Thursday, 6 November 2008



A hospital we can be proud of. A clean proffesionally run department that can be the pinicle of pride? staff that are helpfull and caring in your time of need? Staff that are trained to the very highest of standards? all wonderfull words!! However not all wonderfully true of NHS A&E at hartshill, or indeed the rest of the Royal Infirmary.

Parking is poor to be nice and diplomatic about this and thats if you can find a space and are not hearded around like a fool for an hour before you find somewhere passing the same yellow jacketed felow three times before finding a spot to park my tired old car. then shock uupon shock parking costs an arm and a leg who knows how long you have to be there? better to be safe than sorry, so you book a few hours then need to find change as the machine doesnt do some coins and wont accept others.

Finally with releif you get to the doors of A and E past a cloud of smokers most of which look in differing states of trauma. Arrival at A & e from here on in depends if you came in yourself or came by ambulance as to how this scenerio plays out.

Scene one You come in yourself and get to meet the new gastapo recptionist, who`d like to know all the information in an order that makes no sence then this highly paid secretary asks about your injuries and assessment of triage after a quick decision if your needs are life treatening enough to get someone out right now or maybe you could be placed in a queue for a few hours. If you do make it past the doors and your lucky you`ll get a trolly in the corridor whilst staff sit on beds and work out who is next.. confusion over the words on charts and files as to spelling of names and who is going out with whom is only downplayed by who is getting what course and whast happening on what soap.

If your extra specially lucky to get seen within two hours you might get the chance to see a doctor with either an unpronouncable name or a accent that is so foreign its hard to understand his / her words whilst your waiting take a look around the a and e the floor looks like it hasnt been cleaned in at least three days there are swabs red with what i can only assume was blood in corners near the well stocked trollys alarms on heart monitors that ring constantly and are ignored for hours whilst staff swing their legs waiting for the next victim when they throw a dart in the board and decide if you must stay in the whole thing gets worse.

Bonus scenerio, where your either a relative or walking wounded where not only do you take longer to get seen but also you must put up with toilets that havent been cleaned for three days as the record on the wall shows signitures that stopped being added three days ago or the fact that reems of toilet roll mostly soaked in red claret is littering the stalls. take it easy on yourself and get a coffee and a mars bar lets hope they`ll see you soon but ok a coffee one pound it arives in a cardboard container and tastes like the aftermath of what can only be described as a the remains of a coffee pot after its been washed out with colour added.

Do I sound even vaguly upset?

Scene two You arrived by ambulance after being treated amazigly well by two nice caring ambulence paramedics that have your very best interest at heart they do everything they can to make you feel safe secure and in good trustworthy hands right up til lthey hand you over to the ward staff then the realisation sets in that somethings not quite right being in the abulance with you is a relative who is distraughyta fter ahving called the emergency services and you are incapable of answering your own name they the relatives do that with the paramedics so you dont have to get stressed about the details however once your handed over in a and e relatives are seperated and a curtain drawn it feels very much like vampires gathering when they all swoop ojn unsuspecting victims as they ask you questions you prolly cant asner whilst all you can think about is i dont feel well i`m dying i`m bleeding ( delete as needed)

From here on it its pretty much the same as the first scene after the choice is made on which
lucky doc is gonna see you then its a matter of waiting and seeing what and when he / she turns up ..

Stage two the terror continues.

Porters work hard!! The one that wheeled my bed for example was tired and hurting underpaid and suffering a bad back which he continued to tell me all about on the way to a ward. Now I have no troubles with people chatting to me to ease their daily stress, but after the fourth time of hearing the mans troubles it gets a little old I`m not trying to be rude but my cars outside my relatives have gone god knows where and i`m covered in tubes and monitor leads at this point and am feeling pretty dread full. People hurry past in the opposite direction with the look of dread and fear on their faces as if the porter was wheeling someone from the mortuary oh my god I must look that bad but no the porter who looks for all the world like hes from a hammerhouse horror movie was it seems the cause of the terror. After a hystericle time negotiating our way aroudn the RI bumping and clatering into a lift and down long dark corridors I layed quietly and as still as possible still wondering if this would ever end to be
stopped and braked on my trolly in a corridor with about twenty other groaning or snoring patients.

