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The chaos of an understaffed over-run hospital


Hi I have the utmost respect for my local hospital staff (docs and nurses) 😊 and the biggest ball of anger to the nhs funding cuts from the government 😤.

For 5 hours yesterday evening I witnessed staff having to cover too many patients, leading to delays and misplaced notes, causing stressed staff and angry patients. Also a lack of windows (so it was boiling), drinking fluid and food, making everyone feel even worse - had to share a sandwich with a fellow patient 😬! It was so frustrating as I knew very little of it really was their fault!

Despite this the doctor actually listened to me (after I got peed off with them trying to change how I do PF! I do it the way I do it, Brompton are fine with it that way so leave me alone!). He understood that I needed more than just a neb so ordered the hydro straight away - unfortunely it was 2 hours after the nebs that I got the hydro due to the lack of staff. They also wanted to send me to majors (as was in majors lite) but no space there either, so spent the hours fighting for a chair to sit on (no surprise there was a shortage!)

I got told that the a&e docs wants to keep me in, but due to a lack of beds I was not deemed ‘ill’ enough to stay as my abg as fine (and I didn’t want to wait for hours for a bed to open up!). Sent home with instructions to return if I drop badly again.

Bloods showed infection, so I’m on a course of doxycycline to try and kill it off. Best PF yesterday was 450(/630) after back to back nebs, dropped to 350 then rose to 400 after hydrocortisone. Woke up at 280ish (I’ll pretend it was 300 tho 😅), and rose to 350 after 2x vent so 🤞🏻 I won’t have to head back in! GP again this afternoon so I’m really hoping that they don’t send me back!

I just wish the government would sort itself out so hospitals get the right funding so staff and patients don’t have this continually going on, especially as we’re heading in to cold and flu season which will only make things worse across the board!

Thanks for everyone’s support yesterday! I hope you’re all doing ok, and that your locals aren’t feeling the pressure yet, like mine seems to be!


6 Replies

O Emma how awful, it's a disgrace the way the government go on about 70 years of the NHS but they are the ones that are ruining it by under funding. It annoys me that money that could and should go to places like hospitals and other deserving places are getting there. I have to admit Northern general in Sheffield is an excellent well run hospital, but they are over worked and understaffed. Hope you don't have to go back in, I try to avoid it as much as I can. Take care and have a lovely weekend.

Bernadette xx

What do you mean by "displaced notes"? I've been in hospital twice in the last year and the patient records are paperless. Every record is on computer, with mobile workstations throughout the wards which staff can log in to.

I was in hospital to have my appendix out, admitted at 2.30pm on a Saturday after seeing an out of hours doctor, recoagulated for the next 12 hours, and operated on at 2.30am on the Sunday. I normally have permanent atrial fibrillation with a normal heart rate, hence the need to be recoagulated, and while under the anaesthetic my heart rate rose rapidly. I had to stay in hospital until my heartrate was at an acceptable rate. They prescribed me a beta bllckert

The second admission was an allergic reaction to that beta blocker. What I call dry asthma. My asthma is caused by infection. On this occasion my lungs seized up without any infection. I was in the pharmacy attached to the medical centre when it happened. I was kept in hospital for 2 days. Again my records were accessed via computer workstations.

in reply to Thomas45


In a&e (at least in my one) all the notes for meds are handwritten, and it’s where print offs for ecgs etc are stored. Some things are put in the computer (X-rays/blood requests etc) but if the med chart hasn’t been signed by the doc or the nurse can’t find it you can’t get anything. Someone had to go for a 2nd ecg because they couldn’t find the print off for the first. Another was told by their doc they needed iv antibiotics to be started ‘urgently’ but 2 hours later it was discovered the doc hadn’t signed the chart so it couldn’t be given until the doc was found etc.

Usually it’s more ‘electronic’ once on the ward, however the med chart is kept on paper. When not overcrowded this system seems to work well however with cold/flu/chest infection season just starting I think they’ll have issues - ended up in majors the next day and they were quiet - very efficient and no obviously stressed medical staff to be seen!

At my specialist hosp it’s all electronic, however they don’t have an a&e so? My old hospital does the same things as my new aka 50:50 paper/electronic and I ended up with 3+inches of notes over the 3 years I attended there (I was at uni when my asthma spiralled). Both a&e hosts have ‘mobiles’ to record obs on. They have access to my medical history once on the ward but not in a&e.

I hope you start to feel better soon and I’m glad you were in ‘the right place at the right time’ for your allergic reaction.

in reply to EmmaF91

The hospitals I've used are paperless in A&E also. The only printed papers are discharge papers.

in reply to EmmaF91

Ugh it’s so frustrating when stuff doesn’t get signed/gets written up wrong and they can’t track people down 😂 last time I was in I got to a ward and was still struggling - to find that I hadn’t been written up for nebs when required! 🙄 thankfully it was still the afternoon so they managed to find one of the day team to do it quickly.

And I know what you mean about tons of notes! I think I’ve nearly finished my third volume in just under 3 years - and they’re all 3-4 inches thick 😂 sometimes they all get sent to clinic rather than just the most recent one and I think the nurses want to cry when they see what they have to carry haha 😂😂

Hope you’re feeling much better now and enjoying being home!

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