The Meaning Of Trapped


Yesterday morning.

St James’ Hospital, Dublin 8

Evelyn Gaynor writes:

I can’t find the right words to express how I feel right now, so I will be very mild, I’m so angry, frustrated, hungry and tired.

It’s been 20 hours since I arrived at St James hospital travelling from the doctors in Kildare with my son.

He saw a nurse at 2.30pm on Friday, he then saw another nurse at 9pm and was told a surgeon would be down to see him in 20 minutes.

It’s now nearly 9.40am on Saturday morning and this (above) is how he’s ended up, on the floor with mine and his dad’s jacket under him to help him get some sleep and to also try help him with the pain.

No trolley, not even a proper chair to sit on. I won’t mention a bed because that would be totally out of the question. Nowhere to even get a coffee or a sandwich, not even a coffee machine.

He eventually got a trolley at 7.30am this morning and at 9.45am he was given a prescription for antibiotics and told to go home and come back on Monday.

This government is an absolute disgrace, we are living in third world conditions. What have we become to allow this Government to treat us in such a demeaning way, what happened to us to have allowed them get away with this.

I pay my taxes and this is certainly not value for money. Such a shame how they have ruined a nation and turned our health system into this. This is certainly a wake up call … what a shambles.

Evelyn Gaynor (Facebook)

Thanks Ron

Earlier: Meanwhile, In Wicklow

42 thoughts on “The Meaning Of Trapped

    1. Victor

      The only way things can change is to vote with your feet.

      Move. Ireland is poor in terms of cost of living, dwindling in terms of access to economic opportunities and middling in terms of quality of life. Education, healthcare, transportation are all dwindling.

      If you own your home in an area with good transport links, have private healthcare and access to good schools, Ireland isn’t too bad. If you work in tech, it’s not too bad either. But that could easily change. If you’re sinking or just treading water in Ireland, you’re paying to waste your time. Sitting in traffic and paying 5% interest for a poopybox in Adamstown is soul destroying. It’s only going to get worse as the demand on public resources increases with the large level of immigration. High quality is not on the agenda when the gubberment is in “reactive” mode (as opposed to a proactively planned functioning country) and can’t think beyond the next bond auction.

      Eventually the comfortable won’t tolerate the crap public services, high taxes and increasingly embarrassing politicians (numbed yes-boys who can’t even dress properly and come with the diplomacy of a lemon) and will also leave. Ireland has become a magnet for the world’s low quality, welfare-seeking dregs and is a safe haven for international criminal gangs and terrorists. The best Ireland can hope for is to apologise and ask to be allowed back into the Commonwealth.

  1. Ron

    That’s what a 15 billion euro Healthcare system looks like in Ireland. All managed by the most inept, incapable, incompetent duo of Varadkar and Harris.

    Have we ever seen incompetence on such a scale before? Is Varadkar and Harris the most inept duo we have ever had? If we were to compile a list of the most incapable ministers of the last 50 years would they be in the top 5?

    1. SOQ

      But it is not just laziness or corruption Lily, it is also deliberate. There has never been a NHS in ROI, it has always been two tier. And, for all the inefficiencies of the Irish public system, it is STILL a way more cost effective healthcare provision model than private. But those who can, they pay for private out of fear. And the worst the public gets, the more profit is generated from private.

      All of that would not be so bad if it was managed properly but it is not. If Simon Harris was the captain of the titanic, upon the iceberg being sighted, he would have commissioned a consultancy report before deciding what to do.

    2. realPolithicks

      No doubt cian and his ilk will be on soon to explain how this is normal and in fact is so much worse in many other places.

  2. Bren

    Lilly, Im older now, a widow. I fly to UK for cancer surgery this Friday. My children are grown. I have been like Evelyn these past 25 years sitting in shock waiting for hospital treatment for them from time to time. The answer is YES. Until somebody puts the blade in, this continues. We are that dirty & stupid as a people. I never got it until my time came to be a looser. We will all get that time at some stage. It is barbaric to see our old trying to help each other to get help in A&E. 2018 my youngest was admitted to a public A&E in Turkey with a tummy bug. She was seen, bloods done, IV salts and back home in 3hrs. Yes 3hrs I have the pics & papers. We as a people have the stupidity to sneer – NO we are the stupid ones.

    1. newsjustin

      I have been with someone dying (gravely ill but not dying there and then) and it is still slow.

      On the one hand, I’m disgusted by the phrase “ a trolley.” You hear it too often, people talking about a trolley as if it’s the height of comfort and care. Sad reflection on the A and E problems.

      I’m also curious/nosy about the young lad’s case. If the answer was antibiotics and come back Monday, is this not something a GP or East Doc/South Doc could have managed better?