These people who had been here for most of the night as i was informed by an elderly lady with tubes in places i shoud`nt know about, where on the whole tired and now in considerable pain. Medication kicks in and I kinda dozed kinda stayed awake, kinda slept a little untill somewhere around eight in the morning when I was whisked off by two nurses and a porter to my ward. I@ should mention that since i left A and E and apart from Boris Karloff
who pushed me to this part of the hospital i havent actually spopken to another member of staff although those that i did see made every attempt to discuss topics ranging from politics in theusa to X factor and to treat me in my bed as if i was a rag doll in the process. So off to the private ward we go Its is called a private ward because well there was only me in it. Still better than with everyone else huh?

Private Ward, It was a small room off the corridor. which had untill iI arrived I think been used as a storage cupboard. correction was still being used as a storage cupboard. Two settees on top of each other behind me a matteress on top of that and an up ended chair was the furniture for my hopefully short stay. No buzzer for assitance, no light and no water. There I stayed monday, All day my relatives came in that nightIf its not hard enough them seeing their dad and husband in the place with tubes and apipes and monitors beeping and so on they looked round the room and i tho9ught tears would fall but no resiliant as ever my relatives where angry where upset to see me in such a state. Oh yes they had come in to feed me (I would be introuble if i forgot to mentin the food) three times during the day two items of food I couldnt eat and the third was un chewable unsightly let alone something you`d feed to a man who is ill. In truth I doubt most well men would have eaten it. Described as steak Ii think the nearest this proccessed meat had been to a cow was perhaps inthe burger joint it was shaped in.

My saga continued till tuesday last when I was eventuaqlly allowed to leave. I am normally the first to add praise where I can to those that deserve it but in this case I cannot do so. After being treated like cattle, kept in dirty stinking conditions in a storage cupboard where the nurses ignore you or worste still smile at you in that condescending way as if to imply "this would be a nice hosptial if it wasnt for all the patients". What could be worse? Oh yes my car was clamped as after being admitted they wouldnt let me or allow any of my captors to go to my car and place a sticker on it saying i`m in the hospital nor would they allow any nurse to take money from me to pay the parking fees, although truth be told parking fees where not on my top ten lists of priorities at that time for some reason.

So all in All Proud of the NHS? Proud of the two tear system that treats us this way ? no I`m not. what do you think ? Have you a tale to tell on the NHS?


brooneyes said...

The NHS is being wrecked on a number of fronts. First off, there are too many chiefs and not enough indians! The place is top heavy with management, which as we all know is a permanent fixture of Labours business plans!
Secondly, whether you agree with it or not, there are far too many foreigners in the NHS, and the drop in standards has gone hand in hand with the increase in usage of third world workers! Dirty wards were never a problem when matron ruled the roost.
Of course, the biggest problem with the NHS is the dreaded quango,
the Stoke-on-Trent PCT! Ahorrid drain on much needed resources that is being spent on jobs for the boys in the club, "Friends of Labour". Godspeed the time when when the BNP make up the national government!

nita said...

Partisan. It sounds as if you had a rough time up at the A&E.
I am sure many others could tell a similar story.

Let's define the meaning of A&E, I always it thought it meant accident and emergency.

Fortunately, I have not had to attend this department very often, but when I have, to take the kids up, when one broke an ankle, and the other a finger, I was amazed at how many people, abused this service. I stood in the reception queue once, to hear a lady say, she had run out of her tablets, and she needed to get some that day. Accident or emergency, no, neither. Go to the GP the next morning, and get it sorted. How many of these incidents do these people have to deal with?

If people used this department correctly, then people like Partisan could get the required treatment, far more quickly.

I have heard people complain, that they are having to wait longer, when ambulances have brought in patients, from serious road traffic accidents. Nice people, I thought.

As Brooneyes says, too many chiefs and not enough indians. If you cut back on staff, you will not provide a proper service to the public, we cannot blame the consultants, doctors, nurses or any other staff, for this.

warren said...

