There has been a series airing on the BBC called “Hospital” which details some of the many crises (yes, plural – unsurprisingly) facing some NHS trusts. Watching it is a bit like watching a car crash happening really but I can’t *not* watch it.
There’s so much bed blocking going on and it really makes me angry – I sat there watching a 90+ year old lady not being allowed to go home because they couldn’t get a care package in place as her home was too cluttered to be “safe” for carers. This poor lady wanted to go home and had been stuck in hospital for nearly 3 months because of the nanny state – she’d been living independently before contracting pneumonia and all she wanted to do was go home. Personally, I’d have told Social Services to go fuck themselves long before then, dressed myself and taken a taxi home but most folks aren’t as bolshy as me and certainly the majority of that lady’s generation was brought up to respect authority and not question things like this.
Then there’s the couple in their early 20s – obviously in local authority housing – where the young lady had been pregnant, developed complications and the child had been delivered by emergency c-section, obviously early, and had underdeveloped lungs. He was on a ventilator and would require ventilator support for the foreseeable future. He couldn’t be discharged as they only lived in a 2 bed flat and the baby would require his own room so that a carer could look after him overnight while the family slept and the couple’s other child had the 2nd bedroom. So the child has been in hospital for four months (at a cost of £1,000 a day) while the couple waits for the local authority to allocate them a larger property?
What. The. Fuck
What happened to responsibility here? Move the older child into your bedroom so that you can get your child home and look after him yourself! Money is obviously an issue to them, so why have a second child in the first place? And this story isn’t an exception – the critical care unit has 9 children waiting to be discharged but the necessary “care packages” aren’t available – social services are stretched beyond the limit and can’t cope.
I shouldn’t be really be surprised – nobody seems to plan ahead or take any responsibility for themselves nowadays. I’ve often thought that if I ever get to the stage where I can’t be independent, I’ll happily go off into a corner, sort out my affairs and off myself. I never want to be a burden on anyone and would hope that my next of kin is brave enough that if anything serious enough were to happen to me that may require serious medical intervention without prior warning that they would make sure I was fitted with a “Do Not Resuscitate” bracelet and allow me to go off into the long goodnight without any fuss.
Why does the NHS have to take the nanny role for so many people? If they’re well enough to leave, discharge them. Where they have family, let the family take the responsibility for their welfare. For fuck’s sake – it’s not rocket science. People need to stop abdicating their responsibilities – start an approach of tough love and let people learn to stand on their own two feet again. I reckon this sort of approach may sort out about 50% of the issues – I’m not naive enough to believe it’ll fix everything but honestly people – we have to start somewhere.
I’m heartily sick of all this now.