Tuesday 1 January 2013

Liverpool Care Pathway

Hope the New Year has been good to you so far. It is sunny with blue skies this morning which bodes well for the year? Having got my head back into gear I can report an incident which occurred a day or two ago on the way home from Birmingham. Following my first (and only) seizure I ceased driving for a year, resuming without problem four months ago. According to Lynne a few miles from the end of the M69 I became more vacant than usual and slowed down. She asked me to pull onto the hard shoulder from the slow lane which I did but unfortunately misjudged the distance to the side crash barrier and hit it, very slowly. A call to Club Toyota (membership highly recommended for Toyota owners) resulted in a recovery truck, Police, Highways Agency and an ambulance arriving within minutes. All were very efficient and supportive. Both Lynne and I were ok but we were bundled into the ambulance, vital checks completed and delivered to Leicester Royal Infirmary where we waited over two hours for the ambulance crew to officially transfer us to the hospital's care. At the same time there were at least eight ambulance crews similarly held-up. What a waste of vital life-saving services. As the only A & E department for in and around Leicester the place resembled Wembley stadium minutes before the FA cup final.Eventually I had vital checks completed by the triage nurse and I was initially parked in the corridor again before being moved further along and almost in the treatment area. I was getting concerned I was already on the Liverpool Care Pathway, apparently a system whereby (mainly old) patients cease being given food, water, treatment or drugs thus saving the NHS money and beds. Authorised euthanasia. I was eventually released with instructions to contact my hospital in London for further review at the earliest opportunity. A successful search for a cash machine allowed us to get a taxi home. Subsequently "my" hospital in London arranged another brain scan and medication review, largely to address my concerns regarding stability on the boat.Falling into the canal is one thing, being only four feet deep, but the same happening in a lock could prove fatal. Phone consultations indicate the problems could be stress and drug related (anti-depressant and anti-seizure)so doses and types may need tinkering with. Apart from that I am OK. The car was originally taken to a garage in Coalville, near here, but is now in Nottingham for assessment by the insurers engineer. No news yet. Luckily all we need is just around the corner, shops, restaurants,pubs, countryside, but getting further afield may prove less easy. Last night failed to produce the expected party next door so New Year has been stress-free so far. Long may it continue.

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