While I must agree with two of Crage's points. There is to much mamagement and the PCT is indeed a money wasteing, time wasteing, pub flatening pain in the ass. But his second point is indeed so far off the mark.
Meny of you may know that I have spent some time in the hospitel this year and I'm more then thankfull to meny of Mr. Ponds 'Foreigners' who looked after me so well. You seem to imply, Crage, that the use of these workers in turn leads to low standards and let me tell you that no, its not the problem at all.
Let me tell you something, I have been on both sides, I did for 13 years work in care, both in the NHS and in privet care homes, and your foreigers are the some of the most careing persons I have ever known.
Hospitel problems can be pinned on two things, the missgiveings of management boards and a totel failer of privet firms brought in to surply things such as food, portering and cleaning.
Yes, the the NHS is something that we sould be rightly proud of, it saves lives, it improves lives and thats what it was set up to do meny years ago now, the demands on it as changed.
If anyone wants to now way I turned my back on care, to be honnest, I could not stand it anymore, there are only so meny dead bodys a person sould see, only so meny freands you can say goodby to, I got to close to folk, made freands with them, a real good nurse keeps her/her head and keeps a bit of distance, I could not, it riped me apart, so I steped away and went to find something less intence, thankfully I found it, I love what I do now, and my employer as been very understanding with me over the the last year, but as THEY say, Every Littel Helps.

Sir Findo Gask said...

Having had more experience than belies my years in A&E at Hartshill I can only agree with what Partisan says..

My wife and I regularly have to go to A&E at some god-forsaken hour when her Grandfather gets admitted. The only good thing about going to A&E at dark O'clock, is that you can park.. Each and every time we have had to go to A&E my wife's 98 year old Dunkirk veteran Grandfather has been taken by ambulance and then dumped in a corridor on a trolley for hours on end while drunks druggies and the lower forms of life are dealt with..

On our last visit, we stood in the corridor for 3 hours before he was moved to a cubicle in A&E then the nurse told us we may as well go home as the waiting time to see a doctor was 5 hours!

Generally I have nothing but praise for the nurses in A&E when you see what they have to deal with. On our first visit they found us chairs, made us tea (which was drinkable) and even offered us sandwiches. The did nothing but apologise to us, because some drugged up loser had OD'd then been hit by a car and all their resources were tied up with dealing with someone who has no regard for their own life. To top it all on that visit, they had to close off a number of cubicles because the druggie had to be transferred to another hospital, (Birmingham I think) and they had to send 2 A&E nurses in the ambulance with him!

It is the system that is wrong. Deal with the cause and the effect will sort itself out..

tim mullen said...

You asked for comments on the NHS partisan.

I have been a user of the NHS for 43 years, having been born with part of my skull not fully developed, and numerous broken bones.

Over the years I have had over 100 fractures, and on only one occasion was I treated with anything other than professionalism.

On that occasion I was admitted to Ward 19, who failed to note that I had reduced lung function, and overdosed me with Morphine.

I was admitted semi-comatose, to Ward 78, where a wonderful Ward Sister (now a Clinical Nurse Specialist working in the community) who had treated me before, was just going off-shift. She stayed for the next six hours, testing my blood-oxygen levels regularly, until she was satisfied that I was out of danger.

During my stay on Ward 78 (which included Christmas), the only occasion on which the care was anything less than brilliant was Boxing Day morning when all the staff were detained trying to restrain a drunken thug who had been admitted and was letting everyone know what he though of ethnic minority nurses (maybe he's on the City Council from Abbey, Bentilee or Weston and Meir North now, or perhaps he was unsuccessful in the North of the City in May!!!).

So, 43 years of using the NHS here, in Leeds, in Coventry and in Shrewsbury, have demonstrated to me that we have a world class health service, staffed by hard-working, dedicated professionals. And to be honest, I would pay any amount of parking charges - without whingeing - to avoid a system such as that in the US where people are turned away if they haven't got the right medical insurance.

Tom Reynolds said...

