I support the health service.....but

  anskyber 16:43 15 Aug 2008

My mother is an acute patient. She has been admitted to hospital under blue lights 5 times in the last 2 years.

During the last visit the consultants advised against any further treatment with a machine which frankly has kept her alive on each of the last visits. Their explanation was rational and the family fully understood.

On Monday she was admitted again and after 18 hours in A and E she was eventually on the ward. My Dad had stressed all through the admission process the the previous case notes should be read and he explained why. Fine.

Except when he returned to the ward she was about to have the machine (a BiPap) applied. It was explained that the notes were not available yet (48 hours after admission) and the Doctor was therefore following normal procedures. Indeed they arrived on the ward after 4 days.

I think there is a serious systemic failure of the system when notes cannot be linked to patients and it could have meant a loss of life sooner than expected. Why I ask cannot the notes be scanned and made available to any ward in an instant, or is that far too radical and technologically advanced.

  version8 17:25 15 Aug 2008

You could complain to the NHS Trust concerned or take it up with your MP?

  Bingalau 17:28 15 Aug 2008

anskyber.I've been going through the same lack of communication between departments for the last six months. That has caused my wife and myself an awful lot of grief. She has been shuttled between consultants and each one has no idea why the previous one has moved her on. Appointment letters take a fortnight to arrive and the appointment is then another two weeks ahead. total wait on average a month. A hospital dispensary takes six hours to issue a prescription. Yes I know they are busy but my local chemist averages a prescription every couple of minutes. So the figures point to incompetence to me. I could rant on about the NHS for hours after the last six months of purgatory. But it will only make my blood pressure higher than it is at present. P.S. 99% of the nurses are great but probably as frustrated as I am.

  anskyber 17:29 15 Aug 2008

Indeed, and that may happen. My greatest concern is the professional treatment of my mother.

When the consultant was asked about the issue this time around he confirmed that it was quite normal for there to be a significant delay like this which naturally leads to "on the hoof" or perhaps more fairly, standard treatment solutions being used until they know better.

  Bingalau 17:34 15 Aug 2008

version8. I know your reply wasn't aimed at me but I have done both of these things. The complaints were met with excuses and I know I can take it higher etc. But I would much rather stick one on somebody, to relieve the frustration. because I know going higher will get the same result, more excuses.

My MP is on the case and things are moving a bit faster too, I was actually telephoned by one consultant's assistant (unheard of) yesterday and today, who is obviously taking the flak and doing his best. But his superior is on holiday. So now they are moving my wife to yet another hospital. Guess what? I bet they forget to move the records with her or something.

  anskyber 17:36 15 Aug 2008

Yes, I read all sorts of mission statements from hospitals about the usual aspirational stuff on patient care.

My example and your experiences suggest to me there is a serious systemic administrative failure in some hospitals which could be life threatening.

I mentioned scanned notes and PC points on wards to get access but there are other solutions too. Patient data for acute patients and others could be held on small storage devices like usb flash memory and travel with the patient.

I am not naive enough to think that there are potential issues with data protection and the like but in view of the importance of such information for patient treatment, there has to be a better way than hand written notes in a battered file.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 17:43 15 Aug 2008

"there has to be a better way than hand written notes in a battered file."

Time we were all "chipped", a quick scan by the medic and all your info at hand immediately

and our medical info updated to the chip on each visit to the NHS.

  Joe R 19:21 15 Aug 2008

Fruit Bat /\0/\,

that sounds on the face of it, a superb piece of logic, but I am sure the do-gooders would find some human rights liberty/freedom act etc, to veto it.

  spuds 21:58 15 Aug 2008

Wasn't there talk about 'instant' on-line computerised records being made available at anytime, within the NHS, local doctors and other providers!.

Recently I have been involved with an whole ray of medical,auxiliary staff and some new methods, and truly I couldn't have asked for anything better.Even booking follow-up appointments have been simplicity in itself.

  anskyber 23:15 27 Aug 2008

Well, of course she died.....on Monday.

Admitted yet again to A and E and the usual process of (understandably) following the "best practise" for her condition.
My Dad pleaded with the staff to get the records........do not treated without understanding the implications of the "best practise". Naturally they thought he might be trying to kill her......why else would he cry for no resuscitation because of her condition, why?

There has to be a better way.

  Brumas 23:18 27 Aug 2008

Please accept our condolences.

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