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» Ship of Fools   » Community discussion   » Hell   » Whoever is responsible for the inability of the NHS to keep old ladies safe

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Source: (consider it) Thread: Whoever is responsible for the inability of the NHS to keep old ladies safe
Penny S
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Second time sent home before being ready to be sent home, when they know that there are problems with provision of a proper environment for care there.
Followed by not being able to re-admit when a problem re-appears.
And it isn't just one person. It's happening all over.
The people who lived through the war and kept the country going, and helped to set up the NHS are being dumped.
If I a) believed in curses, and b) believed it was right to invoke them, I would be scrawling names on lead and slinging them into the Thames by Parliament.

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Schroedinger's cat

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Fundamentally, this is NHS underfunding. So it is the politicians. The workers in the service are still wonderful, trying their hardest to do what they can.

Maggie is rapidly becoming the third worst PM in my lifetime. In the future, if we have one, we will look back at this point in time and ask what the fuck we were doing.

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Lord may all my hard times be healing times
take out this broken heart and renew my mind.

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Alan Cresswell

Mad Scientist 先生
# 31

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quote:
Originally posted by Schroedinger's cat:
Fundamentally, this is NHS underfunding. So it is the politicians. The workers in the service are still wonderful, trying their hardest to do what they can.

Not just NHS underfunding. It's also underfunding of care services in general - ideally there would be adequate care in place that it is possible to free up hospital beds by allowing elderly patients home knowing that there is a decent care plan, with associated resources, in place.

Which is also down to politicians.

And, again the professionals in the care services are also wonderful, doing all they can with the little that is given them.

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Petition the UK Parliament to accept more unaccompanied children.

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Penny S
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Absolutely the politicians. Who know they don't need to bother about the votes of the end of life patients...
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Bishops Finger
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As a former ambulanceperson, I have had the unenviable task of taking home from hospital people who really have not been ready for it. My crewmate and I were once assaulted and abused - only verbally, fortunately - by a man who had been called out to let his mother into her house (at 3am). He apologised, and we (of course) were quite understanding - the poor man was clearly distressed and distraught on Mum's behalf.

On another occasion, we took home a lady with a full leg plaster, only to find that her 'care package' was not due to start until the following day (we had been told that the carers would meet her at home - in fact, we were let in by a kindly neighbour). Given that the patient lived in a town house, consisting mostly of stairs, we took the decision (with her consent) to return her directly to the ward from whence she came. By God's grace, her former bed was still unfilled (we didn't hang about on this job...)!

As others have said, it's the result of underfunding across the board. If only politicians could suffer the same worry, indignity, and general bloody-awfulness some of these poor people have to put up with.

(BTW, by 'Maggie', I assume Our Darling Mrs. May is meant, no? If so, agreed 100%. An asylum is where she belongs, hopefully with no staff available to wipe her bum, or bring her a cuppa tea)

IJ

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The future is another country - they might do things differently there...

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Schroedinger's cat

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Yes it is underfunding of the whole care system. That was me being lazy.

And no, Maggie is Mrs Thatcher. I think Cameron and May are even worse in order. They both deserve to end up dying in agony, slowly, covered in their own excrement.

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Lord may all my hard times be healing times
take out this broken heart and renew my mind.

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Penny S
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Shivering from unidentifiable causes though wrapped in umpteen layers of warm clothes.
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Bishops Finger
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None of which are theirs (or fit properly).

IJ

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The future is another country - they might do things differently there...

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Penny S
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I realise, and apologise for, that I over emphasised the gender of the victims of the failings in NHS care. This was because a) an elderly lady is in my mind most at the moment, b) when in the hospital I only saw elderly ladies because the ward (thank goodness) was not mixed, c) Old ladies tend to outlive old men, and d) artistic effect.
But it was wrong. I am sure that old men are made victims as much.

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Twilight

Puddleglum's sister
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I just think Penny has a mighty big heart to be getting outraged on behalf of a woman who has caused her all sorts of bother. Shows how nice she is.
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Bishops Finger
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I used to get outraged, too, but (alas, perhaps) those of us in The Front Line have to cultivate a certain amount of detachment...whilst trying to retain a degree of compassion and charity.

Men are indeed victims, too, but statistically (AFAIK) elderly women are in the majority in these awful situations.

[Frown]

IJ

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The future is another country - they might do things differently there...

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molopata

The Ship's jack
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Is there a reason why aged women suffer more than aged men?

Might it be because women are normally younger than their male partners, but live longer, and thus (on average) can act as carers, while when it is their turn they are truly on their own?
Or is there intrinsic gender-based discrimination?

