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Does anyone have any experience of bringing an action against the HNS or the local Primary Trust?

 

This would relate to a failure to provide adequate clinical care following a series of strokes.

 

I'll obviously go into detail if anyone feels they can help, but at the moment I have no idea whether such action is possible.

 

Thanks.

 

Vandermerwe

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I enquired about it following the death of my mum, but it is a difficult process and you need good evidence.

 

I'll obviously go into detail if anyone feels they can help, but at the moment I have no idea whether such action is possible.

 

I think we would need more detail before we could say if we thought it may be possible but, ultimately I think you would need legal advice. But fire away.

Consumer Health Forums - where you can discuss any health or relationship matters.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks Gizmo and Pimpernel.

 

Have been making enquiries, but the bottom line seems to be "your wife didn't die, so you don't have a hope".

 

Pretty blunt hey?

 

Several advisers have suggested writing to our MP.

 

What is, or are, PALS Pimpernel?

 

Sorry to sound stupid but we lived in a country with First World medical standards until recently.

 

Regards.

 

Vandermerwe

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PALS are the patient advocacy and liason service - they are they to assist with problems / complaints and help resolve them.

 

You have the right to complain if you are not happy with any aspect of care/treatment. Best done in writing to senior members of the organisation concerned (ie director level) who will investigate and respond.

 

Proving negligence is a different ball game and can be hard to prove, you need to demonstrate a duty of care, a breech of that duty and harm resulting from that breech.

 

You mention failure to provide adequate clinical care, can you elaborate? That will enable us to advise further.

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Poppynurse :)

 

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Thanks Poppynurse. Have found PALS through Google.

 

Please forgive me if the following sounds a bit staccato, but wish to give you the facts as briefly as possible.

 

I should also add my wife is 68 and I am 72, consider ourselves well educated and certainly able and prepared to take on government bureaucracy. Having lived abroad neither of us have ever been in a British hospital other than as follows (and child birth which was undertaken privately.

 

My wife is suffering the aftermath of a series of strokes. The events began six weeks ago.

 

Day 1: Around noon she suffers what I suspect to be a TIA. No improvement after 4 hours when she suffers another. Take her to GP who suggests A & E. She lies on a trolley with no medical assessment other than a triage nurse. At 21.00 hrs. she discharges herself and I take her home. We witness triage nurse and three others taking coffee in a private office. A & E is full of waiting patients, none of which show any sign of external injury.

 

Day 2: 01.00 hrs. Wife has third attack. NHS Direct send doctor. Recommended immediate transfer back to hospital, but no bed available. Kept copy of his report which gives prognosis as 'possible death'. Ambulance arrives at 09.00 and so back to A & E trolley. Whilst on trolley taken for chest X-ray and CT scan which are reviewed by House Officer. Bed found in observation ward some 8 hours later. No medical examination other than by House Officer. The four bed ward contains two geriatric females in their nineties, but during the night an aggressive drunken male is brought in who proceeds to remove his clothes and threaten the other patients. The ablution facilities were quite filthy.

 

Day 3: Our medically qualified daughter arrives and demands action and when this is not forthcoming takes responsibility for discharging her mother until a bed in the stroke unit can be made available.

 

Day 4: I read her medical notes and find they contained a three page hand written report by a sister from whom I had requested a cup of tea and who had objected to my comments concerning illegal immigrants blocking A & E and the NHS in general. The requested photocopy was refused.

 

Day 5: Wife moved to stroke unit and a single ward with a well disinfected shower/toilet facility. Still no sign of anyone other than a House Officer who blatantly lies to us concerning the availability of medical staff. Wife ordered to move from single room so discharges herself once again. Hospital has lost prescription for medication so asked to return following day.

 

Day 6: Hospital pharmacy telephones (number withheld) to ask if I know what had been prescribed! GP was coincidentally making a visit so immediately gave prescription for Persantin Retard (dipyridamole modified release).

 

Day 7: We have wife/mother back home, but a few day's later a letter arrives asking for her to return to hospital for an ultra-sound check on her carotid artery. Sorry, we didn't do it whilst you were in hospital but the "young lady who does these things" was away.

