Facing incompetence

When you are in hospital you expect everyone in a uniform to know what they are doing. You expect your doctors to feel confident in their decisions and you expect to feel confident that they are providing you with the best possible care.

Unfortunately my last stay in hospital with Elizabeth did not give me a nice feeling. Every six months the doctors in the hospital are rotated. This happened in August a few weeks before we were admitted but at the time we only dealt with our consultant so we didn’t really pay much attention to the other doctors. By the time we needed them they were fantastic. Whether they had always been fantastic I can’t say but I am sad to see them go.

My sadness at seeing them go is nothing compared to my angry and frustration at the new doctors. A fairly routine temperature spike on Wednesday morning should have seen back at home by lunch time on Friday. Those 48 hours were bad enough with the first 24 being spent on ward 75 which is a general ward and not an oncology ward. This meant that they could not give Elizabeth her medicine that she needed every night. In fact the new doctors hadn’t even prescribed them for her so it was lucky that I had taken ours in with us which I don’t normally do. I had to remind them about medicines and really push for things to be done under normal procedures including accessing her wiggle line with the same cautions as they do on the oncology ward.

We were moved up to oncology ward 84 on Thursday night and we hoped to go home on Friday. We knew that Elizabeth would be needing blood due to the chemotherapy she was receiving so I asked them to do a blood test at 4am when they gave her some antibiotics. The results showed she needed blood but the doctors decided he didnt trust the sample because it had dropped too much. They told me this at 9am. 10am they finally took more blood. The results came back showing she needed blood, surprise surprise. This was now nearly mid day. They had wasted 7 hours because they didnt know enough about the chemotherapy she was on to realise that her bloods were capable of dropping quickly. I managed to get them to prescribe the blood and then waited and waited for it to be ready. 5:30 it finally goes up. It takes 4 hours minimum. Due to the doctors we now had to spend another night on the ward.

The last doctor I saw on Friday refused to allow us to be discharged as soon as the blood was finished. He wanted another blood sample to check that everything was ok and it hadn’t dropped further. It was agreed that as long as the sample was ok we could go home as soon as those results came in. The results came in by 2am. Obviously we were not going to leave at that point but I was surprised when I woke up on Saturday morning to be told we couldn’t be discharged. We had to wait to be seen by another doctor. On further investigation I found out that Elizabeth’s notes hadn’t been updated

The Saturday morning doctor wanted another blood sample but I refused. They had one at 1am things were not going to have changed that much in 8 hours.

We got out at 10am on Saturday.

I don’t want to go back.

Hopefully wiggle will come out soon and then we won’t have to spend anymore time with these doctors.

Well at least not before they learn what they are doing.