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Late or no admittance to hospital in order to keep the NHS from being overwhelmed

(64 Posts)
Sosadandempty Tue 21-Apr-20 08:10:57

I have been hearing / reading about this for a long time. Having read this thread and others on here, I wanted to ask how we can highlight this issue so that the media pay attention. I have read a couple of articles but why isn’t it more of a scandal, and why does no journalist seem to be asking the question during the Downing Street conferences?

It seems that in a bid to stop the NHS from being overwhelmed, many people are not taken in to hospital with corona symptoms until it is too late / if at all, leading to home and hospital deaths which might have been avoided. And while I am sure some people are taken in earlier, I have heard and read about countless examples of this not happening.

In fact it seems that hospitals are not overwhelmed (a fact that Downing Street repeats every day as a marker of success), so why is the 111 apparent policy of advising people to stay at home until they are practically unconscious (with blue lips and a lolling head one poster said) in place?

It seems best to bypass 111 completely and to call 999 instead - but even then I have heard of paramedics coming out only to not admit people who are really suffering and frightened sad. It’s frightening.

Are the lower death rates in places like Germany in part due to earlier hospital admittance?

OP’s posts: |
bumblingbovine49 Tue 21-Apr-20 08:18:35

I think it is not.necessarily happening everywhere and some people are obvious being given help quickly but it is definitely happening. It is difficult to know how.bad the problem is though or how widespread.

Bimbleboo Tue 21-Apr-20 08:20:41

Desperately wanting to know this too!!!

bumblingbovine49 Tue 21-Apr-20 08:25:29

I personally wouldn't use 111. I have a pulsometer and a BP monitor at home ( can be bought for £20 or so on Amazon) . My plan is to monitor myself or my family and call my gp with temp, heart rate , BP and sats levels if they seem to warrant it. Eg high heart rate and low sats or very low blood pressure

That way they can't argue with the numbers . If after that anbulance still refused to take us we will go to.a and e if at all.possible

doodleygirl Tue 21-Apr-20 08:27:24

I wouldnt wait dirvam ambulance butbwoukd drive my family member to A & E

MegUffin Tue 21-Apr-20 08:28:06

This is yet another Tory bashing thread from a 99% percent left wing Mumsnet audience.

Sosadandempty Tue 21-Apr-20 08:30:24

I would do the same, drive my family member to A and E, but what if we were sent home at that point?

OP’s posts: |
ChrissieKeller61 Tue 21-Apr-20 08:30:53

@MegUffin are you disagreeing with the facts ?

Sosadandempty Tue 21-Apr-20 08:31:51

I don’t see how the government being Labour or Conservative is of any relevance?

OP’s posts: |
gnomeisland Tue 21-Apr-20 08:32:16

MegU You on the wrong thread hun? <headtilt>

Popuppippa Tue 21-Apr-20 08:38:32

What 'facts'.

I live in London, my FIL was taken ill with what initially did not appear to be anything to do with Covid19. He was immediately taken to hospital by ambulance, no questions.

He was treated with the utmost respect, had the very best of treatment at a large London hospital. They did absolutely everything possible to save his life, including ventilating him twice. DH said during all the times he visited, the hospital was well equipped and it was clear that they were fully prepared. He saw multiple empty wards on his way to visit his Dad, prepared for patients.

Some of the ridiculous, scaremongering nonsense I have seen on here, trotted out as facts without basis is frightening.

DDIJ Tue 21-Apr-20 08:39:23

My understanding was that you are not supposed to call 111 until you reach the sort of condition that would usually prompt you to dial 999. My local GP surgery sent out a text over a month ago saying not to contact them unless they contact you first. The website still says this.

Aardvarkitsabloodyaardvark Tue 21-Apr-20 08:39:39

It's not a Tory bashing thread. It's a very serious concern. It sounds to me that 111 need to have their rules on admission changed.

Viviennemary Tue 21-Apr-20 08:43:19

Absolutely. And people not being tested for CV even when taken to hospital. Not tested unless admitted to a ward policy and sent home.

BamboozledandBefuddled Tue 21-Apr-20 08:44:07

@bumblingbovine49 I've done the same. I also won't bother with 111 or 999 - it'll be straight to A&E.

Sosadandempty Tue 21-Apr-20 08:45:30

I am sure that many people have received that kind of treatment Popuppippa, but there also many who haven’t, including users of this site.

OP’s posts: |
Frouby Tue 21-Apr-20 08:52:53

Fil was taken straight to hospital a few weeks ago with a high temp, low blood oxygen etc. We phoned 111, phonecall back in about 4 mins, ambulance within 10 mins.

He was 74, 2 strokes, copd. So not a good statistic for treatment. He responded very well to oxygen and was discharged from hospital after 10 days to a care home. He died 4 days later in the care home sadly.