 

If my wife was improving I would not be so angry, but her semi-paralysed right side facilities are still weak, no-one has arranged any physiotherapy, she has been wandering around this hick town trying to get a suitable build up for her shoe (an area in which she is qualified), I could not obtain a repeat of Persantin as the GP had not entered it on the practice's computer, she is showing adverse reaction to both simvastatin and pervastatin but her GP seems reluctant to prescribe ezetimiibe.

 

There is absolutely no liaison or co-ordination in the NHS and our hospital has the distinction of the second highest MRSA/C.Diff. rate in the country.

 

Any suggestions would be welcome.

 

Regards.

 

Van

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Thanks Poppynurse. Have found PALS through Google.

 

Please forgive me if the following sounds a bit staccato, but wish to give you the facts as briefly as possible.

 

I should also add my wife is 68 and I am 72, consider ourselves well educated and certainly able and prepared to take on government bureaucracy. Having lived abroad neither of us have ever been in a British hospital other than as follows (and child birth which was undertaken privately.

 

My wife is suffering the aftermath of a series of strokes. The events began six weeks ago.

 

Day 1: Around noon she suffers what I suspect to be a TIA. No improvement after 4 hours when she suffers another. Take her to GP who suggests A & E. She lies on a trolley with no medical assessment other than a triage nurse. At 21.00 hrs. she discharges herself and I take her home. We witness triage nurse and three others taking coffee in a private office. A & E is full of waiting patients, none of which show any sign of external injury. OK I'll try and explain what should have happened - did you wait four hours? The government say that everyone should be seen within four hours (not saying I agree) cases are (or should be) treated on a triage basis - ie sickest get seen first. Nurses having coffee - they do need breaks, and A&E waiting rooms are often full....

 

Day 2: 01.00 hrs. Wife has third attack. NHS Direct send doctor. Recommended immediate transfer back to hospital, but no bed available. Kept copy of his report which gives prognosis as 'possible death'. Ambulance arrives at 09.00 and so back to A & E trolley. Whilst on trolley taken for chest X-ray and CT scan which are reviewed by House Officer. Bed found in observation ward some 8 hours later. No medical examination other than by House Officer. The four bed ward contains two geriatric females in their nineties, but during the night an aggressive drunken male is brought in who proceeds to remove his clothes and threaten the other patients. The ablution facilities were quite filthy. Doctor on call could have dialled 999, sounds like he booked a non-urgent ambulance. Would be concerned by HO interpreting CT (are you sure the radiographer didn't read it?). Ischaemic strokes don't show for 48 hours, bleeds show straight away, so ruling out bleed at this point. Waiting 8 hours for bed is bad - breeches 4 hours A&E targets so will be investigated by management automatically. Mixed bays happen unfortunately, particularly on assessment areas. No excuse for dirty wash rooms.

 

Day 3: Our medically qualified daughter arrives and demands action and when this is not forthcoming takes responsibility for discharging her mother until a bed in the stroke unit can be made available. Had wife been seen by consultant - should be seen within 24 hours of admission and formal plan or care documented? Beds in stroke units difficult to come by, often have to wait (again not saying it's right just a result of underfunding).

 

Day 4: I read her medical notes and find they contained a three page hand written report by a sister from whom I had requested a cup of tea and who had objected to my comments concerning illegal immigrants blocking A & E and the NHS in general. The requested photocopy was refused. Technically you should not have read notes without formal permission (wife's right to privacy/confidentiality). Photocopy available through consultants secretary on formal request - would not be allowed to photocopy at ward level. If sister felt you were being racist against illegal immigrants and unhappy with care she was entitled to document that.

 

Day 5: Wife moved to stroke unit and a single ward with a well disinfected shower/toilet facility. Still no sign of anyone other than a House Officer who blatantly lies to us concerning the availability of medical staff. Wife ordered to move from single room so discharges herself once again. Hospital has lost prescription for medication so asked to return following day. Was wife readmitted from home? Care should have been supervised by consultant - are you sure consultant didn't see her. Unfortunately side-rooms at a premium and often required for infected patients. Losing prescription not good, could they not have written another?

