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News and Comment May 2020

Index: 2020



27 May (Part 3) - Crap for the NHS

I won’t be clapping for the NHS tomorrow, not after the shit shower, sorry but they have been so totally incompetent that there are few other suitable words, they have dumped on me over the past few weeks.

As longer term readers will know, I have been looking after an aunt in East Ham for several years. Fit as a fiddle, looks 85 at most, but as she puts it herself “my brain has gone”.

A few weeks ago she became unwell, probably she should be in hospital and she was for four days but Covid and all that, they wanted her out with 24/7 care at home. The only good thing about that is that the NHS picks up the care bill because it’s no longer required only for dementia. That saves me more than a thousand pounds a month but they are only providing the same number of care visits as before but doubling up on the carer numbers.

That leaves my sister and me to fill in all the gaps. I have come to the conclusion that the NHS are taking advantage of a caring family to avoid providing 24/7 care themselves. I am contemplating refusing to do it any more but it is a difficult step to take and inflict on a lady twelve days off her hundredth birthday.

Why a shit shower? What justifies such language? For a flavour of it, this is what has happened since last Sunday, my mind is a blur on the previous weeks but it was all similarly bad.

On Sunday the carer suspected mouth thrush to add to the existing problems and it was confirmed the same day by the District Nurse. I know that a prescription request had gone to the GP by Monday but as of Wednesday evening when I am writing this, it is still not forthcoming. I know the name of the requested medication and the pharmacist says that when he gets the prescription he will need to put in a special order. So we won’t get the stuff until Friday at best. Meanwhile my aunt struggles to speak and points at her mouth.

There is a prescription for paracetamol syrup but it’s not come into stock yet.

A District Nurse is supposed to come in the early evening to administer a mild sedative by syringe. At the weekend she missed one because she said she couldn’t find whatever gets injected and she went off leaving her needle behind. No sharps box. Last night (Tuesday) she failed to turn up at all. When questioned she said it was because of a Urinary Tract Infection. I have no idea if that is a good medical excuse but there is no diagnosed UTI and it is simply misinformation. There has still not been any urine test.

The result of that was that there was no sleep for anyone until 5 a.m. on Wednesday morning. Not that that is much worse than usual.

On Monday, maybe it was Sunday, it’s another blur, a District Nurse manhandled the frail 99 year old so roughly, my sister’s description was “brutal”, that the old lady managed to blurt out the words, “get that woman out of my house”.

Wednesday morning without the promised District Nurse visit and no access to the GP who had taken the day off, my sister phoned his surgery to seek help and advice. She was told none could be given by telephone but to wheel the old lady to the surgery for a consultation. An appointment was handed out for Tuesday June 9th. I am not making this up.

My sister blew her top as you might imagine and was promised a GP would call her back. He/she did not.

Another night begins with no injected sedative, the UTI excuse has been wheeled out again, no medication for the thrush and no one around to help a lady who is really very unwell indeed. And that’s just this week.

Clap for the NHS? Absolutely no way!

 

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