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FJJP
17th Apr 2005, 16:15
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2005/04/17/nhs17.xml&sSheet=/portal/2005/04/17/ixportal.html

Incandescent with rage

pilotwolf
17th Apr 2005, 16:29
Unforunately an all too common problem :(

Someone very close is having similar problems - obviously won't go into details here but at 25 she is in debillitating pain 24/7. Different trips to a and e have seen diagnosis from pulled muscle to over working!!!! And several show downs with medical staff - its amazing how things change when a 'fellow' medical professional stands there and quotes the patient charter and details the Trusts own policies that they seem to 'forget'. After 4 months of this we thought we were getting somewhere with the required investigations until Friday - another consultant and another view and another row... now having delayed his private clinic and made him miss his lunch ensuring that the matter was resolved she can have operation at end of the month, an operation which my allow her to live a normal pain free life!

Several years ago I came very very close to decking a junior doctor who told me and my crewmate, in fornt of the patients wife that despite our fighting to keep him alive and seeing a noticiable improvement in his condition that "... I m not going to bother wasting my time taking an 80 year old to theatre...."; It was a good job the bed was between us...

Theres good staff, hospitals and departments out there but the bad ones seem to be sooooooooo bad that its almost unbelievable.

Bring back the (proper) Matron I say!

PW

allan907
17th Apr 2005, 16:32
Economic rationalism and bean-counters have a hell of a lot to answer for.

jokova
17th Apr 2005, 17:17
FJJP - Annette Campbell-White's harrowing account of her father's demise exposes again the tragic deficiencies of the British NHS, but it should also be a prompt to consider how the Dutch ensure that the majority of those who are terminally ill are able to die with dignity and be accorded consideration and respect. It could also be a prompt for those of us with any compassion and time available to forgo the footy and the booze and acquire some carer skills, so as to give back to the community at a nursing home or aged-care centre or other place of choice. It is a trend that is on the increase in Australia.

airship
17th Apr 2005, 17:19
Wearing the crystal is still officially optional today...

http://www.britannia.org/film/images/posters/img400e11081dc04.jpg

Points to note:

Next time your country calls...tell 'em to get stuffed.
Everyone else, don't worry...just keep buying those beemers, plasma tvs, taking those holidays in faraway places etc., you know your time's limited.

:sad:

Konkordski
17th Apr 2005, 17:42
The current round of election promises say it all - this country wants a fantastic health system but doesn't want to pay for it. You don't get owt for nowt.

pilotwolf
17th Apr 2005, 19:08
Not sure thats quite true Konkordski ...

Better allocation of the £ in the right places would make a huge difference...

I know of one trust which spent around £250000 on art work for the patients enjoyment but regularly refuses to accept patients in the A and E department due to lack of beds...

PW

ShyTorque
17th Apr 2005, 21:39
We are suffering the problems brought about by a system that is obsessed with "targets", financial or paper, set for mainly political reasons. They are set so that a government can "prove" to the media that they are a better government than the last one, or the one that might oust it at the next election. These targets serve little purpose other than that.

These targets usually do more harm than good by diverting manpower away from its primary function. All of our emergency services suffer the same.

Time it stopped. We are now paying through the nose for a third world service.

Blacksheep
18th Apr 2005, 03:45
As a former RAF Fighter Pilot, this poor chap would have been eligible for assistance from the RAF Benevolent Fund. It seems that Miss Campbell - White didn't know about them.

Heatseeker
18th Apr 2005, 07:08
As someone whose father was also killed by the British National Health Service I can totally empathise with Miss Campbell-White however all the name calling and mud slinging in the world is never going to change the fact that as long as local/state/national governments continue to pay nursing staff totally inadequate wages and force them to work in impossible situations nothing is ever going to change.

What then is the solution to all this mess ?

More money of course would have to be the first of these solutions - and a huge amount of it. Guess what, that 'aint going to happen.

Okay, how about reducing the cost of health care ? How about a totally tax free income for all nurses, free transport, subsidsised or free housing, I could go on but you get my drift. It would cost of course but all the Government concerned would have to do is reduce their costs somewhere else - across the board perhaps. That way everybody else could share the cost of the healthcare that we are all going to need during our lives and especially at the end of it.

