Monday, 11 August 2008

Patients and visitors Grrrrrrrr

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.


Bob Piper said...

It's not about how you feel though, Bob, it's about the missus, and if she doesn't want you to cause a fuss, then no matter how strongly you feel, nor how much I might agree woth you, you should respect her wishes.

Anyway... hope she gets well soon.

Bob the Black Country Brummie said...

quite right bob that's exactoy waht I did. happy to report she is hoem safe now and doing well.

margaret macklin said...

Having been recently in the same situ at Sandwell hospital,I really sympathise with both your attitudes.Missus must be feeling very vunerable-hope she is better soon.
Its not clear if you intend to do something about both issues when she is better.If so what?When /if you do will you add my concerns about the above and also find out why there appears to be a shortage of blankets and other basics?Also why fire alarm keeps going off so much that people disregard it?
P.S. part of the smoking shelter issue is that the original smoking "ashtrays" have been left -just under the ward windows!!!

Bob the Black Country Brummie said...

Thanks for your comment Margaret. I am flattered to count you amongst my now eminent readership here in little ole Sandwell. There will be a response to the hospital over the two issues I mentioned at as high a level as I can reach probably the Chair or Chief Exec. In respect to the shortages you mentioned we are not aware of any concerns there. Our treatment over the last few months has been excellent and the ward staff and consultants are to be congratulated. The fire alarm must now be fixed because except for one occasion when there was an incident in a kitchen about three months ago there have been no problems. I don’t usually use the main entrance but next time I do I’ll have a look for the ash trays. Filthy habit, should be banned, oh that’s right it is.