It’s been a bit of a week, things were ticking along OK and then Andy ended up not being well, so there was a trip to hospital. He’s written an in-depth blog post about it, so I’ll let you read that because it’s his story, but I will say a few things about the health service.
We always hear how bad the health service is, but unless you have first-hand experience of what things are like, it’s hard to fathom, and I’m not in anyway complaining about the staff, who are doing their upmost in difficult conditions. I do think someone, somewhere, needs to do a complete overhaul of Sligo University Hospital.
There were at least 15 people waiting overnight to be seen, some were bandaged up, some sitting in wheelchairs, and all were freezing. On one of the coldest nights of the year the air conditioning was on. The waiting room is a small room off the main A & E corridor, during the night one of the staff members left the locked door open and that let a bit of warm air in, but it was soon closed again. It wasn’t until after 9am that the heating came on, even though a couple of members of staff had mentioned it through the night.
When Andy finally got called to see a doctor (and when she could find a room), we had to walk down a corridor that was full of people on trollies. I’d seen it before when Lucy was in last year, but this even worse, the trollies were one after the other with no space between. A doctor and his team was trying to carry out a consultation on an elderly person, in front of everyone. No screens, no privacy and no dignity. No only is this degrading but surely it’s a fire hazard and a health hazard.
I wasn’t going to go on a rant, but this has sort of turned into one. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I never want to go into that A&E department for myself, I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. The majority of staff are doing a wonderful job and I don’t envy them at all, it must be very frustrating to work in situation such as this. Maybe someone out there in power might read this. I’m not sure what the answer is but there must be a solution.
Thank you for this candid inside view. Here in the U.S. we tend to romanticize healthcare that doesn’t require mountains of debt, yet it seems systems around the world are struggling, as well. Throwing money at it can only do so much when climate-control and other auto systems cannot be overridden by a human with good sense.
I’m so sorry that you and your husband, Andy, had to suffer through such an ordeal at Sligo General, Val. The entire HSE needs a complete overhaul, including helping the staff who are, as you have written, being pushed to their limit…not to mention the patients, themselves, who are in urgent or desperate need of immediate care. The last time I was at Sligo General, about six years ago, it was for an eye infection, and the staff couldn’t have been more helpful and supportive and attentive. However, these past three years have upended, if not permanently altered not only the world, but how the world has been trying to function and cope with, ever since March 2020. I hope that Andy will be okay, and that none of us will have any need to go to the A&E any time soon, until things drastically change for the better – both for staff and for patients.