Keith had his operation yesterday afternoon. A steel rod was inserted through the bottom of his heel as the skin there is healthy, so there is less risk of infection. He was pleased to have had it done, even though it sounds gruesome, as he can now have his foot bandaged and wear a 'boot' rather than having another plaster cast to his thigh, which is what they tried before. As it seemed to be almost impossible to find a vein in which to insert the drip, they resorted to putting it in his neck, which proved quite uncomfortable once the anaesthetic wore off. Another problem was that he had to turn his head to one side for the drip to work, and as it contained the all important anti-biotics, this was a problem. So during the course of the evening, he informed any staff who came close enough to listen, that the drip was not working properly and could someone please sort it out. Not an unreasonable request, you would think. However, by the end of the evening, nothing had been done, which meant that he had gone for several hours without the anti-biotics which he needed and the only suggestion forthcoming was that he would have to keep his head turned to the right to enable the drip to work and, yes, they expected him to spend the whole night with it in his neck.
Finally, as he put it, he had to get nasty and point out that this operation was his last chance and that if the foot did indeed become infected, it could mean amputation, so he was now not asking but TELLING them that they had to sort it out!
Within 5 minutes, the drip was reset and a line put into his leg rather than his neck.
Something which made the incident even more annoying was that, a couple of hours earlier, another patient on the ward had asked to have his bed moved from one side to the other 'for a change of scene' which was done almost before the words were out of his mouth. But although they had time to do that, they hadn't time to sort out Keith's drip.
Oh and, to put the tin hat on it, he wasn't given his night painkiller. This morning, when he questioned this, he was told that 'they had been busy.'
Maybe part of the answer to improving the NHS, rather than throwing even more money at management is to review the calibre of some of the applicants for nursing training!