 

Day 6: Hospital pharmacy telephones (number withheld) to ask if I know what had been prescribed! GP was coincidentally making a visit so immediately gave prescription for Persantin Retard (dipyridamole modified release). Bizarre - pharmacy should know from doctors discharge notes.

 

Day 7: We have wife/mother back home, but a few day's later a letter arrives asking for her to return to hospital for an ultra-sound check on her carotid artery. Sorry, we didn't do it whilst you were in hospital but the "young lady who does these things" was away. Sounds like wife perhaps wasn't in hospital long enough to be done as inpatient. At least they are offering it, it is a diagnostic test to see if there are plaques in the arteries of the neck, should help categorise further risk/see if surgery would help.

 

If my wife was improving I would not be so angry, but her semi-paralysed right side facilities are still weak, no-one has arranged any physiotherapy, she has been wandering around this hick town trying to get a suitable build up for her shoe (an area in which she is qualified), I could not obtain a repeat of Persantin as the GP had not entered it on the practice's computer, she is showing adverse reaction to both simvastatin and pervastatin but her GP seems reluctant to prescribe ezetimiibe. GP can refer for physio, sounds like you need to see him and ask for physio and OT referral, these would have been arranged during recovery but by leaving hospital sounds like your wife has fallen out of the loop. Need to talk to GP about statin therapy.

 

There is absolutely no liaison or co-ordination in the NHS and our hospital has the distinction of the second highest MRSA/C.Diff. rate in the country. As above, by discharging self seems like wife has missed out on follow up.

 

Any suggestions would be welcome.

 

Regards.

 

Van

 

You need to put your concerns in writing to PALS and/or the chief executive and director of nursing, they will be able to explain their view of things. Be clear in the letter what you want the outcome to be.

Hope your wife has a good recovery, things can continue to improve slowly for weeks/months.

Poppynurse :)

 

If my comments have been helpful please click my scales!!!!

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No offence but how were the doctors supposed to get anything done when some types of stroke can take days to show up on scans and you all kept discharging her? It's no wonder that all the tests didn't get done.

Any posts submitted here on the Consumer Action Group under the user name GlasweJen may not necessarily be the view of the poster, CAG or indeed any normal person.

 

I've become addicted to green blobs (I have 2 now) so feel free to tip my scales if I ever make sense.;-)

 

 

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Guest louis wu

Originally Posted by vandermerwe viewpost.gif

Thanks Poppynurse. Have found PALS through Google.

 

Please forgive me if the following sounds a bit staccato, but wish to give you the facts as briefly as possible.

 

I should also add my wife is 68 and I am 72, consider ourselves well educated and certainly able and prepared to take on government bureaucracy. Having lived abroad neither of us have ever been in a British hospital other than as follows (and child birth which was undertaken privately.

 

My wife is suffering the aftermath of a series of strokes. The events began six weeks ago.

 

Day 1: Around noon she suffers what I suspect to be a TIA. No improvement after 4 hours when she suffers another. Take her to GP who suggests A & E. She lies on a trolley with no medical assessment other than a triage nurse. At 21.00 hrs. she discharges herself and I take her home. We witness triage nurse and three others taking coffee in a private office. A & E is full of waiting patients, none of which show any sign of external injury. OK I'll try and explain what should have happened - did you wait four hours? The government say that everyone should be seen within four hours (not saying I agree) cases are (or should be) treated on a triage basis - ie sickest get seen first. Nurses having coffee - they do need breaks, and A&E waiting rooms are often full....

 

In general, if a patient is well enough to take your own discharge (what you are saying is that she was well enough to go home), then they should not be suprised that they have been given a low priority and that others are being seen before them. Believe it or not, life threatening cases are not seen by most waiting patients, and they natrually get all the resources required at that time. If that means people have to wait longer than the 4 hours target, then so be it.

 

I am appalled you mentioned that nurses were drinking coffee, do you expect them to work up to 12 hours without a break?

