Faith in the NHS??

Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by brazenhussy, Jan 25, 2007.

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  1. Faith in the NHS??

    Broken neck was missed for six months(from daily Mail)
    Last updated at 23:30pm on 24th January 2007
    Elizabeth Hodgkinson was left in constant pain and unable to walk after she snapped two vertebrae
    Her widow Malcolm, 64, claimed the two vertebrae were snapped during the procedure and over the next four months she suffered worsening pain down her left side.
    The couple complained to four doctors at the Waters Green Medical Centre in Macclesfield and consultants at the Manchester Royal Infirmary, but they did not spot the fractures.
    Mrs Hodgkinson collapsed in March and was taken into hospital.
    Two months after that doctors X-rayed her neck and spotted it was broken.
    But her injuries were so severe that specialist neurosurgeons were unable to save her and she died in September.
    At the inquest into her death, Cheshire Coroner Nicholas Rheinberg gave the causes of death as respiratory impairment, fracture of the spine and Wegener's Granulamatosis.
    Recording a narrative verdict, he said: "The fracture which was not diagnosed until May 6 led to her subsequent death."

    Makes you wonder.......................
  2. Regular readers will probably have spotted that I am not one of the NHSs biggest fans, but I would suggest this is perhaps not a sign of the chronic state the NHS is in, rather a sign that even doctors can make mistakes.

    There was another report of a broken neck not being spotted immediately in todays paper, (I haven't got time to find a link at present) and although this one did not have such disatrous results perhaps it indicates that the condition can be difficult to identify in some cases.
  3. My sympathy goes to Mr Hodkinson for his loss. My experience of the NHS is that my wife had a complete hip replacement last June. The waiting list was about 5 months which was one month less than originally estimated. The problem was that the symptoms she suffered was pain in the leg and knee. This went on for about ten years, with numerous visits to GP's and Consultants. No one noticed that her hip had seized due to arthritis. It was replaced at Haslar and is now fit again. However, the orthopaedic ward was like a sausage factory. There were overworked staff nurses which were terrific but some of the auxilliary nurses had a distinct lack of nursing care skills.
  4. We all make mistakes, but this sounds poor, very poor. Mind you, some of the medics I came accross in the mob were pretty crap, and there was a geordie civvy physio in Guzz that was a poor excuse for a physio. Totally mis diagnosed a problem I had.
    Still, with all docs' it's a gamble. Either that or DIY.
  5. Seadog

    Seadog War Hero Moderator

  6. whoops - thanks Seadog!!!
  7. Hi BH

    I currently work in the NHS (as does my wife and mum) and I understand that there are many stories such as this that circulate within the media and for those concerned it must be a horrible and upsetting experience.

    But I have seen first hand how the staff within the NHS cope with a creaking system, low pay and bad working condittions (sound familiar!!)

    As with most things there are good and bad in all things and it's misleading to call these terrible instances 'trouble with the NHS' - when in fact it is trouble with a hospital or a doctor/nurse. To brand the whole as the same when the vast majority of people find the NHS staff very helpful.

  8. What grips me is the state of hospital cleanliness. My grandmother went in to hospital a few months ago after a minor fall. The ward she was in had dried vomit on the deck, the next day the whole place was declared a gastro-enteritis breakout. She ended up picking up about two other infections and it killed her.

    There's alcho-gels at every ward entrance yet no-one seems to use them. The wards are often unclean 'cos the nursing staff aren't there to clean the cleaners are. But that's been contracted out to someone who employs any old numpty on the cheap.

    When we had the foot and mouth outbreak in 2002(?) you couldn't go near a farm and if you had to you had to drive your car over a disinfectant mat and your boots too.

    Our hospitals have nothing like this, we seem to take more care over our livestock than our people. On top of this the great unwashed turn up at any old time that suits them to visit their relatives, bringing all manner of disease in with them, walking straight past the alcho-gels on their way into the wards.

    It needs sorting out!
  9. please accept my apologies - on hind sight i should have titled it differently.
    no offence was meant to those working withing the NHS, and re-reading it i realise my mistake.
    again i apologise.
  10. For those of you with an interest in the mess that is the NHS at the moment, there are a fair few blogs out there that make interesting reading - they also provide reassurance that Defence isn't the only area where the government are putting people's lives at risk by cutting costs. I strongly recommend the following for those interested in the NHS:

    NHS Blog Doc (a GP's Blog)


    Random acts of Reality (a Paramedic's Blog)

    Both of those will give you some idea about how disillusioned the people on the ground are in the NHS - I certainly know the feelings they talk about when more budget cuts and bureaucracy are imposed from above.
  11. No problem brazen, I'm not having a go - it's just a good many people pour their lives into the job only to be shafted by the accountants in charge.

