic words needed:  "83 year old, history of high blood pressure, complaining of her hand going numb and floppy, then coming back to life, what do you reckon, because I reckon she should have been in the CT 10 minutes ago".  That got the required result.  

I could talk about the good friend of mine who had his cancer missed over a course of several months and visits - until it was too late.  He had a complaint upheld on that one, but it didn't really help him.  They'll try better next time. 

The relative with bowel cancer who was fobbed off for a year until it was very nearly too late. 

Oh, yes, the time I had blood pouring out of my **** only for the GP to tell me not to worry - paid a man with a camera 2 grand to make sure, and he chopped a load of stuff out of my lower bowel that he said would have caused no end of trouble in a few years time.  

Honestly, for anything remotely serious,  I'd rather be insured and in the US than over here.    They undoubtedly do all sorts of wonderful things, but the basic level of care is shocking.

Could that be because your use of insider language you as someone who works for the NHS, so you get the gold plated treatment.

It does seem that he more people you know working in the NHS, the better treatment you have. At worse, it also allow access on insider knowledge on which people and wards to avoid.

 

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2 minutes ago, spyguy said:

Could that be because your use of insider language you as someone who works for the NHS, so you get the gold plated treatment.

It does seem that he more people you know working in the NHS, the better treatment you have. At worse, it also allow access on insider knowledge on which people and wards to avoid.

 

of course it does.  but its up to Doctors to get the right treatment to you every time, regardless of whether or not they see a complaint being generated.

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1 minute ago, Bloo Loo said:

Yep, reflects my short experience as an HCA (auxiliary to you). We did all the work all the time. Some qualifieds chipped in, but most were so demoralised they skived where they could.  And the moment an HCA finished any job, they were summoned to the next. Nurses disappeared, and they were the ones caught out in snap inspections.

Why demoralised?

For their level of education and skills, Nurses get very paid.

Freind's a Nurse. She works hard.  But thats because she does 3 12 h shift, which are on the go all the time, and the odd halfday. She does her 37 h in 3 days and has a 4 day weekend. She gets paid ~28k.

For her skills, the equivalent job would be in a shop, earning ~12k, and working 5 days a week, alternate Saturdays.

 

 

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Just now, spyguy said:

Why demoralised?

For their level of education and skills, Nurses get very paid.

Freind's a Nurse. She works hard.  But thats because she does 3 12 h shift, which are on the go all the time, and the odd halfday. She does her 37 h in 3 days and has a 4 day weekend. She gets paid ~28k.

For her skills, the equivalent job would be in a shop, earning ~12k, and working 5 days a week, alternate Saturdays.

 

 

Nurses have had a 3 year vocational degree.  the 12 hr shifts are entirely voluntary. They get 35 days holiday.

And what does she mean works hard?...HCAs work hard on a ward, they have no discretion, the nurses give the orders.  Some work with the HCAs very well, others take ages to dispense a few drugs and avoid all the rest, then catch up with their facebook and video chats.  Ive seen it. 

I wasnt there long. But I saw it first hand.  And yes, there is a bullying culture from the top, and this demoralises nurses and makes people into "do the minimum you can, cos nobody gives a shit"...nobody being the reward system.

 

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1 minute ago, Bloo Loo said:

Nurses have had a 3 year vocational degree.  the 12 hr shifts are entirely voluntary. They get 35 days holiday.

And what does she mean works hard?...HCAs work hard on a ward, they have no discretion, the nurses give the orders.  Some work with the HCAs very well, others take ages to dispense a few drugs and avoid all the rest, then catch up with their facebook and video chats.  Ive seen it. 

I wasnt there long. But I saw it first hand.  And yes, there is a bullying culture from the top, and this demoralises nurses and makes people into "do the minimum you can, cos nobody gives a shit"...nobody being the reward system.

 

No you missed my point!

Shes very happy with her lot.

Friend works with with the HCa and she mucks in - shes a nice person.

She *loves* the 12h shifts. She does them willingly as it she only has to sort childcare out for 2 days a week, mainly with friends + family.

There are strange cliques and an almost royalty within the NHS. Its totally alien to another friend, who started off working in German hospitals - 'Spy, it is like Downton Abbey' she says.

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4 minutes ago, Bloo Loo said:

Nurses have had a 3 year vocational degree.  the 12 hr shifts are entirely voluntary. They get 35 days holiday.

And what does she mean works hard?...HCAs work hard on a ward, they have no discretion, the nurses give the orders.  Some work with the HCAs very well, others take ages to dispense a few drugs and avoid all the rest, then catch up with their facebook and video chats.  Ive seen it. 

I wasnt there long. But I saw it first hand.  And yes, there is a bullying culture from the top, and this demoralises nurses and makes people into "do the minimum you can, cos nobody gives a shit"...nobody being the reward system.

 

It was her who pointed out that for her level of skills - which are only A levelish, if that, the only other option would be a shop.

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Just for clarity - I don't work for the NHS.   However, I did spend a lot of time spannering in radiology systems back in the day.   

Yes, like any business, being an insider gets you better service - but the difference it makes in this business is pretty frightening. 

 

 

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