Monday, December 07, 2009

Hospital bureaucracy

A post at NotPC about form filling ad infinitum has prompted me to recall how a few years back Robert was admitted to A&E with suspected appendicitis (thanks to our diligent and sharp-eyed GP whose receptionist was overwhelmed by my ringing the surgery later to thank her - apparently a very unusual occurrence).

The form-filling was a marathon, with the same information (name, address, date of birth, age, Nationality, etc) required each and every time. It went something like this;

Admission into A&E

Permission to provide pain killers

Permission for pre-op

Admission into main hospital

Admission into Children's Ward

Permission for medicines given in Children's Ward by Paediatrician

Admission into Surgery

Permission for Anaesthetist

Permission for Surgery

And I think I may have missed one or two like permission for a drip to be administered, but I'm not sure.

The staff were kind and reassuring. But the length of time everything took, during which Robert, then quite young, was, for what seemed like hours, in severe pain, vomiting and dehydrating but not allowed to imbibe any fluid due to the pending operation, must have been due, in some part, to all the bureaucratic processes.

(The silver lining was however, it taught me something about my son. He was a real trooper.)

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