"Lack of support for an embarrassing episode"
My Father had to visit the Aldershot Clinic in order to have a scan for bowel cancer. He had been hospitalised in Frimley Park beforehand and they gave him an industrial amount of laxative in order to empty his bowels for the scan
Frimley kindly took him to the clinic the next morning for a 10am appointment and I met him there. When we met he was in a large amount of distress as he could not control his bowels and where ever he walked he left behind him a trail of excreta
Once on the scan bed his bowels were inflated with a large quantity of air (guess where they inflated him from). Things got worse when the air was released and this activity compounded his problems
The Doctor who undertook the scan procedure helped clean him up and we changed his gown. After this we were shown out of the scan room into the holding area. And then we were abandoned. He was in a great state so I went back into the room and asked for somewhere to clean him up (it was a constant flow). I was told to use the toilet but not shown where it was – I had to go back in the room to ask where it was (not marked on the front of the door). Once I got him in there I had to go back out to ask for a bucket of wipes to clean him.
We were in the toilet a good 30 minutes as we tried to clean him / sit him on the toilet / clean him again. I had to keep going out asking for more things like a bag to put the used cleaning material sin and he is soiled gowns. Not often you get to strip your father naked in a toilet and rub his back and front with wet wipes.
Not at any stage did anyone offer and help, support, or interest in my Fathers dilemma. He was a little humiliated having to be cleaned in the most intimate places by his son. I did not mind from as Father / Son point of view, but I did from a process point of view
I was astonished in three ways:-
a. No Doctor or nurse offered any support or help
b. There were no cleaning facilities – Only a toilet
c. Complete lack of process to manage this situation
My Father cannot be the first man to have a bowel cancer scan in the Aldershot clinic after a large amount of NHS laxative. He cannot be the first man to have uncontrollable bowels. I hope he is the last man to have to suffer this indignity
I am a big fan of the NHS but here there was no support of empathy for such a stressful situation