 

 

Day 2: 01.00 hrs. Wife has third attack. NHS Direct send doctor. Recommended immediate transfer back to hospital, but no bed available. Kept copy of his report which gives prognosis as 'possible death'. Ambulance arrives at 09.00 and so back to A & E trolley. Whilst on trolley taken for chest X-ray and CT scan which are reviewed by House Officer. Bed found in observation ward some 8 hours later. No medical examination other than by House Officer. The four bed ward contains two geriatric females in their nineties, but during the night an aggressive drunken male is brought in who proceeds to remove his clothes and threaten the other patients. The ablution facilities were quite filthy. Doctor on call could have dialled 999, sounds like he booked a non-urgent ambulance. Would be concerned by HO interpreting CT (are you sure the radiographer didn't read it?). Ischaemic strokes don't show for 48 hours, bleeds show straight away, so ruling out bleed at this point. Waiting 8 hours for bed is bad - breeches 4 hours A&E targets so will be investigated by management automatically. Mixed bays happen unfortunately, particularly on assessment areas. No excuse for dirty wash rooms.

 

It would have been a non emergency ambulance, general wait up to 2 hours, target wait up to 4 hours, can be any amount of time as emergency calls given priority. For the GP to be concerned about 'possible death' and then book a non-emergency ambulance dictates that he/she considered this a non life threatening situation, otherwise it would have been a 999 call. You were taken to A&E because the medical assesment unit was full and no beds available. It sounds like this was a Friday/Saturday night. Dirty washrooms not acceptable, but it is other patients that make them dirty, but that is no excuse.

 

 

 

Day 3: Our medically qualified daughter arrives and demands action and when this is not forthcoming takes responsibility for discharging her mother until a bed in the stroke unit can be made available. Had wife been seen by consultant - should be seen within 24 hours of admission and formal plan or care documented? Beds in stroke units difficult to come by, often have to wait (again not saying it's right just a result of underfunding).

 

 

Medically trained in what way?, does she have exprience of A&E?. Even if yes to both, a triage system is in place, and patients seem in priority order, don't forget, the GP did not consider it a 999 call, so it sounds like a very low priority would have been given. Would you consider it fair if someone with a lower priority was seen before you just because a family member demanded it? No, I didn't think so. Besides, If the patient was well enough to go home, what was the need for immediate attention from the doctor? It's situations like this that take a lot of time for staff to deal with, and does nothing other than slow the whole system down unfortunately.

 

 

Day 4: I read her medical notes and find they contained a three page hand written report by a sister from whom I had requested a cup of tea and who had objected to my comments concerning illegal immigrants blocking A & E and the NHS in general. The requested photocopy was refused. Technically you should not have read notes without formal permission (wife's right to privacy/confidentiality). Photocopy available through consultants secretary on formal request - would not be allowed to photocopy at ward level. If sister felt you were being racist against illegal immigrants and unhappy with care she was entitled to document that.

 

 

Comments about race can (and often are) be offensive to staff and patients alike, and that behaviour is simply unacceptable. It sounds like you were lucky not to be removed from the department, I would imagine you were given a warning. Again, it's situations like this that take a lot of time for staff to deal with, and does nothing other than slow the whole system down unfortunately.

 

 

 

 

Day 5: Wife moved to stroke unit and a single ward with a well disinfected shower/toilet facility. Still no sign of anyone other than a House Officer who blatantly lies to us concerning the availability of medical staff. Wife ordered to move from single room so discharges herself once again. Hospital has lost prescription for medication so asked to return following day. Was wife readmitted from home? Care should have been supervised by consultant - are you sure consultant didn't see her. Unfortunately side-rooms at a premium and often required for infected patients. Losing prescription not good, could they not have written another?

 

 

If the patient discharged themselves because the room/ward was not to their taste, then they have no business being in hospital. 3 times the patient took own discharge, because things were not the way you wanted/demanded them to be. This is the NHS, not a private hospital.

 

Day 6: Hospital pharmacy telephones (number withheld) to ask if I know what had been prescribed! GP was coincidentally making a visit so immediately gave prescription for Persantin Retard (dipyridamole modified release). Bizarre - pharmacy should know from doctors discharge notes.

 

Day 7: We have wife/mother back home, but a few day's later a letter arrives asking for her to return to hospital for an ultra-sound check on her carotid artery. Sorry, we didn't do it whilst you were in hospital but the "young lady who does these things" was away. Sounds like wife perhaps wasn't in hospital long enough to be done as inpatient. At least they are offering it, it is a diagnostic test to see if there are plaques in the arteries of the neck, should help categorise further risk/see if surgery would help.

