On the day of our three month scan at
On the the night Bean T’s waters broke, while waiting in the foyer at Holles Street, a woman in the early stages of labour burst into the bleak Victorian reception area with her partner. The woman was breathing heavily and while in no immediate danger of giving birth, the couple expected to be reassured and directed towards some kind of hospital care. Instead a porter in a woolly jumper nervously asked “how often are they coming?”. When the woman said “every 10 minutes”, the man turned away and said “take a seat, you’ll be alright”. The couple looked at each other in bewilderment wondering whether they had arrived in a warehouse or the
A few weeks ago my son needed a lactose intolerance test. Bean T brought him to Crumlin Childrens hospital and provided the sample as instructed. As she headed out the door the receptionist must have noticed something was missing in the discharge forms. She shouted after Bean T “Come ‘ere, sorree, come ‘ere, ya need ta…”. So much for manners. Worse still, after weeks without word from the test Bean T phoned to be told in indifferent tones that the record of the test had been lost. Well well, what a surprise. Perhaps a dog-eared file was whipped out the window by a thieving breeze. When Bean T persisted, asking for a double check, she was eventually told that no, in fact the results hadn’t been lost, but there was insufficient material in the sample for proper analysis. We obviously weren’t going to be informed about this until we came looking. How utterly depressing. I really feel for those undergoing more serious testing or treatment in this gruelling environment.
These are but a handful of instances which back up the perception that the entire system is a shambles. Organisation, direction, and accountability are absent. Instead of compassion, patients get contempt, by the shovelful. For sure there are many decent people working hard at all levels. But whether through lack of resources, lack of moral, or otherwise, a culture of shameless indifference to the patient has taken hold. It really is the medical version