Social care gone mad?

Social care gone mad?

The NHS is a wonderful thing, even in it’s current state it is truly a joy to be able to give healthcare to all. I recently had a patient from Bulgaria refuse blood tests and wound dressings as he thought he would be billed for each thing that we did, he almost couldn’t believe that the whole thing was free.

Let me tell you now about Mrs M, a lady in her late 60’s who has recently left my ward after a 4 week stay. She was in a car crash and sustained rib fractures and a broken non dominant wrist (previously very arthritic anyway) all managed conservatively. In Bighospital we take all chest trauma to general surgery, even if it is just a few cracked ribs.

Why the long stay you may ask? Mrs M is obese with a large apron of fat that has to be lifted up out of the way when she goes to wipe herself after she does the toilet. Due to the broken wrist, she felt it was too tricky to manage to wipe her backside herself so she could not go home. She lives with her husband but felt too embarrassed to have him either lift the apron or wipe her bottom.

So she remained on the ward for 4 weeks until she decided that she probably could manage actually and would just go home. She complained bitterly every morning about the bed not being comfortable or the chair being too hard or some other slight problem with her surroundings.

She couldn’t go to a rehabilitation bed somewhere because she didn’t meet rehab criteria so she stayed in the general surgery ward at a cost of over £14000 for the 4 weeks because she found the idea of her husband helping her embarrassing.

I do not know quite what to make of it, would this happen in an insurer funded health system? Am I being an unkind and nasty cow that has lost touch with medicine and caring for patients? I don’t know, I am just astounded that this lady has spent 4 weeks on the ward for want of someone to help with personal hygiene.

David Cameron, you are very annoying.

David Cameron, you are very annoying.

So our prime minister, not content with his ridiculous vote grabbing pale, male, stale cabinet clearance has decided to quickly jump on another “women’s issue” this week. He popped up at the Female Genital Mutilation conference calling for all doctors to report FGM in children when they come across it.

Thanks Dave, I have been utterly oblivious that girls with their clitorises excised and their labia infibulated are in fact victims of abuse. What a good thing you have pointed this out for the medical profession. I thought it was a rite of passage (much like soggy biscuits is at posh schools like..Eton!) and was quite happy to turn a blind eye to mutilated girls I might come across and had given no thought to their younger sisters or cousins.

I think Dave’s next female vote grabbing tactic should be to get rid of VAT on sanitary protection or allow us all a day off when we are on the rag. Revolting. His tweets are somewhat presidential in tone “I’ll make..I will…I’ve just called…”. Surely you mean “we” Dave?


Apparently there are 147,000 victims of FGM in the UK, it is an appalling crime and a serious concern and I obviously support legislation to prevent and prosecute it’s perpetrators. It just seems that Mr Cameron has had ages to get worked up about this and is trying to pink up his policies as much as he did his cabinet.