Couldn't agree with you more Tim. One of Barack Obama's priorities for America, after the economy, is reforming healthcare to make is more accessible to all layers of society, not just those that can afford it.

For 60 years Britain has led the way with healthcare largely free at the point of delivery. It may have some problems, but that is an incredible service. I believe the President Elect will be looking to the UK when he pushes forward with reforms - something we should all be proud of.

nita said...

Tim and Tom, I totally agree with you. The staff that work within the NHS service do an excellent job.

Craig Pond said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Tony said...

Pitsnpots removed the above comment, due to extreme racial content, and the fact that we firmly believe that Craig Pond did not post it.

nita said...

To the Craig Pond imposter, whose comment has been deleted.

Craig is a registered and regular contributor to this blog. He is a BNP supporter, but would not and has not, ever used words to describe a race, in the way you have.

That is how we know, you are not the real Craig Pond.

It would be better, if you would contribute your own thoughts to the articles.

Craig Pond said...

A little naive aren't you Nita. How anyone could possibly believe that Craig had posted that is unbelievable. It was meant to be a parody, an extreme parody but a parody non the less!

nita said...

Craig the Imposter. Niave, certainly not. We knew straight away what you were upto, but someone else may not have. "It was meant to be an extreme parody"? That may be the case, but we simple cannot allow such extreme words, on this blog.

Now you have joined us, hope that you will start to contribute to some sensible debate, if not, please dont bother.

Steve C said...

As someone who works in the NHS, I admit that everything isn't perfect, but in the circumstances of understaffing in all areas, particularly cleaning staff, everyone works very hard to do the best they can for the patients.

Nita's point about people misusing the A&E Dept is also true, but this probably comes about due to desperation at the unavailabity of GP services in some areas of the city.

Let's also remember that there is a tremendous amount of building work going on within the old Infirmary site, in order to facilitate the eventual transfer of services to the new hospital.

I totally agree with the comments about parking, particularly at A&E, as the last thing people want to do is worry about their car or whether they've got enough change for the car park, when attending this department.

As regards Craig's comments about foreigners, I think we would be in a pretty poor state of affairs if we actually got rid of all the foreign staff working at the hospital - ie, doctors, nurses, and ancillary staff. They work as hard as all the other staff, and make just as important a contribution.

I personally wouldn't care less who was saving my life - whether they were black, white, pink or green - if I had been involved in a road traffic accident or some other life threatening incident. I would just be so grateful that there was someone there to help me, and that's what our NHS gives us.

If anyone isn't totally happy with the service they receive, there is a complaints system in place at the NHS, but I am sure that there are plenty of people in other countries - ie, USA, who don't have our FREE NHS service, who would love access to such a facility.

Perhaps we all need to think a little more about that...

brooneyes said...

I don't doubt that the majority of the foreigners working in the NHS
are competent doctors and nurses, but there are two big problems with having them here.
1) Third world doctors and nurses are needed far more urgently in their own countries than here. For this Labour government to be stealing away these poor countries' most qualified personnel is unforgiveable!

2) Why are we putting these third world workers into positions in the health service when it is as a direct cost of freshly qualified British students, who have gone through recognised training and obtained recognised qualifications
only to find that this stupid bloody government have given all the jobs to immigrants!

Once again it shows Labours fondness of anything foreign, and its distatse for anything indigenous.

tim mullen said...

brooneyes (I think you're Craig - forgive I'm new around here and haven't got used to everybody's pseudonyms yet):

Your last post shows your party's ignorance; when my cousin completed his medical degree at Birmingham University, some 75% of the students were from ethnic minority groups - but the overwhelming majority of those were second, and even third-generation, British citizens.

The number of people coming from overseas to directly work in the NHS is a tiny fraction of the NHS workforce - your Party's mistake (and why it is a racist party for all your claims to the contrary) is that it assumes that because someone is non-white they are not British.

If you and your racist party are to have any credibility, supply us with the figures for the number of "indidgenous" doctors and nurses kept out of work by "foreigners". My guess is you can't and you won't because you're making it up as you go along.

