"Well, there is only one piece of advice I can give you," said the wisest of wise men. "The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon."

('The Alchemist' Paulo Coelho)

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Sunday morning

By this morning, yesterday's swelling around my right wrist, due, I assumed, to an insect bite or sting, had progressed further up my arm. I debated whether or not to hang on till tomorrow morning and go to the GP or go to A&E  today and get a diagnosis and treatment. A&E won.
When we arrived, I noticed there is now an out of hours GP service (OOH as it is known, apparently) and rang the bell as invited. The basic message there was that, unless I had made an appointment (How? Where?), I had no chance and I should see the receptionist for A&E. So, I stood behind a man in his seventies with an obviously bad leg who was balancing against the desk and we waited...  and waited ... for at least ten minutes. Even the cleaner became concerned and assured us there would be someone there any minute. The receptionist finally appeared with much smiling and joking and took our details. Would the man in front like a wheelchair? He demurred but she commandeered a porter (very fortunate timing there) and he duly wheeled the man across to the opposite wall. Eventually, he was called for triage. He was on his own, so he struggled out of his wheelchair and limped slowly across the several yards to the waiting nurse. As he reached her she, having watched him making his painful journey, then  said, "Oh, would you like a wheelchair?"
Eventually, I too was triaged and later again, seen by a very nice doctor and prescribed antibiotics.

The general belief these days is that  at weekends, there is more or less a skeleton staff in hospitals, so don't get ill then - wait till a weekday. What I saw this morning was plenty of staff, both in A&E and in and around the pharmacy, none of whom showed any sense of urgency whatsoever. I'm talking wandering up and down corridors in small groups, chatting and laughing, drinking cans of coke and having two or three people doing jobs which patently should only take one.
I have been at outpatients departments at that hospital and had a couple of small operations there and not had any complaints, so I would not wish to tar everyone with the same brush. My most recent experience of day surgery in April was second to none and the care and attention of the staff couldn't have been better. I have also had other experiences which left something to be desired and so has Keith. It seems that the Pareto Principle is alive and well in this hospital and probably in most others, loosely translated as 20% of staff doing 80% of the work and it does not inspire confidence to realise that the way one is treated is likely to be a bit of a lottery.
However, to return to our A&;E, if the staff on duty this morning had been working with any reasonable degree of energy and interest,  we would all have been seen and treated in half the time. After all, it was Sunday morning and there were only half a dozen of us there at any one time.
Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board is in trouble at present due to failings in management.
I can see why.


David Oliver said...

It seems service over there is pretty much as it is here. Everyone has a job, some do it well, some do it so so and some just show up to work. And no one is ever let go.

ZACL said...

I noted you had a pharmacy at the hospital, open I presume.

It does sound like a lack of management and supervision that you experienced first hand.

Cro Magnon said...

I blame the politicians. Certain things in a country should be 'ring-fenced'. Top of the list should be health care, then education, welfare, defence, law-n-order, etc. Instead of which we spend our taxes on freebies for unscrupulous immigrants, throw money at foreign potentates for their fleets of big expensive cars, and waste money on continually changing policy.

I'm of an age when I can still remember a wonderfully efficient NHS that couldn't do enough to help. The salaries of present day hospital managers are simply immoral.

This makes me mad; excuse my rant.

Jennyta said...

Your last point being particularly true in the NHS, I think, David.

Jennyta said...

The pharmacy was not open till ten o'clock and then only for two hours (Sunday!) What people would do outside those hours, I don't know, ZACL. The prescriptions they give you in the hospital can only be filled there, not at outside chemists.

Jennyta said...

Absolutely, Cro. It's heartbreaking to see how the NHS has fallen to those of us who remember how it used to be. I think spending on NHS is ring fenced but it just seems to go on non-important stuff.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Skeleton staff? I don't think you can expect really efficient service when there's a bunch of skeletons on duty! They should either be in a closet in a medical school or safely in their graves. I hope the antibiotics are working and you're better very soon.

Flighty said...

I despair when I read stories like this as it simply shows just how poor the NHS at times when it simply shouldn't be. Flighty xx

Jennyta said...

No greatly noticeable improvement so far, YP. ;)

Jennyta said...

Especially when you consider how much money gets thrown at it, Flighty!


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