Friday, June 25, 2010

The NHS .....Can I have a moan ...please?

This was to be a happy post about a visit to the zoo …now it’s a moan about the NHS and the happy post will be tomorrow… hold on to your hat ….here goes with the moan.

At 2.30 am I was awoken by the phone and a distraught Emma …DS Steve had woken in such agony that he couldn’t speak …he could only writhe and moan with the pain. Finally he managed to indicate that it was in his back and for Emma to phone Mum.

Now DS is not a typical man …he has a slight cold when he really has the flu and he withstands great pain before reaching for a painkiller …so my immediate reaction was to instruct Emma to phone an ambulance, which she dutifully did. She was met by the usual questions …is he conscious, is the pain around the heart etc etc … the reply was that he was not an emergency and so no ambulance would be sent even though they must have heard him crying out in the back ground ….but someone from NHS 24 would get in contact. They made contact and had to talk to Steve …who by this time could make a few utterances and then they said a nurse would now contact him. She did and through the severe pain he managed to answer the same and a few more questions. The nurse felt that he could have a visit from the doctor and would arrange it. Nearly an hour later the phone rang again …it was the doctor …she had so many visits a head of him that she was not sure how long she would be and said that he should get himself to the nearest hospital …it would be quicker.

Now can you imagine the situation …even if he had a car …how could he drive? …Emma doesn’t drive any way …and then there are the twins?? So ok …there are cabs …if he could manage to struggle into one … but then £20 each way for a family whose bread winner was made redundant from a job he had only done for 4 years …is no joke …every penny counts …and that’s assuming there was cash around at that time as there is no cash point within easy reach. As luck would have it Emma had withdrawn some cash for something else and when I next spoke to her she was in tears not know what was happening and wondering what to do for the best. Steve had just about managed to get down the stairs to a cab and was on his way .. at last …to hospital.

Fearing the worst I had packed a case and scraped together the £75 cash, for a cab to get over to them but Emma said she would only need me to come over if he was to be admitted.

The result of the hospital visit was positive …. ish.

It was almost certain he has kidney stones and one was being pushed out of the kidney. He was given a jab and some tablets and told he would finish passing it in the next few days …and that he would know when he had …. and that was it. No one said whether he should follow it up or whether he it would happen again or whether there was anything he could do to prevent them from forming … just off you go home armed with painkillers and muscle relaxants.

I am sorry but I feel that he should have been taken in by ambulance as that amount of sudden unexplained pain is an emergency. Also that amount of stress worry and fear does not help a 30wk pregnant partner ... and what would have happened if they had had no money ...would they have sent an ambulance then ... 2 hours after the first phone call ….no one knew it was only stones ..and I hate saying only stones as there really was no ONLY about it.

If anyone gets to the end of this ….well done ….I feel better now having got this off my chest.

Am I expecting too much from the NHS nowadays???? ….30 odd years ago an ambulance would have arrived and we still had our own doctors turning out for home visits …life does not always change for the best.

Take Care xx


Jocelyn said...

Oh how horrible...I cannot believe that they would not send an ambulance......

I cannot imagine the pain your son must have been in...a dear friend of mine has had kidney stones and they are horrible!!!

I guess I will count our blessings..all we have to do is call 911 and an ambulance is on it's way!!

Sending get well wishes for your son and I would send him to a urologist for a follow up!!!

Sheilagh (60 x60) said...

That is awful, my husband suffered with kidney stones and I know how frightening it is to witness the excruciating pain suffered.
Your poor daughter must have been out of her mind with worry.

I hope they are both recovering from such a traumatic experience.

I work in the NHS and could write a book!!

Julia Dunnit said...

Lord Angie how scarey for ALL of you. He should at least, surely have been advised to visit his GP pdq...I dunno, the stone will pass and be screamingly painful - but if it'sbig there are things they can do to break it down...I think it's the least he should do. Poor boy. AT LEAST the Dr made the call to say that she was unlikely to get to him for ages...I do know of cases where people have waited, unsure of what to do for hours.

Morning's Minion said...

I'm assuming you have some sort of national health care system in the UK--the sort of thing our government is rapidly establishing here.
It seems like a callous way of handling illness or emergencies, with patient and family left without help for hours.

Liverpool Lou (Anne) said...

That's horrendous! As you say nobody knew what it was and just 'cos the pains weren't around the heart it could have been any number of things that would have prevented him getting to hospital in time. As you say he couldn't drive in that state and where are people supposed to get the money for taxis!!! What would've happened if it had been a burst appendix for instance! Grrr makes you so angry.
Anne xx

Jade Giant said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jade Giant said...

Hi there, the ever loving DS here (think thats the right letters).
I have recovered fully from the eeny weeny kidney stone and just wanted to say thanks to you guys for the well wishes. In my opinion, and this is just my opinion The NHS did the right thing now I have my 20/20 hind sight glasses in place. I was able to give an accurate account of my painfull places wich gave the Dr the ability to diagnose the problem on the phone (I have hurt myself ALOT, just ask mum :D). I live in a quiet town with alot of old people and would not wish to take up one of the very very few ambulances if I can make it to hospital on my own, as a broken hip in an OAP trumps a KS in a 35yr old. The NHS is Great, not perfect by any means, the cab was not free (£40), I was seen with no wait, I was given a pain relief jab that would work for 8hrs and a weeks worth of pain relief to take home, and honest advise as to the possible outcomes and follow up action to take. Everyone I delt with was polite and NONE of it cost me a dime. I was offered a home visit but I decided on their recommendation to make my own way in as it was the quickest way to get treated. This sounds like a rant but I promis you its not, you seem like lovely people so dont think i'm ranting at you, i just wanted to give my feelings a little air space. I owe the NHS my ability to walk, the use of my left hand, my twin sons, my soon to be born son and the ability to create the aforementioned sons plus many many more bits besides and again it was all for free.

Thanks for listening.