At first I thought my hospital (and it’s trolleys) was worse, but now I know they are all bad.. We must be off our trolleys to have let it get this bad.

When I was the unfortunate recipient of “Emergency and Urgent Care” in my local casualty (That’s different from A&E as it excludes trauma) I thought my hospital was worse than others, but now I know they are all bad.. but perhaps some are worse than others. What is it that makes the non-rationed health service, universal and cradle to grave, with free access, treat elderly people as if they don’t matter? There are many answers and the culture needs changing. The first thing is to make the staff feel valued, and then they might change their attitudes… 

How many people know what the new terminologies include or exclude? What is the purpose of rationing if it remains covert? The only answer I can think of is that it encourages the persistence of denial…. by all of us. Public, politicians and media. 

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The Times did cover the story below, but not on line 25th October: Patient, 84, died after 6 hours on A&E trolley. You might hope that something had been learned or done since 2015 but no! ( Patient dies on trolley after six hour wait for A&E at new flagship hospital – Jeremy Watson, November 6th 2015 in the Times ) or going back further , on 28th November 2013 Tom Knowles reported: Nurses ‘forgot’ patient, 84, over weekend.

You now need an advocate if you are in a UK Health Service Hospital. Someone who will make a noise for you, stir the shit and be a nuisance if things don’t happen. Unfortunately this might impact on the rest of the patients under the care of too few staff. Even I, a retired GP, would have benefitted from an advocate in my recent admission. Some things happen (or don’t happen) when you are unconscious or affected by drugs.

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BBC News reported 23rd October. Coventry Hospital: Man, 84, died on trolley ‘after six-hour wait’

Donald Driver, 84, slid off a trolley and died minutes later at Coventry University Hospital. A daughter has spoken of her heartbreak after her elderly dad died after sliding off a hospital trolley he had been waiting on in a packed A&E for SIX hours.

The Mail followed it up 26th: NHS let Dad die in A&E after six hours on a trolley without seeing a doctor …

The London Economic: Pensioner dies after spending six hours in a queue of trolleys …

Plan your hospital advocate…. NHSreality warned you that it was happening near you. The problems of Mid Staffs and Sussex Mental Health services are endemic, and Christmas is not a time to be ill..

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Image result for nhs trolley cartoon


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This entry was posted in A Personal View, Rationing, Stories in the Media on by .

About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

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