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Hospital waiting time (it's been said before)

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Hospital waiting time (it's been said before)

Old 15th Sep 2015, 19:47
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Hospital waiting time (it's been said before)

Yesterday my 88 year old father in law fell in the garden and sliced open his head and face - quite a mess.

His wife called the ambulance which arrived after about 20 minutes, so far so good.

Arrived at Leighton Hospital Crewe and was stuck into outpatients. Triage nurse looked at the ambulance notes but didn't say a word to him or accompanying wife.

It was well over 3 hours before he was seen by anyone!

That is despite please from his wife to consider his age and that he was diabetic and hadn't eaten.

Surely this is not acceptable?

FF
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Old 15th Sep 2015, 19:55
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Surely this is not acceptable?
(1) How do you know that everybody treated before him wasn't in an even worse state?

(2) How much extra tax would you like to pay to provide greater resource?

But you knew that.
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Old 15th Sep 2015, 21:21
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Hope your father in law is making an "uneventful" recovery.

There are lot's of Government lead targets, it's disappointing that he wasn't treated immediately.

Can I hazard a guess that there has been some communication failure here ?

We're working on it -)

How is he now ?
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Old 15th Sep 2015, 21:31
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It seems like the reason for the hospital visit was a physical injury (albeit to a gentleman of mature years) rather than a 'medical emergency' requiring immediate intervention to save life, however, consideration should have been given to providing sustenance for the diabetic condition.

I cannot remember the last time that I was in A&E (or the reason for my visit), but I was content to wait whilst the 'critical' cases were dealt with.
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Old 15th Sep 2015, 21:50
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I hope your father in law makes a speedy recovery.


Unfortunately a long wait in A&E is not unusual, I know that through experience having had two sons who've had a few injuries requiring A&E.


The wait is not the fault of the staff but the workload they are under, (although the nurse could have offered some reassurance).
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Old 15th Sep 2015, 21:54
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Funny how this thread popped on today of all days.

A friend finally went into Edinburgh Royal yesterday to have a heart valve replaced. His op had to be called off three times previously, twice due to lack of beds and once when he picked up a cold a few days before he was due to go in.

He went in yesterday evening and was given a sedative so that he would be rested for the op today. Despite that there was so much noise on the ward overnight that he hardly got any sleep.

He was wheeled into theatre this morning, anaesthetised, and when he came round the surgeon was there to explain that the op was cancelled at the very last moment because the Intensive Care bed he was to occupy was not available. All he has to show for it is a lot of symbols written on his right arm that will not wash off!

He is now home, still groggy from the anaesthetic, and he and his family will have to go through the emotional turmoil of a fifth try at getting the procedure done.
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Old 15th Sep 2015, 22:04
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I believe that it is the availability of recovery beds that restricts the major operations - I saw something on TV about that and it was highlighted that the surgeons (and the theatres) were available when the beds were not.

This isn't poor planning - it is just that there is insufficient availability of staff capable of providing the necessary care for recovering surgical cases.
A patient that has a relapse can throw the whole schedule into chaos by not vacating a bed in time for the next occupant, and it isn't acceptable for a serious surgical patient to be discharged from the theatre without a suitable 'bed'.
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Old 15th Sep 2015, 22:27
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I had to attend A&E at just before midnight on Sunday with a sudden onset eye problem. I was called through to triage within 5 minutes, sent up to the eye ward 15 minutes later and was seen by the on call ophthalmologist about 5 mimutes after getting to the ward. Very impressed! My previous experiences haven't always been quite this impressive, but my perception is that the problem is lack of resource rather than anything else
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Old 15th Sep 2015, 22:34
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How do you know that everybody treated before him wasn't in an even worse state?
Gertrude, that's not the point. Everyone should have been seen sooner.

Yes, I think that we should pay more for our NHS in line with France for example.

I don't mind paying taxes what p*ss*s me off is that a great deal of the tax I (we) pay is wasted (e.g. the military procurement department) etc.

I don't have an answer - I'm not wise enough, but I do know that it feels wrong.
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Old 15th Sep 2015, 22:35
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I had to attend A&E at just before midnight on Sunday with a sudden onset eye problem. I was called through to triage within 5 minutes, sent up to the eye ward 15 minutes later and was seen by the on call ophthalmologist about 5 mimutes after getting to the ward.
I've had a similar experience with an eye thing. Possibly they're something where timely intervention can have a significant effect on outcome, so they get to the top of the list (as they should)?
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Old 15th Sep 2015, 22:37
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I don't mind paying taxes what p*ss*s me off is that a great deal of the tax I (we) pay is wasted (e.g. the military procurement department) etc.
Fine.

But that's the political process for you - not everybody agrees with you, some would rather pay less tax, others would rather spend it on bombs and rockets, and they all have votes.
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Old 15th Sep 2015, 22:58
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More people could and would be encouraged to buy medical insurance for treatment at private rates if those premiums were tax deductible. After all, the insurance scheme is presumably being bought with income or capital that has already been taxed. Private medical schemes are of as great a benefit to those who subscribe to them as they are to those who potentially reap the rewards of a less encumbered NHS, a service intended originally to provide health care from cradle to grave but which has proved so successful that it is in danger of being strangled by its own munificence.
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Old 15th Sep 2015, 23:17
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Whenever multiple situations (such as A&E) occur, there is a conflict between dealing first with the minor cases (so as to 'clear the decks') and concentrating on the major cases as they are the most serious, however nobody would question the need to respond to life-threatening cases while non-critical cases are made to wait.