  3. Niallo

    We need to stop blaming the politictians.
    They just want paid and re-elected.
    They just make policy, after a fashion that is…
    They have no real power.
    The real power lies with the guys behind the scenes, no big shots, no big names.
    Just administrators, nice people really, you would like them.
    They hold the true power, why ? How do i know this ?
    A little history, once upon a time a contractor was granted a tender to provide servicing to equipment at a number of hospitals to ensure the equipment was in tip top order.
    All good stuff so far.
    However, the person who granted the tender only put the service contract out to tender as they had recently been promoted or moved into the role, the incumbent having scorched the earth behind them in terms of “what vendor supports what” so the new guy has no choice but to tender all new contracts for EVERYTHING.
    How do we know this happened ? The contractor marvelled how the equipment was in as good condition as they had left it on their last visit.
    The reason for this became aparent one day when waylaid by an emergency callout for another client, the scheduled work was carried out the following day.
    …only to arrive at the site to find another companies engineer servicing the same equipment…
    After engageimg the other contractor in polite conversation, it was found that his company also had a contract to service the same equipment, (granted by the previous administrator)
    Thus explaining the good condition of the equipment.
    And probing further, the other contractor revealed the exact same thing had happened to him the previous month before, in his case also waylaid.
    An entirely differnet contractor was onsite servicing the same equipment again marvelling at how well everything was running…
    This is one of the reasons why the health service is a financial black hole.
    The nch being a prime example of contractors picking a telephone number and an administrator instead of saying “no thats ridiculous its too much” just roll over and go “ok”.
    Administrators, civil servants protecting their own private feifdoms and pulling the ladders up behind them.
    The old kildare st. two step.

    1. Frilly Keane

      D’ya know tho’
      I often wonder
      If A&E /Trauma consultants had an opportunity for private practice would there be more attention given
      Which means more budget allocation btw

      Yes everyone is treated the same there
      But I can promise you
      If someone has private cover a bed opens up pretty quickly

      1. Niallo

        Yeah, i know what you mean.
        Not a bit of wonder the country is fooped, they just yak yak yak and never do anything.

    2. SB

      You are absolutely right. They run rings around the politicians. It’s very easy for these middle managers (and senior managers) to spend other people’s money. Plus, you’d have to wonder if there is any “incentive” in this double-contract mullarkey. Or even a single, but hugely overpriced, contract. It’s true what people say, put Michael O’Leary in charge of the health service and you’d find it becoming very efficient.

  4. Ronan

    Sorry to poop the ‘3rd world heath service’ knocking party but the rules of triage are that patients are seen and admitted according to urgency and need, not first in first out.

    If a deferred appointment and antibiotics were the clinical outcome, I’d be asking the doctor in Kildare why I was unnecessarily sent to A&E. We are far too quick to push the emergency button and I’d be asking primary care givers to quit passing the buck and sending people into hospitals.

    I’d be asking why there isn’t primary care in Kildare, rather than demanding to be prioritized in a major hospital

    1. Ron

      i think the point is that if the hospitals were adequately staffed, you know operating at optimum resource levels then this wouldn’t happen Inspector Clueso

      1. Ronan

        I don’t consider having enough A&E staff numbers to handle minor complaints at weekends in peak season to be optimal. I would consider better training and availability of primary care to be optimal.

        1. Ron

          Enlighten us so Inspector Clueso. He attended a qualified doctors surgery in his community and was obviously deemed sick enough to warrant being sent to a major hospital.

          What was his minor complaint you seem to be so knowledgeable about?

          Are you suggesting the doctor in question in Kildare is inadequately trained?

          We are all a little dumber after having read your pathetic bile on the topic.

          1. Ronan

            Yes, on the doctor in Kildare.

            In the above article we see that only one in four referred patients was admitted to hospital

            Yes, I’m assuming that a patient who was not seen for 20 hours did not present as an emergency.

            Yes I’m satisfied that if said patient was sent home with a prescription for antibiotics and told to come back in 48 hours, they didn’t need A&E.

            Yes, I believe our hospitals are underprovisioned and lack beds and capacity, but no I don’t believe this is why this poor kid had to wait 20 hours to go home.

            He wasn’t a priority so he waited longer than he needed to wait to be seen. Primary care needs to do its job. Clearly the boy could have been given antibiotics by a GP, and a referral in the back pocket to bring in case he didn’t improve in 48 hours, which is essentially what he got at the hospital, once scores of more urgent patients had been seen before him

          2. Ron

            I’m not interested in what you “believe”. I’m interested in the facts which you don’t have. So until you have the facts, I suggest you stop casting wild unfounded assertions on the specifics of this boys case. Now I’m off to shower and try and wash off the stupid that has contaminated me from your pathetic bile.

          3. Sheik Yahbouti

            I’ll give you some facts then Ron, from personal, lived experience. in the late 70’s early 80’s there were dozens of ‘Cottage hospitals’, Nursing Homes etc., in the 80’s, thanks to the PD/FF Coalition from hell, over 3,500 acute Hospital beds were cut from the system and the aforementioned Cottage Hospitals and Nursing homes (which served as “step down” facilities were closed. The number of acute Hospital beds has shrunk in the interim, despite an increase in population. The reasons are simple, an ideological yen for totally private medicine (with the appropriate rewards for the people who made it happen) and eff all for people who rely on a public health service. The old people, currently villified as bed blockers and resource consumers were formerly accommodated in the aforesaid Cottage Hospitals and Nursing Homes until they had convalesced and recovered from illness. it is now more fun to lambaste them for needing re-admission when they’ve been discharged prematurely. The same holds true for younger adults and children. It makes me VERY angry.

