Sunday, 28 December 2008

An evening at A&E

A visit to Sandwell A&E dept can be a great leveller.
A couple of days ago I displayed some symptoms that we were a little concerned about. I rang the emergency doctor because it was out of hours and I was advised that I needed to be checked out at A&E we’ll send an ambulance they said. I didn’t think it was an emergency so I offered to be driven in by my wife. Will you tell them we’re coming? Oh no we can’t do that just go along to reception they’ll triage you, you wont have to wait long. This seems absolutely potty to me they’re quite happy to send an ambulance for me which means they have to notify the hospital but to tell them I’m coming by car, sorry can’t do. In Sandwell we have a new A&E dept attached to our local hospital. Opened only a couple of years ago it should be state of the art, it is a smart facility which is being ruined by the people who are using it. There were bloody rags left on the floor and spilled fluids. Most of the patients like me were suffering in silence. The majority were Asian with some afro Caribbean and a few whites. The silence was broken when a family who I can only describe as “shameless” were brought in by ambulance. The injured party was a young woman in her early twenties, very vocal and dissatisfied with her lack of attention. She was followed a little while later by what I assume was her dad and then her boy friend. These were equally as vocal complaining about being here all night. I was ashamed of my own race. Seeing a doctor was in my opinion very quick and he ordered some blood tests which were done quickly and I assumed sent off to the lab. I discovered later that the samples had not been identified and as such not tested. Another doctor comes along takes some more blood and advises us to wait in the waiting room for the results. Shameless family are still making a fuss. They loudly announce they are leaving. Plonk the girl in a wheel chair and exit the hospital to the relief of the rest of us. The boy friend had tried to intimidate me while I was sitting waiting for my test results. We ignored him and my wife threatened me not to make a fuss. I’m not sure what I could have done except wave my walking stick at him. A few minutes later a couple of Bobbies arrived but as usual too late. I noticed a wheel chair abandoned in Little Lane when we left. Hospital staff and sick patients should not have to deal with this kind of behaviour. They have the details of the patient so perhaps proceedings can be taken against them although I’m not sure what laws they broke except for perhaps disturbing the peace and intimidating me. We are all entitled to health care but we should also respect the care providers and fellow patients and leave the hospital in a condition in which we would expect to find it.
I suppose the question we should be asking is how safe are our A&E depts?


margaret macklin said...

bob-this is the kind of experience I had in the summer.The same time as our M.P was coming round saying how wonderful it was.How can that be when even the drinks machine for water not working and such a basic not available!Made even worse by what appeared to be the family of a doctor jumping the 2 hour waiting time to seen at A&E.Dont think it has anything to do with race.Most people as you say are trying to do their bestHowever I can say that it was better in a way than the last time I had an emergency-turned out to be a bust appendix when my doctor made me wait in her surgery (throwing up) until she had seen the rest of the people who had appointments.So has emergency care not progressed in 15years? We are told that there are to be new walk in centres.Are those going to be better do you think.?

Bob the Black Country Brummie said...

I feel I now have some experience with the health care system and to some extent I am critical of some of the practises. Strange these days that Pat & I do not get invited to the consultation events. I wonder why?