Thursday, November 01, 2007

NHS Fails To Live Up To Expectations

The other day I had occasion to visit an NHS hospital for the first time since 1976.

(I haven't gone private or anything; I've just never been ill or injured.)

My only knowledge of NHS hospitals having come to me through newspapers and television, I was expecting it to be like a cross between Bioshock and 28 Days Later: filthy, cracked windows; floors swimming in blood; groaning, MRSA-infested patients swarming through pus-encrusted corridors, etc.

Instead, I found it to be an oasis of hygiene and efficiency: I was attended to straightaway by nice people with clean uniforms and fancy equipment, there were pleasant cafés and shops, and a general atmosphere of lightness, airiness and commodiousness.

I was most disappointed.

Still, perhaps they were hiding the zombies in the gore shed round the back.

16 comments:

Sylvia said...

Ooh, I hope you're ok. Not a pleasant experience even if the hospital is fine... You obviously didn't go to any of the hospitals I've had the pleasure to frequent....

patroclus said...

This was the Charing Cross hospital, located somewhat confusingly in London's swinging Fulham Palace Road, which is located somewhat confusingly in Hammersmith. And yes, I am perfectly fine, thanks Sylvia.

llewtrah said...

It's like the clever/dumb balance thing. You got the nice NHS. One of my colleagues got the nasty NHS: went in for a routine op on his skin and got an infection and they removed more and more of his skin and finally he he had to resign his job because of not getting better. He was only in his early 30s.

Albert said...

I don't share your enthusiasm for CC Hospital. I've seen the worst side of the NHS there, in terms of bureaucracy actually putting patients at risk. The consultant I saw was good though.

patroclus said...

Hmm, I think maybe I just live in a different world where nothing bad ever happens.

Dave said...

Are surgical masks made of muslin? Perhaps you could use one to filter liquids.

Ideally an unused one, so perhaps best not to pick one up you find lying around at your local NHS virus-store.

Arabella said...

It's ok to live in the world where nothing bad happens as long as you send us postcards and let us scream at you now and then.

Billy said...

I've been to that hospital!

Spinsterella said...

Ah,

I know that hospital too. Very confusing for my mad aged mother and mad aged aunt who got off the potato boat (plane) at Gatwick and naturally headed for Charing Cross.

Very annoying the way you can't hurry the lifts along by hitting the close-doors button.

But yes, it's quite swish. And you can go for long walks in by the river.

Tim Footman said...

P was getting her rabies and cholera jabs for when she moves to Cornwall. You don't need yellow fever any more, provided you steer clear of Padstow.

james henry said...

Which we will.

belladona said...

Hurrah on the award and the not-getting-MRSA and the moving to Cornwall! Though now I've typed that I am feeling quite jealous. Swap you the award for my waning bout of flu? No? You sure?

Stef the engineer said...

You had a somewhat cheerier NHS experience than ours - specifically my wife's. Left on a trolley for hours in shabby, grimy surroundings. Treated badly by unsympathetic, uncaring staff, and a consultant who clearly thought she was God. Picking up an infection, and having to work out that she had one herself. Just awful, awful, awful. So stereotypically bad it might have all been some kind of illustrative nightmare.

Smat said...

were there cups to steal?

Hayley the Wench said...

I went in for an operation and was supposed to be home the same day. The nurse said she couldn't be bothered to do the paperwork so I had to stay overnight in an already crowded ward.

In the morning the woman bringing round breakfast only had cereal, but I don't like milk. I asked if I could have a slice of toast and she shouted at me. I don't react well to anaesthetics- they make me really emotional, so the cow ended up making me cry! Haven't been to the doctors or hospital since, and would rather cut my own leg off than go back.

llewtrah said...

My colleague was in hospital for surgery and they put her in a ward with mad old women (i mean barking, literally barking, mad). She wasn't impressed at the time, but her mad patient anecdotes are amusing us.