Sunday, 9 March 2008

True story

Steve's mother went in for a routine operation at Lewisham hospital. She died later from resultant internal hemorrhaging which was undiagnosed and untreated. He's persuing legal action against the hospital for negligence.

A while later Steve's father, Thomas, became ill. He was offered an operation at Lewisham hospital with the same surgeon that had attended Thomas's wife. This operation had a 50% survival rate. Clearly this wasn't an attractive option. He was then offered an alternative procedure at St Thomas's hospital which, whilst innovative, had a very good success rate. He chose this option and went ahead with the procedure.

After this procedure was completed he collapsed at home. He called an ambulance and Steve. Steve arrived at about the same time as the ambulance and rushed in to see his father. Very quickly he was rushing out again to find out what was delaying the ambulance men. They were completing paperwork in the cab so he got their attention and asked, with some urgency, that they get in the house to attend to his dad.

Their response was to advise him that if he continued to harass them they'd call the police. They proceeded to go to the cab of the ambulance to phone 999 for the police. The police turned up and determined that nobody would be charged (and the officer quietly said to Steve that he'd have done more than speak to the ambulance driver, he'd have thumped him).

Steve's dad was taken to Lewisham hospital. After two hours with no attention Steve went to ask when his seriously ill father would be seen. He was told that Thomas had been seen, which Steve disputed. Eventually it became apparent that it was a different Thomas that had been seen.

Once a doctor finally saw Steve's dad it was decided he should be transferred to St Thomas's but that he should have an x-ray first.

When Thomas was finally taken to the X-Ray department he was asked for his hand. He asked why, given that his problem was in the groin area. The X-Ray technician argued with him about this for a while until it became apparent that there had been some confusion and a different Thomas needed a hand x-ray.

X-ray done, Thomas needed transport to St Thomas's so they asked how long it would take. The answer of "up to two hours" prompted Steve to offer to drive his dad. The doctor said that it was a good idea. Upon hearing this, a senior doctor who had overheard this exchange, said "This man isn't going anywhere unless it's in a fully equipped ambulance. Moving him any other way could be fatal."

After waiting a little while with no ambulance becoming available, Steve went back to check. This time a nurse was handling queries and her suggestion was that Steve drive his dad rather than wait. Clearly she wasn't aware of potential consequences of her suggestion.

Eventually an ambulance arrived and Thomas went to St Thomas's where he was treated and he is absolutely fine.

No comments: