Monday, 15 August 2011

A 95 year old woman and the NHS!

My mother is very frail. She is 95 years of age. Her residential home phoned for the GP today because they thought she was dying. The on call GP refused to come out because he had a meeting! We are with Bridge Street Surgery Loughborough. The doctor who failed to respond to the call out refused to talk to my wife even though he knows her personally. My wife in desperation dialled 999 and the paramedics arrived. They decided that she be admitted directly to a ward. Seven hours later an ambulance arrived and took her 15 miles to the Royal at Leicester!! This is how we look after our elderly in the modern world. It is frankly disgraceful!

I actually doubt if there is a family in this country who have not suffered from the administrative incompetence of the Health Trusts in this country. The doctor who refused to attend knows my wife as she is a former Medical Receptionist. He is normally a wonderful doctor and almost a family friend but today was inexcusable.

Our socialist politicians, those that like to make political capital out of their own mistakes, often like to highlight those in poverty. We are constantly reminded of the poor in Africa and the poor in the government created ghettos like Tottenham and Hackney.  Believe me the only genuine poor in this country are the elderly trying to survive on government pensions. They have paid into the system their whole lives and now must face a miserable old age. They are also the last people to be represented by the likes of Ed Miliband. There is no glamour or political prestige in the elderly. Old age is not for cissies!

I have often blogged about the decline of civilization in this country but today really brought it home to me. The young are out of control and the elderly are ignored. Our politicians hand billions to the unaudited EU and millions to African property developers in Paris but they cannot get an ambulance to take my mother to hospital when she is dying and her own GP cared not a jot!

It says it all!


GrumpyRN said...

Please accept my sympathies and concern but, as a health care professional (RGN for 30 years and working in acute hospital care) I have to ask. Why would you want to move a frail 95 year old lady who is dying from a place where she is known and knows the staff and presumably has her own bed and room into an impersonal hospital full of noise and strangers?
I appreciate this may make me sound cruel and uncaring but let me assure you am neither and I am not trying to upset you more than you are already but perhaps she would have been better in an environment she knows with people who know her.

If your wife dialled 999 and a paramedic responded they would have to get that patient to A&E, paramedics cannot admit patients directly to a ward unless a doctor has previously arranged it. They can either leave at home or transport. Somewhere along the line a doctor has been involved and decided to admit to a ward. And it beggars the question, why did the paramedics who attended not take her to hospital?

I agree 7 hours is long to wait but sadly she would be classed as a none urgent case and would have been pushed back every time some idiot dialled 999 for a sore toe. A reflection on society rather than the politicians.

I also agree that the elderly are the forgotten in this country - scares me as I am rapidly approaching this state.

bryboy said...

Hi Grumpy RN and I recognise your experience in this sphere. My mother is in residential care and not nursing care. The criteria for this home is that she remains self sufficient. For the past 3 weeks she has forgotten almost everything. Consequently she is not eating and drinking (or taking her pills) unless we insist. The home won't keep her. You are right the para medics phoned another doctor for authorisation from bed bureau. At that time the attending paramedics (brilliant as ever) did not want to feed her through A & E. That is why we opted for the 4 hour service which almost doubled. I appreciate your interest and knowledge and yes I too am approaching that age when we become vulnerable. We must now find a care home that looks decent.