    no apology needed :razz:
  12. We all know there are problems within the NHS and it is only kept going because of the goodwill shown by the Dr's and Nurses, but where exactly do you start from to make it work better???
  13. Virtually every hospital in the country is cleaned by contract cleaners. The companies who win the contract are frequently the ones with the lowest tender.
    Time for every hospital to have an ex matron style official who's only task is to ensure that the cleaning is carried out to hospital standards not contractors standards. I'm fairly sure that any contractor who fails to meet standards will be in breach of his contract and could therefore be remover. The hospital will inevitably pay more for cleaning services which fulfill their requirements, however these extra costs should be recovered when numbers of patients requiring prolonged care following infections falls.
  14. A lot of the cleaning problems are in fact not that the cleaning company is doing less than they are contracted to do, but that they were not asked to do what is needed. Of course once a cash standard for the cleaningis set what manager is going to turn round and say he/she got it wrong and that the cost needs to go up next year.

    It is very common for organisations moving what was internal work outside to failk to fuklly understand wholly what their own staff did, so when they specify what the contractor must do bits are left out, and getting them put back in is often difficult.
  15. chieftiff

    chieftiff War Hero Moderator

    I am not sure on this one at all, having watched Gerry Robinsons' Documentary on improving one Hospital I was astonished at just how obstructive the consultants were, the fact that almost everyone in the hospital thought the consultants ran the place(including them) and how impotent that made the rest of the staff! If you didn't catch it here's a link to info from the program.

    From what was shown I got the distinct impression that this quote from Mr Robinson sums it up:

    "I just don’t think there is a sense of management. And I was left with a very frustrated feeling that actually quite small sums of money properly and sensibly spent could have produced very large results in terms of reduced waiting lists, and actually very large sums of money had been thrown at the NHS and produced very little."

    But not really interacting with the Health Service myself I am prepared to be corrected!
  16. This is the reason that a Matron of the old school (or an ex joss man) is required to set out a standard of cleaning which must be achieved.
    As NHS trusts are now supposed to be run in the same way as companies isn't it about time that they got their act together when it comes to writing contracts. The reason why government projects do not complete to time and cost are because the contracts are too loosely written.
    One example was the COST+ contracts MOD used to award to companies. My bosses used to love them as they were literally a licence to print money.
  17. The story that started this thread is very sad. Unfortunately, neither the Mail story nor the replies have shed much light. Fractures of the bones in the neck can be relatively easily missed at the best of times, but specialist assessment of X rays usually picks up anything missed by the examining doctor. However, this lady's neck was not X rayed at all until very late on, so the examining doctors can't have suspected a fracture.

    It is very easy, and the press do it all the time, to second-guess a problem, but when you have the benefit of hindsight the job becomes much easier. I'm no apologist for the medical profession, but I'd bet that the situation was much more complex than has been reported.

    As for hospital cleanliness, some of the situations reported here are down to sheer laziness. No healthcare worker worth their salt should ever leave blood or vomit for someone else to clean up, as it gets more difficult to deal with the longer it's left. Sadly, Elfin Safety has overtaken common sense in these matters and people seem only too happy to pass the buck. There's too much drivel spoken about infections in the press. The development of resistant strains is inevitable, because bacteria and viruses are the most adaptable organisms in creation. It hasn't helped that antibiotics and other wonder drugs have been over-prescribed and courses not completed over the years, but that is again almost inevitable. Perhaps it's a strange situation to understand, but cleanliness is relative. Healthcare has to improve its practices, not only in simple things like making more use of a mop and bucket, but in areas like the wearing of simple, easily laundered clothing at work, rather than the same suit and tie for weeks on end and not carrying your stethoscope around your neck all day long, even to the canteen and the loo.

    Sorry, longer than I'd intended, but it's a bit of a hobby horse!
  18. I had to spend a week in a Birmingham hospital. The staff were extremely busy. However the only cleaner that appeared every day was the cleaner contracted for the pay per view tv's over the beds.

    In any hospital it must be a nightmare keeping wards clean when there is all day visiting. Why not restrict normal visiting hours unless specifically allowed in certain cases. (There's probably some human right being neglected) General wards should have a couple of hours per day. Then staff wouldn't have to negotiate their care etc. around hoards of people contaminating the wards.
  19. Harry, i didn't come to steal your blood did i? :)

    I have to say i see more cleaners in our hospital than nurses. The hospital is very old and in need of repair in places, but it is clean. Might not look it because of age, but it is. Our cleaners do a very good job, it has to be said.
  20. which yet again brings in the argument of Haslar - one of the cleanest hospitals, specialist docs, etc - yet they want to, oops sorry ARE , closing it.

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