Following our guiding principle that we do not take the easy route of publicising inadequacies in Health and Social services has left us with very little to share in the era of Sustainable Transformation Planning in Staffordshire.
Despite repeated failure of those responsible to engage on the TWB program we have once more joined yet another restart
The well reported shortage of neurological clinicians has been exhaustively discussed with only UHNM coming close to the service levels required and they are now losing people
Creative alternatives such as putting more onto excellent specialist nurses and others can only go so far
Inadequate support from those responsible for providing before and after care adds to the burden on excellent acute facilities where they exist in the county and it’s borders
We, with Healthwatch and other partners have continued our studies and produced Red Flag tools to assist those in Primary care to make more accurate and speedy diagnosis of MS and Parkinson’s to match that for MND.Roll out of this has been delayed due to the drastic cuts in Healthwatch resources
Wishing to be positive and perhaps help people faced with one of the commonest problems of age I thought it might be useful to share my recent patient experience
Since mid !971 I have been attempting to deal with decreasing mobility from being an avid gardener and regular gym user to being barely able to walk a kilometre.
I had mentioned it at the Health Centre in annual medication checks but with the reluctance that arises from a sense of being a necessary evil had not pursued it instead resorting to over the counter remedies and a chiropractor
The consultant who I see for a neurological disease suggested that I sought an orthopaedic solution and included that view in his letter to my Health Centre
That was lesson one. Don’t accept that old age has to mean infirmity
Armed with this I called the Health centre on April 9th, got an appointment to see a GP on April 30th ,obtained a referral for X ray communicated electronically, walked -in for this on May 1st, had a telephone appointment with the GP on May 16th, was referred to MICATT and after waiting the requisite 10 days called them and made an appointment there for the 11th of July
Parking at Greyfriars is limited but a small purchase at Range sorted that
The receptionist was pleasant and the clinician went briskly but pleasantly through the X rays showing an arthritic hip and two less arthritic knees to ask what I thought were the options
She confirmed that a hip replacement was indicated and outlined the possible adverse results also giving me what were the first of many useful documents
I saw Mr Youseff the surgeon on August 3rd and confirmed that I wished to have surgery at County He ran briskly through what is involved and potential adverse effects and ,with a smile added to my pile of useful literature
Pre Admission Management Clinic 16th August,Total Hip Replacement Education Group 24th August Cardio Pulmonary Exercise test 12th September followed with smooth efficiency and I met delightful people
At each I acquired more information and understanding-and paper and equipment
More important I knew what I had to do to help in exercises etc.
After a final MRSA check on October 1st I reported for admission on October 16th at 0730
From reception to collection by my family on the morning of the19th I was treated in an exemplary fashion by all who I met from cleaning and feeding ladies to consultants.
Not being a fan of TV and being located close to the nurse’s station I rapidly learned that ward staff are placed under continuous pressure to accommodate more and more patients .Nevertheless they maintained constant care and professionalism even while doubling as furniture removers.
I was not a good patient, moaning to the charming anaesthetist that I was not awake to hear what was going on in theatre and having an episode in the middle of the night .However I’m sure that the nurse who said that she would put in for leave if I came back was joking?
Physiotherapists who had checked me over before discharge called me at home on the 19th to arrange a follow up on the 23rd
At that appointment I was reduced to one crutch an given an additional 3 exercises to perform
The overall experience was an impressive display of effective professional care delivered with humanity and humour
My respects and thanks to all concerned