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... The Respectable

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Bishops Finger
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It seems quite often the case with older couples that the wife outlives her husband, rather than that there is any gender-based discrimination.

That's anecdotal, BTW, from my own work experience - dunno whether it's borne out by stats.

IJ

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The future is another country - they might do things differently there...

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Twilight

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I think one factor might be that older women were raised not to raise their voices, and make a fuss. Nurses and doctors know this, so, even if subconsciously, they probably aren't quite as "careful" as they are with the men.

When my father was in his final six months of mini strokes and dementia, we had to move him to three different nursing homes because the powers that be just wouldn't put up with his cranky, demanding behavior. One supervisor told me straight up that she didn't like to take old men because so many of them were like that.

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Goldfish Stew
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Unfortunately underfunding of such services will continue to increase as the population ages. This is a reality of current population demographics, and I'm not sure anyone has wrapped their heads around the solution - and this is only the start of the increasing problem. Tax/levies will increase beyond politically acceptable limits very quickly in the coming 15-20 years, and politicians see the problem, but not the solution.

Tragically it is individuals who will miss out and put at risk.

For the last 2 years I've managed a resthome/hospital/dementia unit and I can tell you there isn't a huge margin: approximately 95% occupancy is break even in NZ, and most staff are getting much more than the minimum wage. Nursing ratios are incredibly low. And providers are continually squeezed by the funder - annual increases in funding have been pegged at less than the inflation rate for several years. The private providers are running care facilities in order to give them leverage to own retirement villages where there is money to be made (effectively the money comes from real estate, and healthcare is a side interest to give legitimacy to the real estate business.)

I don't know the answers here either ("throw more money at it" is also short sighted). But our respective populations need to have an adult conversation about the expectations, requirements and constraints before too many more people fall into the cracks. A conversation that is probably political suicide and so avoided...

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Jane R
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Penny S:
quote:
Absolutely the politicians. Who know they don't need to bother about the votes of the end of life patients...
...and foolishly forget that most end of life patients have family and friends who will outlive them long enough to cast a vote at the next election.

Time to write to our MPs. Not that writing to mine will do much good, as he's one of these hard Brexiteer/let the NHS burn types, but it will make me feel like I'm doing something.

[ 23. January 2017, 08:14: Message edited by: Jane R ]

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Penny S
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quote:
Originally posted by Twilight:
I just think Penny has a mighty big heart to be getting outraged on behalf of a woman who has caused her all sorts of bother. Shows how nice she is.

Well, thank you. Not sure about the conclusion, though. I seem to have developed an alt personality who is capable of behaving like a carer very nicely, but I'm not sure I am wholly responsible for her (the alt personality, that is.)
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Penny S
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And for the correction of the original bias, a horror story from east Kent. A man who had been in hospital for several weeks with a lung complaint, discharged, able according to the physio to walk 8 metres, but who could not stand. Also able to breathe properly, but unable to eat or drink when he got home. The family called an ambulance, and he was re-admitted. His wife could only kiss his forehead, as he was filthy, not having been washed. He died the following morning, without seeing his family again.
There is legal action being taken.
His daughter says that if they had been told that he was being sent home to die, that would have been different, but they were told he was well enough to go home.
This is extreme, but so, so wrong.

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Ethne Alba
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Our city last year had a lovely gent who was discharged from hospital to a previous address ( if remember serves). The poor discharged patient tried to find his very confused way home, only to end up in a canal. An early morning passerby found him......mercifully alive....

As far back as twelve years ago, we would have bed managers prowling the wards at night looking for patients to discharge. But frosty (and older) charge nurses or ward sisters sent them packing.

I know.

We all understand.

It's beds that are needed.
But being discharged in the middle of the night is no joke.

Not for the patient... the poor nurses who have to carry out the wishes from on high....other patients in the wards who are inevitable woken up as well....the family or friends who are inevitably summoned from their sleep to pick up a patient and still go into work the next day....neighbours who are woken up by vehicles coming and going at ridiculous hours....ambulance personel who are asked to take obviously ill people home.....GPs who are left to pick up the pieces afterwards....

Would that all MPs were banned from using private medical care. That might see the start of a bit of a shift in thinking.

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Penny S
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Given that by the frequency of thses events, every MP must have at least one constituent who suffers like this, if not more, it should be possible to make every single one of them aware of what is going on. Over, and over again. In detail. From every member of the patient's family.

