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Mum's treatment highlights failings in health service

Published 15/02/2016

On January 26 my 92-year-old mother was discharged from the Ulster Hospital.

This followed a two-week stay there after surgery for a broken hip carried out by skilful surgeons and theatre staff (including attending emergency paramedics, physios and nursing staff) to whom we are, as a family, most grateful.

But why did she have to leave an overly warm ward to go into the cold January air without her ongoing medication, her dressing gown, her headgear, or anything else you would wrap your own granny up in at this time of year?

Why must she wait on a trolley in the back of an ambulance with the back doors wide open while staff load and attend to a second patient being transported from nearby A&E?

Well, guess what? Mum developed a chest infection there and then - one that required a GP visit and a course of antibiotics.

What if these don't work? Who will take responsibility and stand up to say: "Oh, yes. I should have thought of that"? No one, of course.

What on Earth is the point in fixing one medical issue and then creating another one? It makes no sense.

Maybe staff should look at all patients as "their own" granny, mother, husband or sibling and say: "How differently would I treat you if you were my own granny?"

It's time we said stop and demanded a joined-up healthcare service that is fully resourced and makes sense. This one obviously isn't. And doesn't.

GERRY MacBRIDE

Greyabbey, Co Down

Belfast Telegraph

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