Wednesday, July 04, 2007

NHS trying to kill us all

I keep having a vision of the London Eye raped with dead bodies and the capsules full of people having a masqued ball

so my mum went in to hospital (UCH) to have a fairly routine procedure which involves putting a tube down the oesophagus (i.e. your throat) to look at her insides - unfortunately, (3% chance) the procedure resulted in a puncture which means she is unable to eat or drink for 2-6 weeks (depending) - 3 weeks later, after visiting almost every day, I am shocked at the appalingness of the NHS today (and UCH is supposed to be one of the better hospitals). The nursing at nighttime is largely done by people that hardly ever speak to patients and do not respond to calls from patients - sure they have a large ward to look after but this is a bad scenari o - in many cases it is clear that there is a significatn "jobsworth" attitude going on, particulalry amongst people who take advantage of the NHS massive overeas recruitement just to get trained in the UK then head home - they often do not even speak english well enough to have a conversxation with an elderly person with poor sight and heating - in some cases they tried to offer food/drinks/drugs despite a large sign o nthe bed saying "Nil by Mouth".

continuity of knowledge amongst doctors visiting the bed was por - often they spent less than 10 seconds (3 times in my sight) looking at the patient notes and relied on the patient - a bad idea with an 85 year old person with problems with sight and hearing.

The fact that the patient was only there because of hospital error (no I am not blaming them completely, but it ought to be a factor) should mean they are ALL aware that they ought to be extra careful - the only times I've seen them act profrssionally is when I (as an ex UCL professor) mention my affiliation or my sister (a doctor) show up. That is unfair on other patients, but also means that the bar for adequate care is simply way too low to be acceptable.

Other problems - the wards are not that clean (not as bad as the Free (also run by UCL) where my father died of MRSA, or Addenbrookes, where I was with a broken leg, treated very very well, but not much good compared, say to my bathroom at home, and I am not a OCD about cleanliness:)

Problem is that everyone is spending (visibly) significant time on management processes (forms on PCs and paper) rather than listeing to patient, family and colleagues - the silo-mentality is obviously driven by the constant re-org;s the NHS has had to undergo - I don't hold much hope out - I havnt seemn Michael Moore's SIcko movie yet about US healthcare, but I would be interested in a comparison...the TV documentary recently on trying to clean up UK hospotials was quite amusing, but there are far more fundamental problems, if UCH (which is suppsoed tobe good) is anything to go by. The NHS connecting for care and NPfIT programmes are irrevant, and infinite sink of dosh whoch should be used to fix personnel and medical professional morale and community immediately or the system will spiral into complete irreperal position.

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