No I am not a snob or a racist but I suppose you could be forgiven for thinking that if you do not read this piece thoroughly. It might turn into a bit of a rant. I have had to spend a lot of time this weekend at Sandwell Hospital. Not has a patient but a carer. Mrs. BBCB needed some surgery and this was scheduled for Sunday. The government have invested a lot of money in health care and it shows. Although Sandwell Hospital is starting to look it’s age. We could not fault the treatment we received from the surgeon, nurses’ porters’ cleaners orderlies’ excellent. Well done to you all. So what’s my beef I hear you ask? Why it’s the patients and visitors or a tiny proportion of them who take advantage of the situation and flout the rules. Before going onto the ward you get a leaflet giving you what you can expect and what they expect from you. Simple enough, phone numbers, visiting times 2 visitors per bed. Now what part of 2 can be translated in any language to 7? I only saw an Asian family taking this liberty and because it was right opposite us it caused us much concern. When you enter the ward a notice tells you about switching off mobile phones. This happy group were using mobiles throughout both visiting periods yesterday. After 48yrs of marriage there is a sort of telepathy which exists between us, especially when one of us is poorly. I was trying to comfort Mrs. BBCB and getting slowly enraged. Perhaps it was the steam coming from my ears or what’s left of the hairs on the back of my neck standing up. She dropped her oxygen mask and said don’t you dare even think about it at this time. There will be opportunities later to sort it out. We had to endure the racket coming from that bed as did other patients. Quite frankly it simply is not fair. I don’t blame the staff on duty last night because they had a couple of patients return from surgery who needed a lot of attention and they were at full stretch. Visiting time should be happy times but surely they must consider the needs of all the patients not just their own selfish enjoyment. Haven’t yet decided how to deal with this, Mrs. BBCB needs to be consulted and her wishes followed.
The second whinge is smoking at the main entrance to the hospital. There are notices telling you that smoking can only take place in the hut provided not under the entrance canopy. Can these die hard patients and visitors read? I don’t think so, because they are out there puffing away oblivious to the rules. Fag ends left on the floor and a smell of stale cigarettes when you enter and leave. There’s no escape. This is not a new problem so I can’t understand why site security does not enforce the rules? And save the rest of us from this filthy exhibition.
I am happy to report that my editor in chief is recovering well. If I have to visit tonight I can’t promise the same degree of restraint I showed on previous occasions.