This of course would require a serious and prologned effort by the government of the day but I am sorry to say that if there are no votes in it then nothing will be done to reduce these daily tradgedies.

I wish I was clever enough to fix these problems, but I'm not. I just hope when my time comes it will be very quick and painless.

A rather sad
Heat

Send Clowns
18th Apr 2005, 09:51
The problem is not money. £71 billion is twice what was spent 8 years ago, yet there has been no significant improvement. The problem is probably something to do with the political interference. Get a copy of the Sunday Telegraph from a week ago. Interesting, and scary, reading.

Duckbutt
18th Apr 2005, 10:39
Very sad tale, confess there’s almost a tear in my eye.

I suppose one must be very careful what I say but I get the feeling that the name of the hospital mentioned in the report does seem to crop up an awful lot in relation to horror stories of this sort.

In regard to the theft mentioned, some years ago my mother died in the same hospital after suffering a massive stroke – I can have no complaints in regard to the treatment she received, she arrived in an irreversible coma, dying some four hours after admission. She always wore a not inexpensive emerald ring which my father gave to her many years before, and this was missing when her things were later returned (a quiet word with the undertaker confirmed that she was not wearing it when she was released to him). Nothing could be proved of course so no further action was possible.

As Send Clowns says, much more money is being poured into the NHS and I have to say from personal experience that there has been a significant improvement in general in local services. I appreciate what was written in the recent Sunday Telegraph article but lets not lose sight of the fact that we are in the middle of an election campaign and this particular paper is not supportive of this Government (“accentuate the negative” as the old song nearly puts it).

Send Clowns
18th Apr 2005, 10:51
If you read the articles, Duckbutt, the sources are not political, or in some cases they are natural Labour supporters. Some of the most important sources are leaked internal memos. The issue is too horrifying to just put down to party politics, partly as they are caused by one party playing politics with the NHS and politicising the bureaucracy. I would be just as horrified by a Tory government do the same thing, manipulating doctors, patients and statistics to show themselves in a good light, and turning large parts of the bureaucracy over to doing so. They found evidence that diagnosis was being made incorrectly just to get people out of A & E within 4 hours, as possibly the worst of many ways of complying with arbitary, politically-motivated targets.

38DoubleDee
18th Apr 2005, 11:09
More money of course would have to be the first of these solutions - and a huge amount of it. Guess what, that 'aint going to happen

It will if they channel the money away from the fat cats at the top in the Trusts and flow it into the areas needing most!

Like Pilotwolf has said, ridiculous amounts are spent in the wrong areas when lives are at risk. Alot is meeting targets so practices get paid their yearly quota. If they over spend on one area other areas suffer!! They don't seem to budget for the peaks and troughs in a year when the young and old are at risk and then then it goes wrong when they over spend!

Sad situations like this have made many friends I have left the NHS to work abroad even in relief aid where there services are appreciated.

Duckbutt
18th Apr 2005, 11:12
SC I do not make any comment as to the authenticity of the article in question, merely making the observation that perhaps during the present period of election fervour, it may be wise to run everything in ANY of the papers through an appropriate bias filter.

Send Clowns
18th Apr 2005, 11:16
Actually, it may surprise some here but I would disagree with Pilotwolf's complaint, as long as the artwork was well-chosen and appropriately sited. I have a very close friend who is studying a different aspect of environment as part of the healing process. Art can be part of that, if appropriately used, and it has been thought for centuries that environment is important. It was only in the late 19th century and through most of the 20th century that this has fallen out of view (if you excuse the pun), with the rise of physic medical practice as a science. It is being looked at much more now and seems to be quite important.

X-QUORK
18th Apr 2005, 11:49
The way this poor old chap was treated is completely unacceptable, but don't allow the raw emotions of one case tarnish the whole of the NHS.

Last December my wife had to undergo surgery after a failed pregnancy and at all times she was treated with great compassion by the doctors and nurses at our local NHS hospital. Her condition wasn't life threatening, but she was processed quickly and efficiently by a system that seemed to run much more smoothly than one would imagine given all the negative press. It was a tough time for both of us, but made much easier by the wonderful staff at Horton Hospital.

pilotwolf
18th Apr 2005, 12:16
as long as the artwork was well-chosen and appropriately sited

In the Trust I am thinking of the artwork is predominately sited in corridors and gardens which are unaccessible by the majority of the patients, most of it is also modern 'art'.

