Like most Brits, I am a true advocate of our amazing NHS. Where else can you just arrive and get treated so well? But as recent news suggests the NHS are under so much pressure that it’s difficult to make ends meet, which is something I have experienced first hand over the last two weeks.
My 93-year-old Dad suffers from postural hypotensions where his blood pressure drops when he stands up but recently it has gone much worse and he had a few falls and collapses in one day so he was taken to hospital last Monday evening. My sister rang to say she had called the Ambulance at around 5.30pm so I jumped in my car and went straight to Manchester.
The paramedics arrived at 9.30p and felt it was necessary for him to go to hospital. We both followed and were soon seen by the triage nurse who then put us into one of the many side rooms. It was decided that he needed to be admitted after some concerns with some bloods that had come back and they wanted to do some more tests.
17 hours later after sitting with Dad throughout the night they finally found a bed for him. By then he had already got some bed sores from lying on the trolly for so long. How we manged to get through the night without even a drink I have no idea but we could not have left Dad in such a vulnerable situation.
After being admitted we saw a team of Doctors who seemed to think that we were barking up the wrong tree and that it could possibly be seizures that he was having. More tests and scans were ordered and we were told that he would probably be in for a few days.
We visited as much as was allowed and he had the numerous tests and scans but then it was decided that maybe it was postural hypotension and that they needed to change his tablets. On top of this, my Dad is insulin dependant and his sugar had been going crazy for over a week which the GP said it was probably the weather that was the contributing factor yet while being under the care of the staff his sugar went from very low to off the scale.
Last Friday I went to see him and found his bed empty and no-one knew where he was ( my heart was beating so hard I could feel it) and eventually I found out they had moved him but no one had bothered to phone either myself or my sister to tell us where he had gone. Being moved onto a new ward on a Friday meant nothing was done over the weekend and in fact, an agency nurse asked my Dad to get up for a shower where he collapsed yet again as he should never have been left on his own.
They were told to check his blood sugar every four hours but that didn’t happen which resulted in it being off the scale it was so high. They were told to check his blood pressure standing and sitting every time he got up and yet this was not done once over the weekend.
We are now midweek into his second week and although he is not getting worse he is struggling with his bedsores and walking and has collapsed again when walking to the toilet on his own. They have told my Dad, to never walk without a nurse but he explained to us that it is easier said than done as a nurse never comes to him when he asks for one.
I know I am far from alone in realizing the stress the NHS is under but to see how my 93-year-old Dad is being treated has been quite frightening and unnerving, to say the least. I sat from 9.15am until 1.30 so that I could actually meet and talk to the Doctor who was looking after my Dad and when I did eventually see him there was nothing on his notes about his high sugar readings and that no blood pressure had been taken over the day. I am hoping Dad can come home soon as they say hospitals are not the best places to stay when you are old but I have a feeling if he does come home soon we could soon be back to square one again.