Thursday, 27 September 2007
The NHS up close - (The shade)
Mr NotaSheep found himself in hospital very recently with a severe allergic reaction. Once pumped full of antihistamines and pain killers what I really wanted to do was to sleep, but sleep on a NHS Acute Observation Ward is not easy to come by. One patient talked to himself all night; "Ow, ow, I wanna go home, go home, I wanna go home" for six hours, he was not a well man but the nurses did nothing, surely a side room could have been found for him. Then there were the nurses who chatted all night about this and that, only occasionally looking in on a patient who needed treatment, I was visited not at all that night, it was Mrs NotaSheep who gave me water and a few bites of an apple. To make sleep harder to come by, the ward lights were left on all night in the male ward (although they were off in the next door female ward - same nurses' station). In the morning after some of the nurses had discussed career paths, spoken to their various family members about the day ahead and chatted to the cleaners, Mr non-stop talk was moved to a proper ward and the lights were turned off, leaving the ward in semi darkness for half an hour before the sun came flooding in. I would have thought that sleep was a good medicine, if so I was denied it during my stay. The staff were generally friendly and competent and out of the half a dozen or so nurses and two doctors I saw, at least one spoke English like a native. The instructions from the East European Doctor re tablet taking were no helped by his inability to cope with English tenses, which made our conversation over when I should take tablets as opposed to when I had taken tablets, slightly surreal.