The coroner has told me they are seeing a lot of this second wave of covid being fatal. A good friend who is a pallative care nurse in the community says the same. So maybe the questions we should be asking is why are we discharging patients when the medics must know that the secind wave of the virus is often deadly. We are still waiting for a cause of death, we don't know if FIL was still testing positive for covid, we don't know if he was tested before discharge, we don't know if he detoriated in the nursing home as we couldn't get to speak to him or staff. We don't even know if he saw a doctor in the care home. We had 1 conversation with 1 carer and told them fil was normally active and independent before this. She told us he was really weak and frail. Hospital told us he was fit and well and ready for discharge. Despite presumably not testing if he was still positive for covid.

Porcupineinwaiting Tue 21-Apr-20 08:54:58

I've been at home ill with (suspected) COVID for 34 days now. I say suspected only because no one will test me., I have all the symptoms.

Twice when I was at my worst 111 sent out the paramedics to assess me. Both times left at home because I was just about holding my own and told to call back if I started turning blue about the mouth . Both times told that I would have been hospitalized under normal circumstances.

If you are lucky they will treat you if you are dying. If you are not actually dying - nothing. You're left until you get better or are actually dying, no matter how long it takes.

Babdoc Tue 21-Apr-20 08:55:23

The problem with 111 is that it’s a bit of a lottery. Your call is not taken by a nurse, but by a call handler working from a script. They have to then decide to pass your details to a nurse, who then decides whether to pass your call to a doctor.
You then have the problem of whether the doctor is any good or not - they are volunteering for shifts on 111 and are variable. Some don’t seem to be aware that 20% of UK Covid patients have no cough but can still be seriously unwell.
I was told I was just having a “blip” by a v young sounding doc, when I’d been struggling to breathe for a week, having to lie prone to self ventilate, and only getting 2 hours sleep a night. In my 60’s and living alone, utterly exhausted.
The second time I contacted 111, I got an older more experienced doctor, who interrupted my breathless puffing with “I’m not going to review you - I’m sending an ambulance. Now.”
I cried down the phone with relief.
Being in hospital on oxygen, too weak to even wash myself, I felt angry that I had been left so long. And if I’d got that first doctor again, I may well have been left to risk dying alone at home.

crazydiamond222 Tue 21-Apr-20 08:57:00

I would definitely bypass 111 if my condition was serious and call 999 or go straight to a&e. There has been a large number of people dying of cardiac problems related to covid 19 as a result of not getting treated early enough.

Goatymcgoaty Tue 21-Apr-20 09:00:33

Just having a “blip” sad

If you didn’t laugh you’d cry. Except we haven’t got enough breath for either.

Porcupineinwaiting Tue 21-Apr-20 09:02:07

111 passed me to 999 both times. 999 will decide whether to send an ambulance but the parademics have v strict criteria to meet before you get anywhere near a doctor.

SquishySquirmy Tue 21-Apr-20 09:03:27

"Are the lower death rates in places like Germany in part due to earlier hospital admittance?"

Almost certainly yes. See also other countries (who have a low overall number of cases). Some countries are able to treat ALL Covid positive in hospital even those with mild symptoms.

There certainly seems to be widely varying experience in this country with hospiral admittance - partly regional, but also maybe to do with when the person became ill? Eg if you rang for an ambulance 4 weeks ago I is likely a different experience to if you rang 1 week ago.

Frouby I am sorry for your loss. I do find it shocking that your FIL may have been discharged into a nursing home without testing if he was still infectious.

crazydiamond222 Tue 21-Apr-20 09:22:31

Do you or does anyone know what the strict criteria for hospital admittance is? There does not appear to be any detail in the guidance for ambulance trusts other than the statement that most cases are mild and do not need to be admitted

SquishySquirmy Tue 21-Apr-20 09:24:31

I am particularly concerned about those who live alone or who live alone with very young children.
Ie those who do not have another adult to drive them to hospital or call an ambulance on their behalf.

I would like the media to ask about this.

To be frank, I am worried that there are already bodies lying undiscovered behind closed doors. Even worse is what happens if there are young children in a house with an incapacitated single parent? Are there any welfare checks or follow up calls?

If NHS 111 or 999 decided you are not bad enough for an ambulance, is there any follow up call? Have they even considered this? Because it is a huge oversight if not. Not just for victims of Covid but other illnesses too: Far fewer people will have a stroke or heart attack or fall ill in public or work any more. These illnesses will still occur but they will be behind closed doors now with neighbours perhaps wary of knocking on the door.

If this problem has not been considered, there are still things we as individuals can do:
If you have symptoms or feel unwell, let someone who lives nearby know.
Make sure there is someone who can check on you if needed.
Have a plan for when you will call for help.
If you know someone who lives alone, phone them regularly. If they live at a distance to you, consider requesting a number of a neighbour or someone who can knock on their door if they stop answering their phone.
We should train our children (in a non frightening way) on how to seek help in an emergency. This is worth doing anyway, although it can be difficult to think about. DH used to work away when DD was a toddler, so I tried to make sure she was able to get help if mummy fell down the stairs etc.

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