Wednesday, 7 August 2013

07/08: MRS ANGRY!!

I do find myself getting more grumpy as I get older ... I'm intolerant of bad behaviour, bad service and, well just so many things it seems.     

In recent weeks I have had some bad experiences with a courier company, internet/blogger theft and today the NHS emergency services:   More about the first two another time

David and I did our usual voluntary job at Pilgrims Hospice eBay office today and after being cooped up indoors in front of computers all day we decided to go to our Bowls Club for an hour's practice tonight to get some fresh air and exercise.     

On the way home we stopped to let an elderly gent cross the road but he tripped on the kerb, fell heavily on his head and landed with one leg twisted under him.   He fell at a crossroads with fourway traffic and landed in the road.     Whilst David phoned 999 for medical assistance I went to help the man who had a very nasty bump on his forehead which was bleeding.   I found out his name is William, he told me he is 95 years old and lives alone since his wife of 44 years died last year.   He had been for his usual lunchtime pint at 'the Wheatsheaf' in the next village, left his mobility scooter there and came into Tankerton by bus to have a fish and chip supper at our local chippy - Ozzies.   He was on his way to catch a bus back to the wheatsheaf to collect his scooter and go home.

The ambulance call centre kept me on the phone for 20 minutes running through all their questions and then giving me such advice as I shouldn't let the poor man have any food or drink, I could give him aspirin for pain but not ibuprofen, we should make him lie on his back with his legs raised etc.  I was ready to scream at them.   I was trying to talk to them, reassure him and stop him moving around and David was trying to ensure other cars avoided driving too close to us.

Another lovely couple had stopped - she (Josie) is a first aider so sat by William's head holding him still as he kept trying to sit up because he was aching so much.   Another guy came from a nearby house with a cushion and blanket to try to make William more comfortable.

A policeman arrived to help control the traffic which had quietened down by then.  He asked his 'controllers' to hurry the emergency services along but it was 45 minutes before a single paramedic arrived and he basically did nothing but ask some questions and try unsuccessfully to immobilise William's head/neck in a surgical collar.  The collar was too big and kept moving so had to be removed.  The Paramedic called for an ambulance.   It was over one hour after our 999 call before the ambulance arrived and poor William was dreadfully uncomfortable on the cold hard road - I was uncomfortable enough just kneeling there holding his hand and I'm 40 years younger!  

William was loaded into the ambulance one hour and a quarter after we called for emergency help.  He has been taken to hospital for a head scan and observation.   Josie will phone the hospital later to find out what's happening and she'll let me know.  As soon as he is allowed home David and I plan to call round to his flat to check on him - I'm very angry at the delay in getting help for this lovely old chap though.

Rant over.      It was far too late to go home and cook dinner so we popped into Ozzie's and got take-away fish & chips which were delicious.   Just going to chill out for an hour and then tomorrow we are doing an additional stint at Pilgrims.    Friday we are rattling buckets outside a local supermarket collecting money for the Air Ambulance charity and Friday afternoon I'm bowling in a match so I'm afraid there will be little artwork on the Blog for a while.


Jo said...

I'd be writing some letters to the Powers that Be, that is absolutely disgusting for an ambulance service especially with an elderly man in those conditions, I'm fuming and it did't happen to me.

Jan said...

Sue, I don't think it's necessarily that we're getting older even though I feel the same as you. I really think it's because service has gotten worse over the years and no one seems to give a rat's behind about anything or anyone any more. It's just that we're old enough to remember good service and poor service makes a strong contrast in comparison!

I do hope you complained to someone about the length of time the paramedics/ambulance took - the poor man could have been seriously hurt!

Sue Clinker said...

Hi Jo.
I feel the same way and its now half past midnight but I'm sitting here Googling response times for 999 services in Kent with the intention of raising a complaint.

Appears 999 calls are split into 3 categories.

Cat A immediately life threatening. 95% patients must be reached within 19 mins.

Cat B Serious. I can't find target response times for this category

Cat C Non life threatening conditions requiring assessment by ambulance clinician or transport to hospital. Emergency response should be received in 30 or 60 minutes depending on clinical need.

I reckon a 90+ person with head injury lying on road should be category B don't you?

I'm on the case !!!!!!

Jo said...

At least. I am not even sure at that age it shouldn't be an A. Old guy should have had someone around to ensure he didn't lose his belongings either. Hospitals are notorious for that.

Mike Woodcock said...

That's disgraceful. An elderly person with a head injury has to be a priority case surely? I hope William is OK after what must have been a terrible time for him.

Sue Clinker said...

I'm still seething about it this morning. I'll find out how William is later today and will put in a formal complaint when back home this evening

Karen Hull said...

Sue, I just loved your post!!! I thought I was the only one getting grumpier and more intolerant with age, but I really do think that service has gotten worse and your post put such a smile on my face :) Hugs from one grump to another xx

Bev said...

Well, not surprised....seems to be the way everything is going...I dread getting old (errr, I am old...)but old so that I cant make my own decisions and look after myself. Poor William I do hope he is OK and has someone to look after him.
Let us know how he is getting on Sue, please!

Sue Clinker said...

Just found out that Cat B has been removed from the response time targets this year so all call outs are assessed as Cat A or Cat C !!!

Even so, the service failed to arrive within the worst possible timescale for Cat C. I have sent in my emailed complaint and understand I will receive an acknowledgement within 3 working days and a response within 25 working days.

Good news is that William was kept in Hospital for observation overnight and discharged today. We visited him briefly this evening and he is doing well. The huge lump on his head has gone down considerably although he has lots of bruising. He's feeling a bit battered and shaken but otherwise in very good spirits.

He has carers visiting him every day so although he lives alone he does have people keeping an eye on him.

Jo said...

Well its good news about William at least, glad he is getting on OK even if he is a bit battered. Give him a hug from Canada.

Sue Clinker said...

Will do Jo. He's a lovely old chap

Sue Clinker said...

Hi Karen
With hindsight I think I may have always been grumpy - but don't try so hard to mask it these days LOL

Hugs back.

So lovely to hear from you as you haven't been Blogging lately? Miss your posts

Jennifer Rose Phillip said...

*shakes head*

glad he is ok now, but the time for the ambulance to get to him is not acceptable :/

its not an age thing, i'm grumpy at 32 :p really have to bite my tongue sometimes when talking to people :p

Pet Portrait Artists said...

Just read about William and the ambulance, just not on! So sad we can't rely on services that should be there for us in an instance. Glad he is ok.

Pet Portrait Artists said...

Just read about William and the ambulance, just not on! So sad we can't rely on services that should be there for us in an instance. Glad he is ok.