          4. topsy

            That’s a fair assessment. However you forgot to mention – that if that young chap was in any real pain he certainly wouldn’t have been able to sleep.
            PS. You really upset Ron. He as a lot of bile. Maybe he should go to his Dr or A&E and get checked out.

          5. sparkilicious

            Ron, Ron.

            You’re quite excitable, aren’t you? If he was sent packing with some antibiotics in his bottom pocket, then he shouldn’t have been in a&e in the first place. It clearly doesn’t take much to cause you gather up your skirts and launch yourself into high dudgeon.

          6. Ron

            didn’t realise you were the attending who treated him Dr DoLittle. Who knew, so many doctors amongst the broadsheet commentariat.. All with different medical opinions and speculation about what was wrong with him and none based on the facts.

    2. JLK

      Totally agree. My first thought is why did his GP send him in to st james’s, the busiest acute hospital in the country, if he could’ve managed on antibiotics and his own bed. Referral letter if the need arises and he becomes acutely unwell and therefore an emergency case that would be triaged higher. That hospital gets high numbers of a variety of sick and dying patients through its emergency dept. this case did not seem to be an emergency. Personally I would avoid at all costs to be honest unless very unwell and would be triaged higher. Questions need to be asked of GPs and the primary care role here.
      Also I’d say the waiting room is purposely uncomfortable to avoid non patients taking up space, given its location.

  5. Cú Chulainn

    It’s not the government that’s doing this to your son. It’s the health care system. Staffed by those long suffering nurses, and their doctor and porter friends. They are doing this to you. Take it up with them. And if he only needed a course of antibiotics then reef your inept GP out of it.

    1. Lobster

      Have you been in a&e at the weekend? There aren’t enough doctors and nurses available, simple as.
      I lived in the UK, and going to an a&e for minor stitches was far quicker as the staff levels are there to provide the service. Here you’ll see a handful of doctors and nurses trying to care for crazy numbers of patients.

  6. Bren

    I pop back later & I sigh at the contributions. The 3rd world sneer is there pooping what ever that is. FYI all the local people go in to their general hospital for everything (its free). One gets triaged immediately after registration. Stations are next each other. You are priority tagged by a traffic light system of Green Orange Red. BP basics done in secs. The blood draw was the fastest I have ever seen 20 secs max. Results back in 35 mins One interesting feature was when you have your IV in you are wheeled OUT of A&E to a large step down room with nurse helpers/porters watching thus freeing up an A&E bay. Drs dont stop, all is done at a good pace but they seem to excel in it. When IV is done you are wheeled back into the next free bay. Dr discusses tests, prescribes meds from local chemist & releases you with advice for next 48hrs. I have never had anything remotely like this level of service in Ireland.
    Sadly I have been in ALL the Dublin hospital A&Es with my late wifes cancer journey. My local vet has a better set up. I make this informed comment when I compare with the UK NHS public and Private hospitals where I took her out from here to get her extra years. I shall not waste my time in the name calling but just offer this advice. When you fall ill as we all do – get out. Get your people to get you out.
    Im retired now but still young. Im getting ready to leave for a new life in the sun after this little hiccup. All the societal pillars of my Ireland are destroyed. Police, finance, religious, medical, political, governance, judicial, military are all discredited. Everything that could make one feel proud is in the gutter. Dont offer a defense you only demonstrate your stupidity. Just open your eyes and stop making brain fart contributions just so you can read your own text. I respect your freedom to make points but some of you really ause that privilege. Wish I could fix it but this runs far too deep now. Maybe something good will come soon I do hope it does.

  7. Evelyn Gaynor

    Evelyn Gaynor here, I brought my son to his GP and he had to call another doctor in for a second opinion. They where not happy to treat with antibiotics and said he needed an ultrasound, gave me a letter to go to A&E. My son doesn’t have a medical card, I have to pay for everything I get as well as pay a huge amount of tax . He got done on Monday what he should have got done on Friday. The nurse actually woke my son from the
    floor to give him pain killers and then he lay back down again so is this the acceptable norm now, while people on drugs are all nicely snuggled up on trolleys. Elderly Ladies sitting on little plastic chairs for 20hrs , lucky enough one old ladies daughter had a blanket in her car which she had to go get so she could cover her mother up. Appalling, demeaning and humiliating.

  8. Lilly

    It is a mess but I don’t think having private health insurance would have helped as others seem to suggest.

    Would it be possible for RTE’s Prime Time team to infiltrate the system somehow to find out why the health service is such a shambles, where all the money is being wasted. I have a friend living in the U.K. who was seriously ill last year. She couldn’t praise the NHS enough and reckons she wouldn’t be alive today if she were living here.

    What are people’s thoughts on private health insurance. Apart from improved access initially, is it worth the money or is it just a scam? Most medics will tell you, if you’re seriously ill, you’re better off in a public hospital.

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