horizon

Hi

Did anyone see horizon the other week.

It was the one with 3 people who had decided they would prefer to die at home, rather than in a hospital.

It was really sad & 2 of the 3 died.

The people on the prog said they were receiving pallietive care. This was arranged to ensure they wouldnt suffer from pain & they would basicallu be made comfortable towards the end.

A man who used to be involved with building work had asbestosis & knew he was close to dying. His wife was looking after him & naturaly they assumed he would be given pain relief as required.

Unfortunately, he suffered a couple of heart attacks & was in a lot of pain. The paramedics gave him morphine for pain relief & he was supposed to have someone come round to put a line in for continued pain relief. But this didnt happen.

He was in a lot of pain & his poor wife was having to ring about the line he should have had. The poor bloke had some oramorph which his wife could give him, but it wasnt enough to take care of his pain properly.

Paramedics came to the house a couple of times or so to give him pain relief & they reported he needed a line. But he never got one.

Im not blaming anyone for what happened, but this poor bloke suffered in pain for several days & nights before he died.

It was awful for him, plus it was awful for his wife. She had to see him in pain for those days.

It was not the peaceful goodbye they were expecting.

How could this happen to these people?

Oramorph does take the edge off, but it is not really good enough to handle the pain that man suffered.

Heck, it isnt even a controlled drug, unlike the morphine tablets & injections.

I only know about morphine tabs & oramorph because i have been on these plus many more tabs etc for 12 years now.

7 Replies

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  • I couldnt bear to watch the programme - saw adverts for it and thought it would be too upsetting. I know so many cases of GP/hospital neglect now (family and friends) that nothing should shock me anymore - but it still does. Considering the huge salaries doctors/consultants are on they should perform better. Neglect is rife in the NHS and when it is uncovered medics close ranks.

    Sorry to be so negative - me and my son have generally had very good treatment, but seeing the preventable suffering of others makes me absolutely furious.

  • I didn't see the programme but am not surprised..... Its so sad, I don't think things will get any better under the new govt either. BUPA must be rubbing their hands gleefully now that the Tories are back in. I think that waiting times for apts will increase, I understand that enhanced payments for offering late night GP apts are to go after April. So GP's will have no incentive to stay open after 6pm anymore.Any cuts in service are not good but it seems particularly cruel when it impacts on people needing pallative care. It seems so wrong to be denied a dignifed and as pain free as possible an ending. Just when its needed the most at the end of a long and painful journey, such a simple thing to be denied but would have impacted and made the difference a 'good' death is incredibly painful so a death where unecessary suffering/pain has occured is unthinkable.If only I had a magic wand.... My first wish would be for compassion to be paramount not red tape leading to delays in end of life care. Lois, stepping off soap box for now x

  • I didn't see the programme but am not surprised..... Its so sad, I don't think things will get any better under the new govt either. BUPA must be rubbing their hands gleefully now that the Tories are back in. I think that waiting times for apts will increase, I understand that enhanced payments for offering late night GP apts are to go after April. So GP's will have no incentive to stay open after 6pm anymore.Any cuts in service are not good but it seems particularly cruel when it impacts on people needing pallative care. It seems so wrong to be denied a dignifed and as pain free as possible an ending. Just when its needed the most at the end of a long and painful journey, such a simple thing to be denied but would have impacted and made the difference a 'good' death is incredibly painful so a death where unecessary suffering/pain has occured is unthinkable.If only I had a magic wand.... My first wish would be for compassion to be paramount not red tape leading to delays in end of life care. Lois, stepping off soap box for now x

  • It's not always down to money and cuts - just medics (in the broadest terms) lacking compassion and commitment and not doing their jobs properly.

    Schools and childcare providers are inspected regularly, usually with very little notice - I'd like to see the same principle applied to health care providers.

  • Yes I saw this programme and could not believe how long the chap had to wait for pain relief his poor wife was trying so hard to get help for him.

    It was an upsetting programme to watch but highlighted the issues

  • I did not see the program, but am waiting for a repeat as it sounds very thought provoking. However, I am aware of its content through nursing publications and others talking about it, and remember that it is bound to show the extremes. It is an edited programme showing the plights of an unfortunate few. I agree that it is horrific to die in pain and in circumstances that could be avoided - however, increasing numbers of people are choosing to die at home, and there just isn't the funding to provide these services. Where they do exist, such as the Hospice at Home, they are fantastic in providing palliative care to people who wish to die at home. Eighty per cent of people die in hospital ( and trust me, palliative care in hospital can be very hit and miss, though not through lack of compassion but lack of education), so hence why primary care trusts put the majority of funding that way.

    I hope what I've said doesn't sound harsh, but I guess the bottom line is - there are many, many people working in healthcare who do it because of passion, not salary, and a good deal of these are campaigning for better community palliative care - it is a huge topic in nursing right now. However, it is unfortunate that it takes such a poignant program to get people backing these improvements.

    EDIT: Just for clarification, I meant to also say that Oromorph is very much a controlled drug and is very potent, although perhaps less so than injected morphine. However it is still a drug to respect as it can cause the same side effects and adverse reactions as morphine, can be addictive, and is easy to overdose on.

  • Hello,

    First off, sorry for double post bout horizon.

    (I think my phone contains demons!! )

    It looks a bit naff posting a reply to my own post as well :(

    However i must say this.

    I was in no way accusing any person involved in nursing or other aspects of health care of being responsible for what happened in the prog. I feel somebody was at fault, but we dont know who.

    Howie

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