It’s been a strange couple of weeks. I keep asking no one in particular, ‘What’s today’s date?’ You see my ‘abnormal’ routine has gone out of the window. There have been hospitals to visit in Gourock (Joe’s home now, thank God) and East Kilbride (Marjory’s still there). Having given up driving for the time being I am to be seen getting into ‘chauffeur driven’ cars on a regular basis…… thanks Pauline, Anne and Kenny. Invariably Trish is in the back seat of Kenny’s car just waiting to resume our last conversation – indeed so engrossed were we in our nattering on our first visit to Gourock, we failed to notice that Kenny had delivered us to The Golden Jubilee Hospital in Clydebank!!… that journey to Inverclyde took slightly longer than planned!
Needless to say all topics hospital related, have had a good few ‘airings’……the smoking(or not) frontages, the positive (or not) ambiences, the smartly presented or not personnel, the empty (or not) hand sanitisers, the edible (or not) menus etc.,(more about the food at a later date -I don’t have the appetite at present!)
Back in the day, bringing food into hospitals was (understandably) a no-no, sitting on the patient’s bed was never tolerated and more than two visitors for a patient, meant sharing the visiting time. Now it seems that nothing is off limits. Irn Bru, cream buns and fags brought in by ‘caring’ relatives for patients with heart related illnesses seems to be acceptable now as well as taking the patient outside for a smoke (!)……. During a recent visit, I saw a dour male attendant wheel a young woman to the toilet having taken no care to cover her legs which were bare to the thigh. Shame on him! On the same visit, another auxiliary talked engagingly to every patient/visitor in the ward earning her lots of smiles and compliments. She was a natural, he, most definitely, was not.
Now I do know staff have to deal with very ‘difficult’ patients who would try the patience of a saint but this is where you look for robust training to kick in ( er… not literally). As a visitor to a hospital, it is incumbent upon me to observe the necessary rules and regulations as laid down by that organisation – after all, the safety and well being of all patients and staff are paramount. So, for example, if a notice tells you that there is to be ‘NO SMOKING ON HOSPITAL GROUNDS’ and you ignore it and are not challenged by the powers- that- be, then obviously you will continue to do it and others will too, thus making a complete farce of the ‘rule’. On the approach to a hospital surely the last thing you want to see are motley crews of pregnant mums, amputees and other desperately ill patients, puffing like billy-o on ‘smoking guns’…. this should not be the first impression of any hospital, surely.
‘MAKE SURE YOU WASH YOUR HANDS’. This is another vital rule that must be observed both before and after visiting……. but what if the sanitisers are empty and staff are busy and you’re desperate
to see your loved one and…… Now if this is the situation on subsequent visits, you can see how some people could easily become discouraged from taking this decree as seriously as they should. It’s all basic discipline, isn’t it? Forget for a moment the larger organisations like schools and hospitals. Focus on family. How many rules have worked in your family…… and why? That’s right……. because they’ve been ‘enforced’ ( and not by force but by example) until they become second nature….. oh dear, I’m in danger of going off on my hobby horse again – the inestimable value of having good role models…….so I’ll stop and put the kettle on but not before I say this….. there was a whole lot that was good about hospitals in ‘the olden days’ and in the way they were run. There is a whole lot that is magnificent and awe inspiring about medicine today which if the latter had been married to the former then I would be so happy to acknowledge that great progress has been made in my lifetime – which it undoubtedly has, but not to my personal satisfaction. There is much about Primary Care that quite frankly hasn’t progressed and much about Hospital Care which has, in my opinion, regressed. There! I will leave you, my peers, to ponder… while I switch on the kettle……. now what have I got to sweeten my mood………x
…... very low fat… after all, I am watching my cholesterol….. x