Sir Findo Gask said...

The NHS system is brilliant and something we should be proud of as a nation. As has been pointed out previously many other nations would love to have access to free health care at the point of need & delivery.

Like I said in my previous post it is the system that is wrong which is why people get frustrated with it.

Multi layered management adds costs and inefficacy to the service. Removing the ability to make decisions away from the people who should have it, IE people at the coalface causes its own problems.
The rebuilding in Stoke is doing nothing to help the hospital right now, but it is a necessary evil for the future.

As for patient care, I don't care who looks after me in my hour of need, yellow, blue (lets face it, Nurse Smurfette was kind of cute!), green or polka dot. What I do care about is, they have a clear grasp and understanding of the English language, can speak clearly and in a way that people understand. I'm not having a pop and foreign nationals as I have spoken to an English Doctor, who was obviously very well educated but neither my wife nor I had a clue what he was telling us.

Our National Health Service and our Benefits system are both things we should be very proud of in this country, but we are now becoming victims of this success.

I don't want to get on the immigration band wagon as this is about the NHS but:

Everyday around 1500 people enter the UK to live (legally or otherwise) and we provide NHS services to them as required. Everyday around 1000 people leave the UK to live elsewhere. So we have a net gain of 500 people per day whom we provide NHS services to. Now I think it is fair to say that a large number of these 500 are:
A/ going to be illegal
B/ not going to be the picture of health and fitness
C/ will require some treatment at a cost to the NHS

Because the NHS is basically an insurance policy, you can move here from wherever quite legally, pay your NI the first month, (for arguments sake £100) and then because of the hand fate dealt you, receive tens of thousands of pounds of care at no further cost to you.

brooneyes said...

Sir Findo, apart from those ridiculous figures you've quoted,
what about the 56 MILLION immigrants from outside of the EU that are going to be invited into europe?
What about this governments insane rush to get Turkey added as a member of the EU? That's another
70MILLION muslims that will have
potential access to this country!!

Sir Findo Gask said...


The figures quoted were from an article I read based on 2006 figures. I think it was from national statistics.. Whether it covered illegals or not I don't know and I can't find it to be sure. The point is that we are adding more people in to the cost model all the time..

If you have better figures I'll be happy to see them ;)

nicky said...

I haven't commented on this until now as I have, happily, only quite infrequent experience of hospitals and doctors, especially in recent years.

One thing Steve C that I do want to say is that it is NOT a FREE NHS. There would be a prescription charge if I needed one. I pay a good deal of money for my eye tests and glasses. My kids get their eye tests free but then get 'vouchers' for their glasses. I have no way found it possible to purchase glasses within the price allowed by the vouchers. At my NHS dentist my kids get their check ups for free but I pay a significant price for mine and pay a b***y fortune for the dental treatment I need. (Plus of course I'm a taxpayer.) I approve of having a NHS but do get annoyed when people say that it is free, because that's just not true!

Steve C said...

Nicky, if you think the NHS isn't free, go out and get private health insurance, see what that costs you. I can guarantee that the money you pay into the NHS (via your national insurance contributions and the other "top up" fees you mention - prescriptions, etc.), will still be a lot less than the private health insurance.

Also, if you already suffer from a certain ailment, it will automatically be eliminated from any cover, so basically you are stuffed.

Many people wouldn't have the option of paying for this private healthcare, so what would happen to them?

brooneyes said...

Just another example of rip off

nicky said...

Steve c,

I am right, the NHS isn't free.

I'm not talking about a comparison between the costs of the NHS and private insurance. I am no way arguing against the NHS as I'm wondering if you are implying when you say "Many people wouldn't have the option of paying for this private healthcare, so what would happen to them?" In fact I agree totally with that and do believe we should have an NHS. I do feel strongly that children should have it free and the point I'm making is it isn't, so I agree, what do their parents do if they are really hard up and need to buy them glasses but that is impossible within the voucher cost? It is unfair.

But the main point I am making is not so much about the costs, but about honesty. So when you talk about "our FREE NHS service", that is simply untrue.

Anonymous said...
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