I tried to write about something light-hearted this week but my head is too full of serious matters. I have to let off steam! Mum has been ill all Christmas and a few days ago she collapsed. The housekeeper at her home called an ambulance and she was taken to the Emergency Medical Unit at the Leicester General Hospital.
Regular readers of this blog will know that my Other Half spent over seven weeks in hospital last year and so I’m no stranger to hospital visiting. He was in the Bone Marrow Unit at the Leicester Royal Infirmary and, although he was seriously ill, the care was first class.
In comparison, Mum is having a third class experience. She is in a bed with no buzzer. Her first night there was spent hooked up to a drip. She was unable to reach her stick and had no way of even telling a nurse when she needed to go to the toilet. The inevitable outcome was degrading and inhumane. Next morning she managed to get to a toilet but was given only a couple of sheets of toilet paper – a small point when typed on this screen but a major one when it’s happening to you!
After she had been in the ward for 24 hours I asked the nurse in charge what was being done for her. The nurse didn’t know who I was talking about. She pulled a sheet of paper from her pocket and, sure enough, there was Mum’s name, halfway down an unbelievably long list. The nurse still didn’t know who Mum was or why she was there and I’m not really surprised. How can any one person be expected to care for so many people?
I overheard someone say that the unit should have been closed down before Christmas but had been kept open because of the high number of emergency admissions. This explains the buzzer and maybe even the toilet paper but it doesn’t help Mum. She still has no buzzer but she does have a large, soft, white toilet roll in a bag with her name written on it!
Why can’t hospital administrators see that there are more important things than target fixing and form filling? Nurses need time and resources. They need to be allowed to care. I only hope those administrators never have to experience the same indignities... or maybe they pay the extra and go to a different hospital.
Mum had an endoscopy yesterday afternoon. She has an ulcer. We still don’t know what they’re planning or what that means but at least they’re doing something.