Sometimes, quite rightly, I am criticised for opening my mouth before putting my brain in gear; when the filter between that crucial organ and my lips is not working or even in existence. So I thought long and hard before penning this column as I don’t like knocking the DGH or our NHS, the finest in the world (compared to places like Ireland where it will cost you upwards of 60 euros just to see a doctor). Plus, the last thing I would want to do is put the fear of bejaysus up anyone currently finding themselves in there. Personally, my own experience of the DGH is excellent: an emergency caesarean section and a spell for my little bundle of joy in SCBU was fine, thanks to wonderful medical staff and great care. My opinion faltered briefly when my poor Dad went in with indigestion and never came out due to a late diagnosis of pancreatic cancer but on the whole it’s a great place. However, if I didn’t report what I have seen in the last seven days on one ward at the hospital then I wouldn’t be doing my job: simple as that. On one medical ward this week there was just one nurse, an agency nurse at that, for 17 patients. It was clear she could not cope. It’s a too familiar tale these days that patients – and their visitors – end up helping other patients because the staff are too busy elsewhere and there isn’t enough of them. My friend has been in three weeks and not once has she been given a bath or shower because staff don’t have the time. She isn’t encouraged to get out of bed and walk because nurses are not only too busy, but fear they will lose their registration if patients take a tumble in their care. Physio is a rare occurrence. It reminded me of an old fashioned institution where nobody gives tuppence about the patients and if I had the wherewithal, I’d have picked her up and got as far away from the place as possible.
With the pier repair contract coming to an end, I hope all of the unsightly mess underneath is removed soon too.
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