Negotiations with the NHS after a UTI
Within 3 hours of arriving in Seville on 14 Feb I was in a hospital because of a UTI, a nasty bacterial infection. An indwelling catheter was inserted into my bladder; a 6 inch piece of rubber tubing hanging off the end of my willy, it was no fun. A simple rubber bung jammed into the end of the catheter prevented my pee dripping out of my bladder. Far from ideal but I now had a prescription of antibiotics to eliminate the infection.
The hospital in Seville told me to leave the catheter in place for a week by which time I would be back in England. My GP surgery were the obvious people who could remove the catheter. So I gave them a ring on 20th of Feb and explained what needed to be done. The receptionist who answered the phone said, “I will ask the surgery nurse to ring you tomorrow”.
The surgery nurse
On Thursday morning the surgery nurse phoned me up. I explained what had happened to me and what I wanted her to do. I did not think removing an indwelling catheter would be complicated.
“Oh no”, she said. “I will have to make an appointment for you to go to the local catheter clinic. It’s usually a 4 to 5 week waiting list for an appointment”.
“Is that really the best that you can do”?
She was quite insistent that that was the only way to go. My heart sank and I could see another UTI happening.
Another three or four weeks with this wretched piece of tubing hanging out of me, I was appalled. “No thanks” I thought to myself. Now is the time for some quick thinking.
“I go to the Uro Neurology department in Queen square London. I am going up to London tomorrow so I can easily pop in and see if they can help me”.
I added as an afterthought “Couldn’t the District nurse come round to my house and remove the catheter”?
“Not the District nurse, she only goes to visit elderly and frail people who cannot get about. If you can get up to London independently I don’t think the district nurse will see you”.
Quick as a flash she asked for my consultant’s name and address.” I will write and explain the problem that you have described to me”.
Friday in London
After my appointment in London I visit the Uro Neurology department in Queen square. They had received the letter, they can’t see me now but how about an appointment for Tuesday at 9:45 AM? I agreed and gulped, another early train but at least it was progress.
Tuesday 26th of February
I arrive for my appointment. Removing the catheter, it took about five minutes and wasn’t complicated. I then had to sit around for about 90 minutes and drink lots of water. They wanted me to do two things. I must have a pee without using a catheter to test for infection then use the catheter successfully. The first stage produced an egg-cupful wee, the second stage went without a glitch, big pee. Phew, I was relieved!! 🙂
Negotiations with the NHS after a UTI
I think the NHS is fantastic. When you are talking to an HCP then think about plan B or a question B. Essential if you do not agree with the first option.
If I ask two different people in the NHS the same question then I will usually get two different answers. That is a problem with many big government organisations.
Five fly to Seville and I got myself a UTI (part 1 of this story)
Catheters for Intermittent Self-Catheterisation
I spoke to the nurse who removed my catheter at Queen Square a week later when I had a checkup. She was appalled that the surgery would not deal with the catheter issue immediately.. While waiting for my appointment at the catheter clinic I would probably get another UTI.
Even with the delay, the NHS beats the system here in the US. I miss the NHS even if there are problems. Why did I emigrate?
Yup the NHS is brilliant. Too many people just take it for granted. Yes there are problems but you get that in any large organisation but overall it is unbeatable
Queen Square are brilliant. Like the rest of the country, they struggle with cuts etc. but you know that their staff are the best. I trust them implicitly.
You can always rely on them in an emergency and I’ve had a few plus the staff really do understand and have the ability to engage with the patient
Thank heavens for Queen Square – I’ll look out for you in the waiting area at my next appointment(s)! Although i have to say you were very patient, I would have gone to my local A&E.
Are you there next week. I have 3 appointments in 3 different departments next week, walking, ophthalmology and urologu. I went to Queen Sq rather than A&E because we know each other and I think this is important.