"Administrative side is the problem, not medical"

About: North Middlesex Hospital

(as a relative),

I’ve read another article today about bad nursing care and cleanliness in one NHS hospital Bath’s Royal United Hospital. Lord Mancroft was appalled at the dirty wards and poor nursing care. However, he did have a choice as he was swiftly transferred to a private hospital, lucky him. But many of us who get sick and cannot afford private health care fear the prospect of entering into the ‘lottery’ of NHS hospital care.

I must say that Andrew, my husband's care in the oncology out-patients ward at the North Middlesex Hospital is very good and the nurses are nice and efficient. If there are delays, it’s usually because chemo has not arrived from the Pharmacy … which is frustrating. Sitting in the waiting room for treatment we are constantly hearing stories of patients who have arrived at 10am and are still waiting for treatment at 2.00pm because their chemo hasn’t arrived. Now this kind of stress is not good for any patient, especially someone suffering from cancer.

Obviously, here it seems to me that it is not the ‘nursing’ care that is disorganised it is the ‘administration’ side that lacks management. The communication between different departments seems amiss.

Andrew has chemo that lasts 48 hours and has to wear a bottle which continuously drips into his body. After 48 hours, a District nurse has to remove the bottle and re-dress his arm. We asked for more dressings for Andrew at the hospital (as they gave us a bag of them at the beginning of his treatment and these had now run out). We were strictly told by one of the nurses that these had to be supplied by the District Nurse not them, as it should come out of the district nurses' budget.

Financial awareness from nursing staff is now commonplace in NHS hospitals and surgeries. Unfortunately, it is much more evident that financial constraints affect the care of patients in the NHS and how expensive a treatment is takes priority over whether you get it or not. We are constantly being told how much the chemo is costing as it’s being administered …. which is actually something a patient does not need to hear at that time. Well since we didn’t want the dressings to come out of the hospital’s budget we asked the District Nurse to order more supplies .. this was greeted with, you need to get them from your GP not me. I challenged this unhelpful response and she agreed to fax the GP and order more supplies which we never actually ever got. It seems to me if they can ‘pass the buck’ they will.

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