Tuesday 23 November 2010


Can I cry on your shoulder?

It's 5am and, in the morning, I'll expect you to pretend we didn't have this chat.

Everything's worse at night. Your defences are down, you're all alone.

I woke feeling sick an hour or so ago. The ward's very busy tonight and they are short staffed. I asked for an injection and waited. And waited. And waited.

I buzzed again and the nurse said no-one had told her.

I waited some more. Nothing.

I buzzed again.

The nurse said she'd go see.

I waited some more. Nothing.

I buzzed again.

A third nurse said she'd go see.

No-one ever came back. No explanation - "We're so busy my love, we just have 2 IVs to do and then you're next."

Time seems slower at night. You feel lonely, more frightened without the reassuring sun.

At last, I give up. After an hour, I drag myself out of bed and shuffle painfully to find my nurse. I'm upset by now and cross. When I find her, she is doing something else. Tears are rolling down my cheeks and I ask her why no-one could come back and at least reassure me that I hadn't been forgotten.

No-answer. It's her job you see and none of us like to get told off at work.

I shuffle back to my bed, despairing.

Thanks for holding my hand and don't forget, this little chat never happened.


  1. I'm sorry you had to go through that :(

  2. Sue,

    I am very sorry you had to go through that! When are you likely to get th eoperation have they said?

  3. The night shift in any hospital seems to have the worst staff manning it. My wife (now RIP) was usually OK with hospital stays rang me to say she couldn't put up with it any longer at 1am and could I come and get her after an experience like yours. The staff nurses were horrified when I turned up and told them I had come to collect her at 1.15am. It sorted the problem but it shouldn't have to be like that.
    My thoughts are with you.

  4. Hi Sue...I'm trying, from the comfort of my office, to imagine your night time plight. It seems inconceivable that a hospital is so remote from its clients, I don't like the word patient, I'm a Tory, isn't the NHS supposed to be a 24/7/365 service, which bit of that don't they understand, any of it I suspect. Quality of service is a concept the public sector seems incapable of grasping...my daughter spent two weeks in a private hospital last year, it was excellent in every way, if they can do it, they should be given a chance to pilot a scheme in the NHS. It's about strong, focused, management, I suspect the NHS fails in that area. Take care, <3

  5. @ Ken... Look I am certain that you're a decent and well-meaning bloke. I know there are some in the Tory party because I used to be a councillor one time. Truth is though - you just don't get it. Private medicine is for the relatively wealthy. I've enjoyed private health care myself briefly so I'm not your whingeing red type - My heart tells me there should be no place for private medicine in a civilised and caring society, but my head knows that you get what you pay for. Bringing private management to a public service can only ever make things worse and more divisive than they already are. It's only natural that there will be nurses, doctors, managers -even cleaners - who will go to work in the private sector if the private sector pays more. That's why the service appears better. But that is fundamentally wrong, divisive and discriminatory. I hope you'll take a long hard think about your comments and then ask your local roadsweeper/night watchman/MacDonald's server etc just why they don't use private healthcare. Then ask yourself again - is this a fair system for a modern and civilised society?
    Rant over - thanks for listening.

  6. Essois - I just posted this on another thread,

    "I am trying incredibly hard not to acknowledge Ken's point about private care, it opens way, way too many cans of worms. My husband too had private care in a hospital and his experiences were so different to mine it was like trying to compare Beverley hills with Beirut. As Ken points out, if they can find respect and kindness, does that mean that those sentiments can only be bought? I think that might destroy my faith in human nature once and for all."

    Ken actually gets it all very well and I don't think means at all to be crass. I think he was just saying the NHS should achieve the same standards as private care, not vice versa.
    That said, I totally agree with you about the private option. It just undermines the state provision and makes things worse.