 

 

Perhaps if she had not discharged herself, this would have been done.

 

 

If my wife was improving I would not be so angry, but her semi-paralysed right side facilities are still weak, no-one has arranged any physiotherapy, she has been wandering around this hick town trying to get a suitable build up for her shoe (an area in which she is qualified), I could not obtain a repeat of Persantin as the GP had not entered it on the practice's computer, she is showing adverse reaction to both simvastatin and pervastatin but her GP seems reluctant to prescribe ezetimiibe. GP can refer for physio, sounds like you need to see him and ask for physio and OT referral, these would have been arranged during recovery but by leaving hospital sounds like your wife has fallen out of the loop. Need to talk to GP about statin therapy.

 

There is absolutely no liaison or co-ordination in the NHS and our hospital has the distinction of the second highest MRSA/C.Diff. rate in the country. As above, by discharging self seems like wife has missed out on follow up.

 

I agree totally, it's quite simply your own fault for not staying in hospital and recieving treatment.

 

Any suggestions would be welcome.

 

Regards.

 

Van

 

You need to put your concerns in writing to PALS and/or the chief executive and director of nursing, they will be able to explain their view of things. Be clear in the letter what you want the outcome to be.

Hope your wife has a good recovery, things can continue to improve slowly for weeks/months.

 

 

Your treatment of the NHS is basically an abuse of the system. If you had stayed in the A&E in the first place, then this whole situation would not have occured. A&E departments are often busy (especially so at peak times) and although not ideal, waits of up to 8 hours not uncommon, but it's the same for everyone. Heart Attacks, Trauma, Difficulty Breathing, Severe Bleeding etc (the list is extensive) are all given high priorities as they are immediately life threatening. If the department had a lot of these cases then they will all be seen first, and everyone else has to wait. This is the way it has always been, I am not defending it, just stating the fact.

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Thanks Poppynurse and Louis Wu for your prompt and pertinent comments, which I do appreciate even though Louis's do come across as an apologia for the NHS.

 

Having given so freely of your time I am certainly not going to go point-by-point through your replies.

 

May I just add that at no time was my wife offered even a cup of tea, saw no doctor other than house officers, the elusive Stroke Consultant never put in an appearance, my views on illegal immigrants are entirely irrelevant to my wife's medical care, and her notes were read by me and my daughter at her request. At the time of reading them the nurse in charge was a delightful and courteous Polish girl (obviously legal!) who told my wife in a moment of quiet sadness how she was maligned and ill-treated by many of the sisters in charge and wanted to go back home.

 

My/our letter will set out the basis of her/our complaint to PALS - thanks again for the link, and what we are seeking is regular physiotherapy, assistance with a disabled foot to avoid further deterioration and - perhaps a word with an appropriate person at the hospital that if explanations had been given in the manner of Poppynurse an element of our distrust may not have escalated.

 

And you're right - a private hospital it certaily wasn't. (We did try but could not find one with post-stroke facilities)

 

At least we now have the marvellous benefit of hindsight and can compare the NHS with our previous experience of private healthcare over a period of 35 years.

 

The hospital in question is in line for a Gold in this year's Infection Olympics.

 

If there's any outcome to my (our) formal request for medical notes and letter to PALS I'll post details as long as I feel it might be of help to others.

 

I'm not in the business of scoring points (political or otherwise) but I feel the NHS has had its day in its present format (as does my eldest son - FRCS at the age of 27)

 

Regards to both.

 

Van

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Thanks for comment Jenschnifer.I may be totally wrong, but I always believed speed of treatment was the essence of stroke care, unless an isolated TIA the effects of which go away after a couple of hours.

 

I do not know who interpreted by wife's X-ray - maybe the radiographer?

A House Officer viewed to CAT scan and advised she saw no evidence of sub-cranial bleeding (obviously a relief) but was not really qualified to give a professional opinion (her words).

 

I would have thought a neck artery ultra-sound scan would have been high priority but, no, the one and only person available in the entire hospital was "off" for a week.

