After reading Lynette's complaint letter about her recent stay in hospital, I am at once not at all surpised but still ruddy angry. It is clear from recent changes to admissions policy that patients are to be jammed into 'assessment' wards, in the hope that they'll get fed up with waiting for treatment and leave. Certainly, every Friday is 'Clear Out' day, to rid the hospital of its Duty of Care to patients that have been sent into hospital, by their GPs, because they need secondary care. The changes to NHS policy over the past eleven years have made care harder to access, with patients requiring beds put on a low priority. Now, the policy is : treat the symptoms - in assessment if possible - and send the patient home without addressing the root cause of the need for admission.
I experienced this last September, after collapsing in a hotel in Cardiff. I was taken by ambulance to UHW, with an initial diagnosis offered as being Bradycardia ( slow Heart Rate ). This was on a Wednesday evening during which time, I saw one doctor, who nodded at me and said "Stop his Atenolol and Clonazepam". No examination, just, "stop his pills". I spent the night with no food or drink and only the shouting of drunks to sing me to sleep. The following afternoon I was despatched to a Links ward, where I asked to see a cardiologist, because I have unstable Angina and possible Arryhthmia - a not unreasonable request, I thought. By the next day, and a Tuna sandwich later, I was visited by a junior doctor and informed that I was being sent home, and that I had to see my GP to get a referral to my Cardiologist. When I dared to question this, I was informed that 'a nurse had spoken to the Cardiologist and that, as my heart rate was now normal, I was being discharged.' Four months later I saw a Cardiologist who, after a failed Treadmill test, told me that I needed an Angiogram. Meanwhile, I was to get plenty of rest until my appointment arrived two months later. The Angio showed that I needed an Angioplasty 'in about a month's time', meanwhile I was to rest and use my GTN spray ( the universal cure for all heart conditions, lol.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, it is now quite obvious that the NHS in Wales is on a Five Day Week - unless your inconsiderate enough to be in danger of dying over the weekend ( it being your fault entirely that you made yourself ill in the first place, as per 'The Jewell theory of medicine' ). Have you tried getting an out of hours doctor to see you at the weekend ? Have you waited for hours for an ambulance that is stuck outside A & E, waiting to discharge its' patient, and all this due to the Five Day working week brought into force by the Universally Inept Health Boards, aided and abetted by Dr Tony Jewell and the rest of our uncaring government.The NHS mission statement is 'We attempt to offer patient care that is fit for purpose, but from centralised, smaller hospital bed units, this care being made available for five days a week only'.
As Tony Blair once said ( and many fawning Ministers afterwards ) "We offer the best health care in the world". I do hope the ghost of Aneurin Bevan wasn't listening. My advice ? - move anywhere else in the European union where, even in Prague, you will receive much better health care. R. W.
crisis in nursing - six stays in hospital and six first hand experiences of care that doesn't care enough.