Hospital Visiting this week, so far:

I found a wrapped up bread roll in a pocket. It was disposed of.

The cannula for the intravenous feed, which was bandaged in place, came out of the vein. What a bloody mess for everyone to clear up.

The patient was very physically distressed one evening visit. A late shift experienced nurse who I alerted, checked the records to find a cause, if she could. There had been no toileting check since lunchtime. It was then nearly 8pm.

A plastic bag with a nebuliser mouth piece in it, was in the blanket folds of the bed. The staff then told us the patient needed nebulising earlier in the day.

A cannula with needle intact, was discovered wrapped up in paper in the patient’s cardigan pocket. It had come out of the vein in the hand. It is not clear what happened, but it is clear the device was secreted by the patient.

We discover that there have been two nights of great anxiety distress, last night being one of them. It has disturbed other patients to such a degree, that one night, this patient was moved to a side room to give the others a chance of some sleep. We were aware there was a disturbed night earlier in the week, but the information came from another patient. There seems to have been no knowledge of last night’s disturbances passed on by the night staff to the day team. However, yesterday, the patient was in bed most of the day.




  1. ‘fraid so Suzee. It’s not over yet, though the scenario has changed. I won’t go into detail.

    Let’s just say, I’ve seen 1:3 positive experiences at this level.

  2. I’ve been hearing things like this for so long – Alan Bennet on old ladies quietly dying of starvation was brilliant – that it is horrendous that things not improved. When finally the Government decided to (theoretically) take it on board and launch some dignity for the elderly campaign it seemed so little, so late that it felt offensive – I actually remember exactly where I was when I first heard the pronouncement of ‘their’ campaignand wanted to tear out my radio, but settled for a lot of cursing instead.
    And of course not only the elderly in hospitl but the elderly and those with learning disabilities and mental health issuesseem particularly easy to neglect…

  3. I couldn’t agree with you more about dignity, care of those with a range of weaknesses, growing old and neglect. It would be so good to see the principles of hospice nursing in place, not just those of palliative care but those that support the other needs. Have a champion or two in every hospital, big or small, throughout the U.K

    Some hopes though. Hospice care continues in its palliative caring role, because of charitable support not because of any substantial underpinning from the government, of any colour.

    Communication seems to be an area of weakness. There is no flexible approach to it here. There seems to be a general unsaid rule, that if you don’t ask, you don’t get, in very many directions. You have to know though, what you are asking about. There’s almost an expectation that we have to be polymaths. And how popular are you when you make requests and demands?

    I could harp on and on, like many people. I guess the bottom line is that at least we have something to complain about. Equality is a utopian dream and will stay so.

    It’s good to hear from you.

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