18 November 2008

Pensioner power

Never underestimate the power of pensioners. Pensioners are patients more often that the rest of us. They experience the NHS more than most. Dr Grumble has seen many of them today on his ward round. At least one thanked him for the high quality care he had received.

There's a lot wrong today in the hospital. Too many patients. Too few staff. And not enough beds. But somehow we managed to give the impression to a pensioner that he had been looked after well. Probably he was. Other patients were not managed perfectly. Dr Grumble admits it. He is angry that his staff did not do better. Probably no harm has come from the mistakes that we made overnight. But it should not have happened. It might have been sloppiness. It might have been communication problems. Perhaps it was just one of those things. But it shouldn't have happened. A young septic patient with rigors should have had blood cultures. But he didn't. It is very basic. Dr Grumble is ashamed.

But on the whole we do quite well. And on the whole the pensioners are right when they say we look after them well. And they doubtless feel the same about their GPs. So when their local surgery is threatened or taken over without consultation they take action. And the action they take has more effect than any of Dr Grumble's grumbling ever has.

1 comment:

madsadgirl said...

I guess that this result is as a combined result of patient power and the economic situation. Whatever it is, it is good to see that the GPs whose surgeries were threatened have received such great support from their patients. Perhaps this will help to send the message to the government that they should stop meddling in one part of the NHS that has such great support from the patients and that works well providing the kind of care that patients want.