 

 

I remember having one done quite a few years ago at the request of a consultant surgeon who sat with me and discussed the evidence before us.

The same surgeon who, some years later, performed an invasive procedure on me using a new technique and spent an hour or so afterwards showing me the instrument used and the principle behind it.

 

Old time medication I think it's called.

 

The reason doctors got nothing done was because, to all intents and purposes, there were none available.

 

"Only two for the entire A.& E." was the continuing mantra.

 

Stroke Consultant? Have heard tell one is available for the entire county but do not know anyone who has even met him.

 

Thanks for your contribution.

 

Van

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you could always ask for a copy of the patients charter?

take it from there?

i work for the NHS have done for 25yr and yes there are huge changes within the structure, and some may seem hard to accept, especially when it's your own relative that is concerned (we lost mum last november and my sister had huge problems trying to apportion blame, when in reality there was non to be had).

 

The necessity to prioritise for nurses/drs/ho/sho is ever increasing as there is a national shortage unfortunately.

An HO has a duty to report any findings to the SHO/Registra/works within a multi disciplinary team etc and therefore would be competant of the job assigned

You really cant be making comments about ethnic minorities tho, its just so frowned upon.

By the way, i work in acute psychiatry so no im not advocating general hospitals at all, nor your wifes treatment :)

although i dont have a problem with general hospitals at all, my mum was well looked after as were my children (in for 6 months, as youngest twins ever to survive 11yrs ago at 24 weeks gestation and 1lb 9 and 1lb 6, i argue to this day they are my babies as the hospital still argue they are theirs ;) )

honey x

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Guest louis wu
which I do appreciate even though Louis's do come across as an apologia for the NHS.

 

I meant no apology.

 

Incidently, please forgive my omision in my post, I do of course hope your wife makes a full and speedy recovery.

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The NHS sometimes leaves a lot to be desired but "out of site is out of mind" certainly applies and if you're not there in front of them then you don't get treated, I've been in and out of various hospitals since I was very young with a whole list of complicated heart and nerve problems and you acquire a way of knowing who to ask and how to get things done.

Any posts submitted here on the Consumer Action Group under the user name GlasweJen may not necessarily be the view of the poster, CAG or indeed any normal person.

 

I've become addicted to green blobs (I have 2 now) so feel free to tip my scales if I ever make sense.;-)

 

 

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Think I've opened a can of worms here! That was not my intention.

 

Thanks Louis for your good wishes. Mrs. Van saw a physiotherapist today who seems happy with her progress to date.

 

Honey, I'm not trying to apportion blame - just get my wife well again.

 

I've learned a lot about the British NHS through this brief exchange and, frankly, am quite horrified. We are not expatriates returning to 'live on the state' as one responder (name withheld, naturally) to a letter of mine in the "Daily Mail" put it.

 

We are English born, bred and educated and have not only paid - through insurance certainly - for our years of medical care abroad, but also paid for three children's private education in England which has given us the satisfaction of a consultant orthopaedic surgeon, a practitoner at the Criminal Bar, and a midwife. Also five grandchildren who - heaven knows how - are being educated in the same manner by their parents.

 

I come from a long line of a distinguished medical family (whose name was not, obviously, Vandermerwe) but was really clueless about the NHS and its, shall be say, practices.

 

I question whether this is the forum to debate the prowess or lack thereof of the NHS but as Honey will obviously appreciate (I have a qualification in industrial pshycholgy) a friendly voice, telling my wife she was going to be OK but it would take four hours for her to be assessed could have made a bit of difference? And a cup of tea, and maybe even a bikkie?

 

It's very depressing to learn it is "frowned upon" to make comments about "ethnic minorities".

 

The police have named the town as a 'hotbed for junkies' distributing drugs imported through

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Glad to hear the physio is happy with your wifes progress.

Any posts submitted here on the Consumer Action Group under the user name GlasweJen may not necessarily be the view of the poster, CAG or indeed any normal person.

 

I've become addicted to green blobs (I have 2 now) so feel free to tip my scales if I ever make sense.;-)

 

 

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I can understand you being worried about your wife, Van, and impatient at the wait that is sometimes involved. I join you in that worry and impatience, and hope she makes a speedy recovery; I have several relatives who are seriously ill at the moment and so have a familiarity with the NHS, its successes and its failings.

