14 June 2010

Posted by DMC on 14 June 2010 in Diary |

The big day arrived at last. Off to Addenbrookes Hospital to have the cast removed. I saw a very nice specialist registrar who assured me that the break had mended and that I could now start putting full weight on the leg. Although I found I could stand I felt very shaky in terms of walking and they provided me with some gulley crutches, similar to my pulpit frame, on which I could lean, as I shuffled forward.

The trip therefore was very satisfactory apart from the transport  element. I was kindly picked up by ambulance -  I am told it was service 492 – but the male attendant, who travelled with me and another stretcher patient, was very unsympathetic about my inability to raise myself from the seat. When I told him that I had MND and was unable to stand without assistance, his retort was ‘then we will have to take you home again.’ and this was not said in a joking fashion. I told him that my wife and I use a lifting belt, but he said they were rubbish.

I persuaded him, and his lady driver colleague, to  take an arm each and once I was standing he rudely said I told you,  you could stand implying that I have not tried hard enough. After this gentleman had wheeled me into the fracture clinic waiting room he was very offhand in his manner towards me, which was observed by the senior nurse in reception, Vicky, and the  osteoporosis nurse Lesley, both of whom expressed their disquiet over this man’s  conduct. I was told later, on the journey home by the same lady who had been on a stretcher on the outward journey, that the Lesley had gone out and reproached this gentleman concerning the way I had been transferred from the wheelchair to the chair and she had received a far from polite or satisfactory response . Having given Addenbrookes Hospital a glowing account for the nine days that I was an inpatient, I feel that it is not unreasonable to report this totally unacceptable behaviour. I attempted to obtain the man’s name from his manager, Jill Briggs, but she refused  to disclose it, invitingly me instead to make a written complaint to the ambulance service.


  • Christine says:

    This makes me see RED……..

  • DMC says:

    Unfortunately, Christine you do not identify yourself or where you come into the picture. Or indeed, why this makes you see red. You only have to speak to nursesLeslie or Vicky to know that it is a true account of what happened. Have you seen the glowing report that I gave to Addenbrookes hospital for the nine days and I spent as an inpatient 11th.- 20th?

    As a matter of interest this is the first adverse comment, I have received since Istarted this blog, which has now had over 560,000 hits.

  • Christine says:

    No, NO! – Total misunderstanding – the “this” in question was the way you were treated by the male attendant. My apologies for not being more specific. I posted back on 19th May that I worked in Addenbrookes in 1970s – I was assuming far too much that you would realize I was “medical” and therefore so upset that you were treated so badly. I always feel personally responsible when patients are treated badly by medical attendants. FYI – I am a British trained, British born nurse married to a British trained doctor and now living in British Columbia, Canada. It is “like a red rag to a bull” when I hear of patients being so badly mistreated and not suffering a consequence for their actions, even though Nurse Lesley bravely attempted to admonish him. My sincere apologies for giving you the wrong end of the stick. I absolutely LOVE your Blog and so admire all you achieve each and every day.

  • DMC says:

    dear Christine
    I am so glad that we’ve sorted that out and apologise for getting hold of the wrong end of the stick.
    I’m also very pleased that you are enjoying the blog and I urge you to pass on the blog address to all the people in your address with a request for them to do the same. In this way we will reach many more peoplewho may benefit from the sucour that the blog sets out to provider.
    Finally, we might also get more support for the Great London Swim Event in aid of the MND Association, details of which appear at the beginning of my blog.
    Best wishes

  • Sally says:

    Hi Mark, I was the lady on the stretcher in the ambulance. Pity you weren’t given the rude man’s name. I hate to see ill people mistreated – and I’ve seen quite a bit of that – and you are right to post this incident on your blog. I must add I have been in Addenbrookes for a long period last year and have had to travel there by ambulance many times, and the majority of staff are lovely. Thank heavens for those people!
    Love your blog, even though I am not terminally ill I can identify with a lot of your problems.
    I hope your family will submit it for publication one day; if it were a book I would buy it. I’m currently reading it from day One.
    Regards, Sally

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