[ 24. January 2017, 19:30: Message edited by: Penny S ]

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Ethne Alba
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Sadly.....and perfectly understandably, maybe the family's are caught up in the actual life of their relative?

Maybe the family find it hard to go over and over the story?

With the hospital should one complain to PALS, (Patient Advice and Liaison Service) or should complaints go to the ward or higher up, the chief executive?

Does the family go straight to the press?

The MP?

This all takes time.


Having been on the end of a discharge at 4.45am myself...i quite understand why some people have had enough and just want a bit of peace and quiet.

That's not to say that waking people up during the night to be discharged is acceptable.
It's not.

--------------------
Our only business is to love and to delight ourselves in God.
Brother Lawrence

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Penny S
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I suspect there is some reliance by those responsible on that sort of feeling in those affected.
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ExclamationMark
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There's another issue lurking under the surface here: how do you deal with the lies?

He's much better and able to go home: no he isn't (he shouldn't have gone home - guess what - back in 6 hours). Family told off for bringing him in

Come and pick him up now, he has everything he needs: a 4 hour wait at the hospital for his pills.

He's comfortable (said on phone to relative): son at bedside removing bottle of wee from table where it sits next to the uneaten food. Man sitting in a pool of wee where he 's been for over an hour - as per other patient observation. Staff standing at the nurse station talking about their night out.

We've checked her out she's ok and we'll find respite for her: dead 12 hrs later from the erupting cancers they had omitted to mention as seen on the xrays.

I can't speak to you now, I'm in the operating theatre. No Mr Consultant you can't speak to me because you're in the corridor of the shop area buying your lunch.

All of these happened.

I can understand the sympathy for those who carry out all sorts of jobs in the hospital - my wife and all 3 daughters work/have worked in the NHS - but injustice won't be stopped unless and until people on the ground say "no more." Mrs M finally left when she realised that to remain honest she's be raising incident report forms as soon as she walked in the ward door. She simply couldn't take the attitude of senior staff including the Chief Exec who said that answering bells was more important than people who had fallen down.

[ 29. January 2017, 06:31: Message edited by: ExclamationMark ]

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ExclamationMark
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By the way be very careful how you complain: always have a witness to any conversation, preferably record it on your mobile.

I'm aware of people who have been removed from the hospital under the "we don't tolerate aggression etc towards staff" for simply voicing valid concerns about treatment.

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Penny S
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The charities which can help can only help when they get referrals from hospitals. So we've been failed by the Red Cross and the Sally Army, despite the house not being livable at the moment. D's state not being medical - in some indefinable sense that I can't see, we can't take her to A&E again.
I haven't slept as I'm looking forward (in the sense that it is ahead of me) to a day enforced in with D.

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Penny S
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She was given an appointment at the Older Persons Assessment Unit for next week, at 9.30 in the morning, which would be too early for her at the best of times, but when she is 22 miles away, and the driving would be in the rush hour, is impossible. so it has been changed to a date in March - if this is the assessment to find her a placement somewhere, I am stuck for weeks.

Still, today's meal went down well. Cheesy bread-and-butter pudding using leftover French bread and cheese from KCL chaplaincy, chocolate custard with mini meringue sprinkles, and raspberry and rose profiteroles Waitrose had ordered too many of for Tuesday. Enough of the main for tomorrow as well - I rather over did it. There was a lot of loaf. And cheese.

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Penny S
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We continue unsupported. I am reluctant to engage on the "I am 71, and may be considered in some ways vulnerable as well. Please can I have support to not have to keep on doing caring work?" road. Superstitiously, I feel that using that tactic may rebound. I have been fit so far. I don't want to self fulfil something like that. But I am not feeling well. Nor is D's son.
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Bishops Finger
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A dreadful situation. I know this is Hell, but [Votive]

I sympathise with your thoughts about being superstitious, and perhaps not wanting some sort of rebound, or Deus ex Machina to occur, but the Gordian Knot does sometimes, for everyone's sake, need cutting.

Not sure where I'm going with this thought, but I hope YSWIM.

IJ

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The future is another country - they might do things differently there...

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Penny S
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The surgery has found an electrician.

We are not sure that even if we get the house working again, D will be able to live there independently. Her change has been so sudden, mobility, engagement with things and life in general, are not what they were at Christmas.

YSWIM?

[ 22. February 2017, 16:03: Message edited by: Penny S ]

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Bishops Finger
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Sorry - internet shorthand for 'You See What I Mean'...

IJ

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The future is another country - they might do things differently there...

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Penny S
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# 14768

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I did run a search on it - but it kept telling me about swimming lessons!
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