 

I do not, and cannot, however, understand your seeming problem with 'ethnic minorities'. What have they got to do with the price of fish? I'd appreciate it if you made up your mind which section of society you're unhappy about, too, as 'ethnic minority' and 'illegal immigrant' don't actually add up to the same thing. You're an intelligent man and I'm sure you realise that - I'm assuming that the above in your posts must have been typos, or the result of hasty posting.

-----

Click the scales if I've been useful! :)

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industrial psychology or I/O psychology are based upon work place issues there's a HUGE difference

i think your downfall here has in all honesty been the discharge issues as well as the "ethnic minority" issue unfortunately

i wish your wife all the very best in her recovery but if outpatients is where she needs to be assessed then that is where the assessment will take place :)

wish you all the best

honey x

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I think that much of vandermerwe's experience is typical of an attitude that is too prevalent in the NHS - that because it's free, one should not complain.

 

Let us not forget that it's not really free; we all pay for it through our (ever-increasing) taxes and National Insurance contributions. The staff don't work there out of some philanthropic desire, but because they are paid, as in any other job. I don't see any reason at all why 'service-users' should expect anything other than the highest standards - of clinical care, of cleanliness, and of respect and courtesy.

 

My job involves me in seeing patients in NHS hospitals quite often, and I am regularly appalled at the attitude of staff - scruffy, impolite and often apparently uncaring. I'm sure there are reasons for this that need to be addressed high up, but at grass roots level it creates a very bad impression.

 

It strikes me that many of the problems described by vandermerwe were caused by poor communication. If staff took the time and trouble to explain what is happening (or not happening), and why, I suspect that most of the difficulties would have been perceived as smaller. In particular, with enough good information to be able to make an informed decision, would the self-discharges have happened?

 

The issue of illegal immigrants and the NHS is an interesting, if rather vexed one. In theory, there is a mechanism for dealing with them; if anyone (illegal immigrant or tourist/businessman from any country with which there is no reciprocal agreement) cannot prove entitlement to treatment, then they should pay. The difficulty is that most NHS trusts don't accord this any priority, seeing it as a political hot potato. In fact, they often go the other way, falling over themselves to demonstrate how PC they are. For example, when I last worked within a NHS hospital, they wasted tens of thousands of pounds every year on interpreting and translation services for the illegal immigrants and failed asylum seekers the government saw fit to house in the area whilst dealing with the endless appeals. As another example, I have friends who work for London Ambulance Service. They are not asked to take insurance details from Americans and other foreign nationals who are not entitled to free care - even though they are regularly offered. Another friend who recently worked in a London A&E told me that the Trust was scared of checking entitlement, in case of being branded racist by the local PC lunatics. There are some trusts that ask all patients to sign a declaration that they are entitled to treatment, which is a start.

 

Illegal immigrants are defrauding the NHS (and therefore us, the public), every time they use NHS services to which they are not entitled. The difficulty is that the NHS is usually complicit in the fraud, making no effort to do anything about it.

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I agree entirely with your views of illegal immigrants/tourists getting NHS treatment which they're not really entitled to, but I can also see how difficult this issue is for healthcare staff - how can they, after years of training in the treatment and care of ill people, turn someone who needs care away? How do you even bring yourself to check entitlement before providing care? It's a tricky situation, the government needs to address this issue without risking turning our healthcare system into another America, where people can be left to die because they don't have the right insurance. I really don't know what the answer is.

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Thanks Scarlet Pimpernel for your supportive comments.

 

I have clearly upset a number of socialists by what I thought would be an innocent question.

 

At least I now know how healthcare works (or does not) in Britain, and it is a depressing revelation.

 

Never mind I asked the questions in good faith and have my answers, though not necessarily given in the same vein.

 

Demon and Honey make great issue over my reference to 'ethnic minorities'. Having quickly skimmed through my posts I see I have never used the term! I have used the expression "illegal immigrants" and make no apology for it - I was referring, in particular, to hordes of Romanian Gypsies who have been causing mayhem in this town.

