So my poor mother who is 96 years of age broke her hip and had to have an operation! You remember the plot? She is now in the care of the NHS. Lucky Mum! She was operated on yesterday after 30 hours of pain from a broken hip.
I got a call from Leicester Royal at 10.40pm asking ME for the number of her care home because she did not have a fracture and they were sending her home! Consequently I went down to her home on Saturday morning to be told that she had not arrived! Leicester Royal (bless 'em) were keeping her in because at 11pm Friday evening (she arrived at 8am Friday morning) they discovered at the second attempt that she actually did have a fracture!
Of course nobody thought we might be interested. In the end the Care home rang me and eventually there was a follow up call from the Royal. By now it is well into Saturday.
We live in Loughborough so there was no point in visiting Mum in Leicester after she had been operated on late on Saturday afternoon. We arrived today armed with evidence that I was her Power of Attorney which had been requested. I handed it over to the charge nurse to be photocopied.
We then discovered my mother lying in a lot of discomfort (she is 96) and she cannot swallow pain relief tablets. We suggested liquid pain relief but we were informed that there was no liquid pain relief on the ward and it had to be requested!!! I repeat this lady is 96!!! Eventually we suggested soluble pain relief and eventually ... and I mean 30 minutes ... somebody decided that they would put themselves out to help her!
In the meantime the document proving that I was her Power of Attorney had been given to the charge nurse to be photocopied. Oops the photocopier was not working and so they set off to find a photocopier that was working. It was Sunday so they tried office and office to find a photocopier that was available. This is one sheet of paper folks! You cannot believe that this took almost an hour!
I have yet to comment that when we arrived my mother was lying in bed with no false teeth. Now what does it take to ask an old lady if she wanted her teeth back in? Did none of them realise that this little bit of dignity was important? To be honest this was the straw that made me realise that the NHS has forgotten how to care. They actually don't care!
They have been taught not to care. They ignore all the important aspects of care. Don't get me wrong because they are all pleasant and they are all courteous but they don't actually care. They don't know how to care because they spend most of their days either in front of a computer or on the end of a phone. Please don't ask them to go and talk to a patient because that is beyond their remit! No it is not because at a designated point they deliver drugs!
They have a delivery system when a senior nurse actually comes around and ...gives you your pills. The other point of contact is when a consultant, first thing in the morning, comes around with his entourage and that is your only chance to actually talk to a human being.
It was bad when I was seriously ill but I that was 12 years ago. My mother has me and my wife to cater for her. We ask questions and try to ensure that she is looked after. In the next room to my mother today was an old lady who clearly had nobody. She was deranged and was continually asking for some kind of assurance. It was pathetic but nobody considered that she needed any kind of consideration!
Care is clearly a dirty word in today's society!