Friday, February 29, 2008

Slipshod, lazy and, worst of all, drunken and promiscuous.


Lord Mancroft, speaking in the British parliament, described conditions in the British hospital in which he stayed (NHS: Patient Care - 28 Feb 2008) :

"The wards were filthy.

"Underneath the bed next to me was a piece of dirty cotton wool, and there it remained for seven days; the ward was never cleaned.

"It was a gastroenterology ward, with lots of people with very unpleasant infectious diseases. The ward, the tables, the beds and the bathrooms were not cleaned.

"I was extremely infectious at that time and no precautions were taken with me at all. The staff were furious when my wife wanted my bed cleaned when it clearly needed cleaning. I was just lying there, a pathetic person. It was appalling.

"The nurses, who probably are the most important people in this complex area, were what I would describe as an accurate reflection of many young women in Britain today.

"What do I mean by that? I shall now break your Lordships' rules and read the next bit, because I thought very hard before I wrote it.

"The nurses who looked after me—not all of them; we should never generalise and there were one or two wonderful ones—were mostly grubby, with dirty fingernails and hair.

"They were slipshod, lazy and, worst of all, drunken and promiscuous.

"How do I know that? If you are a patient, lying in a bed and being nursed from either side, the nurses talk across you as if you are not there. I know exactly what they got up to the night before. I know how much they drank and what they were planning to do the next night, and it was pretty horrifying.

"My bed was next door to the nurses' station, so you could see how the whole place was being run. Actually, you could not: I have seen lots of things being run, but after a week, I could not tell you who was in charge. I had absolutely no idea who was telling who to do what. My view is that nobody was telling anybody.

"The man opposite me was dying. I imagine he died two or three days after I left. I do not know what he was dying of because he was not doing a lot of talking. But I do know that he virtually died alone. The nurses thought that he was a nuisance. They changed his bottle, gave him his pills, occasionally fed him and propped him up. But basically this man died alone in a British hospital in the 21st century, and I had to watch him do it, which was pretty unpleasant..."

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