Anyway if you can't get admitted in the first place because of insufficent beds and lack of staff the type and placing of the artwork is largely irrelavent as you re never going to see it!

Besides whats wrong with allowing local art students, voluntary groups, school group, etc supply the decorations?

Also look at the items that the Hospitals Friends/WRVS/etc are buying for the hospitals - beds, monitoring equipment, curtains, etc - surely these should have a higher priority in the budgets than 'paintings'?!

PW

stagger
18th Apr 2005, 12:35
This is not simply a political or funding issue - in the UK we seem to have low expectations when it comes to treating older people.

I've seen the way older folks, friends and relatives, have been treated both here in the UK and over in Canada.

Over there the attitude tends to be – "We'll do whatever we reasonably can to improve your quality of life." Over here it's more like "You've had a good innings - now don't make a fuss."

These attitudes permeate the entire health care system – doctors, nurses, care assistants, cleaners.

The idea that the NHS is full of saintly staff fighting against a bad system is rubbish – yes there are good staff – but there are many who are quite simply incompetent and treat patients with neglect or disdain.

Before someone chips in with “how dare you criticise our saintly staff” – I know what I’m talking about here. I have family who work in the NHS – and I’ve seen an elderly relative (who was living independently) go in to hospital for treatment for a broken elbow and end up dead within two weeks largely due to lack of proper care.

The most realistic medical drama on TV in recent years – the BBC show Bodies. Laziness, incompetence, neglect – all widespread in the NHS. And as depicted in the show - staff routinely lie to patients and relatives to cover up their mistakes.

Yes - there are good staff. Often to be found working in intensive care units for example – but the difference between the quality of care there and on other wards is truly astonishing.

Curious Pax
18th Apr 2005, 13:01
4 years ago my wife had gall bladder trouble, which rather than being the usual flare up once in a blue moon was pretty constant grumbling with regular flare ups. As such we ended up in the local A&E several times - given the usual press noise about waiting times, I can vouch for the fact that you get seen very quickly when you present shortage of breath, pain in the arm and chest as symptoms! All through this, and its eventual removal the care my wife received was excellent, but there were 3 points that stood out, and which I believe don't come down to politics, but rather management and history:

on the first visit, when no track record had been established, the doctors were understandably concerned about any heart problem being the cause, and so admitted my wife on a Thursday night for observation. By Friday evening they decided that the gall bladder was almost certainly the problem, but (as presented to us) someone senior enough to sign the discharge form wasn't available, and due to the weekend she ended up staying until the Monday afternoon. Hence unnecessary use of a bed for nearly 3 days!

On the third visit the A&E doctor told us that he would write to our GP, so that he in turn could write to the consultant stressing the urgency of the case, which should get her moved up the waiting list. The A&E department, and the office of said consultant are no more than 200 yards apart, so the time and money wasted on this game of Chinese whispers was silly, and I assume, not unusual.

Finally, a couple of days before my wifes operation date she got a phone call saying that her operation was cancelled, and they would be in touch with a new date. After 6 months of varying degrees of constant pan, so I rang back to complain. From what I was told, and reading between the lines, the consultant had told his secretary (who was a temp) to free him up some extra time. She seemed to have done this with no regard to relative urgency, as the person I spoke to (a more experienced secretary I think) was surprised at the delay. My suspicion is that an appearance early in the alphabet had a lot to do with it. Gratifyingly my wife got a terse call from the temp a few minutes later (she gave all the signs of having been bo11ocked) saying that the operation was back on as originally scheduled.

I suspect that history is the reason for items 1 and 2, whilst 3 is just one of those things when a temp sorts out something that really needs a bit of experience, and can happen anywhere.

So what is your point I hear you cry if you've read this far? My point is that despite governments of both shades putting in lots of managers in the last 15-20 years, there are loads of areas where they don't seem to have addressed some of the more archaic practises - if they did there would be huge amounts of money to save.

Trouble is everyone wants a quick fix, so headlines like 'we are spending 100 million more on the NHS' doesn't mean that an extra 1000 doctors and 10,000 nurses can be brought of a warehouse, or that an efficient computerised management system will appear tomorrow. Beats me why politicians don't make more of that fact - not a party political point as they are all equally guilty of it.