institutional disfunctionality

This post will probably be a bit of a long-winded rant, but I feel the need to. Rant that is.

Almost a month ago I rather light-heartedly posted that Handsome was going into hospital for a few days, for a terrifically routine operation. I cannot count the number of people who have said to me things along the lines of ‘Oh he’ll be back to himself in no time’, or ‘My Aunt/Sister/Father/self (delete as applicable) had that and they were just fine’. We really didn’t have any reason at all to think that there might possibly be a problem.

I got him back yesterday – three operations and a lot of hospital care later.

I appreciate that sometimes things go wrong (and in this case they did), and that all operations carry some kind of risk. That’s not really what I’m annoyed at.

What I am really really incandescently angry about is the dehumanisation of Handsome, and the other patients in this hospital (which obviously I am not going to mention by name because the last thing we need just now is a law suit as well). No-one, at any stage would admit to any fault; tell us what was going on or what we could expect next. He was moved from ward to ward and from room to room without knowing why, and often without his paperwork following him. Handsome is an intelligent man – even when in pain – he doesn’t need to be talked down to or treated as though he doesn’t have the right to ask questions about his own body. His doctor apparently talked over his head to someone else and just walked away to the next person when Handsome tried to talk to him. That is truly treating people as objects.

The lack of reasonable administration meant that his notes were rarely with him, and that meant that sometimes things didn’t happen because by the time they found his notes the relevant person had gone off shift, or perhaps had been abducted by aliens. On his last day in incarceration, whilst waiting to go home, he was told by one person that he would have to stay another night and then an hour later a different person said he could just go… He had the sense to go and wait for me in the cafeteria so that they couldn’t change their minds again.

The district nurse was supposed to call today to check some things – she didn’t. I presume that the hospital forgot to contact the GP – that would be par for the course. He’s going to call tomorrow and gently remind them. Luckily he is capable of doing that; what must it be like for those who can’t make a fuss?

Now he’s home I am not ever, ever going to let him go back. And I’m going to have tattooed up my right arm “If unconscious, do not take to ……… hospital”.

The next post will be cheerful, possibly with photos (but not of Handsome, because he’s too thin).

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4 Responses to institutional disfunctionality

  1. dderbydave says:

    Start at the top. Write it all down .and let the low life who manages the hospital know what’s going on. Find out who his boss is and send him a copy of the letter (make sure that cc is on low life’s letter) and mention the press and the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman and watch the little rat squirm

  2. austenfan says:

    Well written rant, Handsome’s treatment throughout was appalling

  3. mumof4 says:

    Sorry to hear. Sometimes Drs may be very good at their speciality but have ZERO social awareness skills. We have had recent hosp. tale in extended UK family and I think the complaint letter (pages worth) has been the only thing keeping my MIL going at times (that she’d see head roll). Hope his recovery is speedy and smoother than on the wards.

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