Now at home and in the care of my partner confined to a single room with a sink and a bed the continued story of my NHS debacle.
I was delivered to my house by the privately contracted ambulance. The two attendants had to lift me whilst strapped to a chair up the seven steps to my front door. Once over the threshold I was able to stand supporting myself on the gutter framed zimmer and this was to be how I would manoeuvre myself for the next six weeks.
First job was to book a nurse to come out to me in two days time to remove the 30 staples holding my wound together. I called the nurses station only to be told that as I was staying at my second home and not close to my local surgery I would have to visit another surgery to register with them so that a nurse would come out to attend to me. They asked if I could just pop down and see the local GP. Trying to explain my predicament was painful in itself. I could not pop down, I could just about make it to the loo with help. In the end I had to get a relative to go and register on my behalf, it was only then that they agreed to send a nurse out to me to remove the staples.
After two weeks whilst balancing on my zimmer frame it snapped in two and I almost fell over. There was a tag on the zimmer with a number to call if there were any problems. I called and this is where it gets interesting. I was informed that a replacement could not be obtained for three days, I asked why did they not have them in stock. It seems they are the contractors to the NHS, they have to order them from the distributor who in turn orders them from the manufacturers. Each of these companies of course makes their individual charges to each other and get this one, it turns out that the zimmer frame is then charged to the NHS by the hour, can you believe that !!
Eventually I got a new zimmer frame and it broke again so I had to get yet another one supplied, along with a special seat for the toilet and a seat to enable me to wash myself.
At six weeks I had to book an ambulance to take me to my surgeon consultant at the hospital some 15 miles away. The contractor G4S arrived and again had to carry me to the ambulance strapped in a wheel chair. The conversation was enlightening. G4S had only just won the NHS contract for the Kent area worth a staggering £94m. It is nothing but a glorified taxi service funded by those of us paying into our NHI contributions. My ambulance collected a drug addict and a woman who was waiting outside her house having a smoke, both capable of making their own way to the hospital, but get this, the woman announced loudly that she didn’t need a ride back home as her daughter was collecting her and taking out for a hair do and lunch, but that she would see them at her house the same time the following week. Why is no-one checking these wasters and why are the NHS not providing their own ambulance services.
Over the next few weeks I met with my consultant and eventually was given training on a pair of crutches from a reluctant contracted physiotherapist who could only spend a few minutes with me once every two weeks.
I was also told that the NHS would like all my equipment back when I was able to do without them however, trying to return them has been impossible as no-one wants to accept responsibility for their return. I have been informed on good authority that they would be dumped in a skip at any rate. As I have not been able to return any of the equipment I can only assume that the hourly charge rate is still ongoing from the contractor, nice way to make money eh!!
I have only skimmed over some of the issues here but it would be obvious to anyone why our NHS is in crisis and in the middle of a financial meltdown. It would be so easy to put these things right but nothing is happening and this great service will soon be lost to all of us due to poor management and waste. I pray that someone will have the sense to do something but unfortunately all the government seem to do is to raise NI and taxes to pay for this sham so it’s money being thrown into the abyss and nothing good will come of it.
Well I am off to the local dump as I have to get rid of crutches, a zimmer frame, toilet set and a stool what a diabolical sham !!!!!!!!!!!!!