Of course much depends on the time of the arrival - weekends and, in particular, Saturday nights can be subject to drink-related cases, and, I believe that Monday mornings can be busy as people head to A&E instead of attending work (sometimes this is because the patient considered it insufficiently important to 'bother' A&E during the weekend (and, in particular, on a Sunday evening) whereas, depending on the ailment, there might well be a 'consultant' or specialist on standby available to deal with unusual cases (such as the optical one).
Simple injuries caused by falls or fights tend to be the majority and therefore heavily load the available 'general' resources.

My grandson fell backwards down stairs when playing 'knights' and was taken to A&E where he was examined and discharged without X-ray.
On talking with my son and hearing the detail of the fall and the symptoms experienced by the youngster, I recalled my own fall (over the handlebars of a cycle) and the subsequent (three days later) discovery that I had a broken collarbone, and I instructed my son to return the youngster for further investigation whereupon an X-ray confirmed the broken collarbone.

A broken collarbone doesn't result in a plaster, merely a sling (after re-setting the pieces) and restricted movement whilst it 'heals'.
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Old 16th Sep 2015, 08:20
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Originally Posted by funfly View Post
Yes, I think that we should pay more for our NHS in line with France for example.
Try getting the "free at point of delivery" UK patients to cough up €23 every time they visit their GP and also pay the Mutuelle top up health insurance, and see what happens!
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Old 16th Sep 2015, 08:55
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Diabetic? T1 or T2? If T1 he should have his own glucose meter and should have known where his sugar level was.

If T2 it's doubtful he would have a meter (at least from the NHS) but it would take less than a minute for the hospital to do a finger prick. A simple request "He's a diabetic, can you check his glucose please?" should get a response. Even if only T2 I'd recommend he have, and use, a meter. They are not expensive (but the test strips can be) and can help immensely in the management of the condition.

42 years of T1, and still counting.

Last edited by ExXB; 16th Sep 2015 at 11:02. Reason: typo
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Old 16th Sep 2015, 09:37
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Who do you prioritise? Should it be parents with young kids (try waiting 3 hours with a toddler?) Patients with psychiatric issues? War veterans? Busy people - after all when you're retired you can presumably afford to sit around for 3 hours. When you're an international banker that's all your free time this month. What about students with deadlines? Should rich people who pay taxes be seen before unemployed people who don't? What if those people were unemployed due to industrial accidents?

I work in an A&E and I don't have the energy or the appetite to make such moral judgements. I can judge that someone with caustic soda in their eye probably needs to be seen before someone with a broken arm. Other than that it's simpler and fairer to see people simply in the order they arrive.

I agree entirely with Exxb - no reasonable A&E would decline a BM check if your father in law was feeling wobbly, and we generally have biscuits/sandwiches...

As for 3 hours... The health service in the UK is massively underfunded relative to that in other comparably wealthy nations. Also, I don't think it's overly cynical to consider that it's being deliberately run into the ground to promote the interests of private healthcare.
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Old 16th Sep 2015, 11:04
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I don't think it's overly cynical to consider that it's being deliberately run into the ground to promote the interests of private healthcare.
More likely ,too many "administrators" many of whom are deadlegs who wouldn't recognise a hard oer efficient day's work if it bit them on the backside. I've seen, first-hand, the social -club that is the "nursing-station"...also seen the ward wirh a small, windowed cubicle which is the Sister's office. the patients and care-staff are in full view and it shows.
My local hospital is an administrative shambles and has been for over 30 years...plenty of people sauntering about with bits of paper, some wards with a staff/patient ratio of 15:1. A complaint elicits patronising bullcrap....they just want a comfortable ride to a comfortable pension.
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Old 16th Sep 2015, 11:16
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Hear, hear, Steve.

This isn't poor planning - it is just that there is insufficient availability of staff
That's not poor planning? I would have been fired from my (private enterprise) job if I allowed that to happen.
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Old 16th Sep 2015, 12:11
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It's apparently impossible to recruit (and retain) sufficient numbers of suitably experienced and qualified staff.

Even using agency staff (at extortionate cost) there isn't enough 'resource'.

Hospitals operate with what they can resource, and when patients fail to recover as expected this leads to bed-blocking and subsequent postponement of operations.

Would you have expensive specialist-care beds standing empty just in case?
I understand that management of the throughput of these beds regulates the rate of operations.

There are regular reports on this situation:- https://www.gov.uk/government/statis...ions-july-2015

http://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics...-2014-15-data/

Not a new problem
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Old 16th Sep 2015, 13:02
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Funfly, my Mother had a fall last week and received identical treatment at Calderdale Royal Hospital A&E. After 6 hours she was eventually treated, the gentleman admitted just before her had a spot on his back which he said had "changed shape". It seems that Triage is nothing more than first-come, first-served at A&E units across the UK. I complained to [email protected] and got a very helpful reply after 2 days with a further 3 email addresses to escalate this issue to. I'm sure there will be a similar facility in your area, please use it - if we just put up with this situation it will only continue.
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