NHS musings

Mum was taken into hospital this morning. She spent the first part of the day on a chair in the Assessment Centre because there wasn’t a bed. She was freezing cold and exhausted but couldn’t sleep on the chair. By the time I got there at 3.30pm all she had had was one cup of tea and a sandwich. She was dehydrated and had a drip but desperately thirsty and we had to beg for a cup of water. The young doctor took a whole medical history from her in the presence of me and another stranger who was sitting next to us listening in. Then she had a rather intimate examination behind a screen in a corner of the reception area with little privacy.

She has been admitted to a ward which only opened last night for winter. They had one nurse on duty and a student. The toilet was filthy and there was something soiled lying in the shower area. Nobody has washed their hands yet. She has to take insulin before she eats but they couldnt find any, nor a finger pricking thing to check her level. It took almost 45 minutes to get a nurse to unhook her from the drip to go to the toilet. And the alarm went off on the drip every five minutes and then it took about 15 minutes for the same nurse to come in and reset it. Mum wants to go home.

The thing is… there is no point in complaining to the poor nurse who is overworked and underpaid. They shouldn’t have opened the ward with insufficient staff. I’ve heard lots of good things about the new RIE, but this is not boding well.

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