 

The term 'ethnic minority' is a subjective misnomer, employed as and when it appeals to the user - usually a left-wing "Gaurdianista".

 

I have been one myself. (not a Guardianista!). I have lived (i.e. owned a home) in three countries, visited 87 and calculate I have spent more than 365 days of my life in one particular hotel in one of the finest countries in Latin America. I speak four languages.

 

But what is an 'ethnic minority'? An Anglo-Saxon farmer in Zimbabwe? A Chinese in Malaysia? Or, heaven forbid, a British soldier wounded in battle, lying in Selky Oak hospital in Birmingham and being ordered to remove his unifrom lest it distresses other patients?

 

And don't let's forget, PC Brigade, I am a 70 odd year old man who has experience of healthcare services in many countries.

 

Thank God we have three good children who are talking about chipping in together to send their Mum to the Southern Hemisphere for a period of recuperation.

 

It will still be her same GP and gynaecologist there (has never been able to see one in England)

 

Who knows, she might even get to see a Stroke Consultant?

 

Sorry my innocent question has ended this way, but at least I have learned a bit more about health 'care' available in this benighted country.

 

Regards to all.

 

Vandermerwe

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I'm definitely not part of the PC brigade, Van - I was just having difficulty ascertaining just who you had a problem with, as you yourself said here:

 

It's very depressing to learn it is "frowned upon" to make comments about "ethnic minorities".

 

in post #15, but "illegal immigrant" in every other post. I don't remember making a 'great issue' of it in the slightest, merely querying just who you meant in order to reply properly.

 

If you had meant "ethnic minorities" clogging up the system, then you would quite rightly have been pillioried.

 

If you had meant "illegal immigrants" clogging up the system, then I would have replied with the fact that there is only limited healthcare available to people not awaiting citizenship, and legislation is currently underway to make these limitations stretch even further. Non-citizens, and those who have not applied for asylum, are only entitled to emergency care (A&E) - if an "illegal immigrant" tried to book an appointment at a dentist, or a GP, for example, they would be turned away.

 

Perhaps we should be worrying more about the people who are naturally resident here, who choose not to work or pay tax, but still expect thorough and extensive medical aid when they fall ill? Perhaps we should be worrying more about the billions of pounds wasted and mismanaged into middle management and PFI deals, hmm? Because A&E care for a fellow human being in urgent need is a drop in the ocean of the NHS deficit, I can assure you.

-----

Click the scales if I've been useful! :)

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the NHS has suffered some disruption of late yes but... you being an educated man i guess would have already pre~empted that on your return to your home land? obviously not, nurses drs and the likes are working around the clock here in britain right now for the good of the people and to be honest anyone that discharges themselves does so of their own free will?

now ageism is another thought that springs to mind here but if youd like to carry on..........

and socialist???far from it but i was brought up with morals and an understanding of modern day living thankfully :) :) and social equality isnt something i have an issue with either thank goodness, but i guess thats due to my upbringing :)

wishing your wife well

honey x

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usually a left-wing "Gaurdianista".

if im perfectly honest with you i find you a very rude and condemning man, you think the world MUST revolve around you and your issues, thank god i brought my children up to believe otherwise :)

honey x

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To be honest when I read this I was astounded that one minute the OP was critisising the NHS for not treating fast enough (fair enough it does happen and we all know it) then saying that they self discharged because the patient was moved from a private room! Also the insinuation that you have to go to private school to get anywhere really bothers me, yes it's still easier to get into uni if you go to a school funded by parents with more money than sense but there are some kids from council estates and government funded schools who go on to do well, 3 out of 5 of my mums kids are at university or newly graduated, the youngest is still in high school and my oldest sister has severe special needs. 1 of us is a junior doctor, one in 4th year at law school and i'm currently doing biomedicine with toxicology and hope to go into research before pursuing my medical degree. We're not all loaded but at least the working class know how to get on with things.

Any posts submitted here on the Consumer Action Group under the user name GlasweJen may not necessarily be the view of the poster, CAG or indeed any normal person.

 

I've become addicted to green blobs (I have 2 now) so feel free to tip my scales if I ever make sense.;-)

 

 

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