22 Feb 2012
There was a health news story in the local rag yesterday. In short there’s young woman with paralysis via a non-physical cause. She’s been in hospital for ages both in the US and Nottingham and Leicester. The doctors can find no physical cause despite plenty of looking.
She’s in no acute danger so they quite reasonably wanted her to stop taking up a bed in the hospital. All good so far.
The hospital got to the point of asking for the best part of £300 a day if she continued to take up space unnecessarily. Still all good.
The bad seems to be that the family are outraged. Why?
When I worked in a hospital we had a bed-blocker whose son wouldn’t let her be discharged on the basis of “Well what if she falls again?” Well if that happens she either gets up and dusts herself off or comes back into hospital.
These people seem to want to use the hospital as a care home. That’s not what it’s for. The saddest thing is that this latest story should really be a non-story. All she’s doing is parading her mental health issues through the media which will likely have 2 effects.
1 is for other people to give unwarranted reinforcement to her delusion thus locking her in to it some more. And 2 is to allow plenty of us to say “£300? Is that all?” I found an Irish study that suggests a stay on a ward in Ireland would be about €850. A US study suggested an overnight stay in a Swiss hospital would be US$617 whereas one in the US would be around $3600.
I think £300 is pretty good value for unnecessary acute medical care.
Anyway here’s hoping she gets the help she needs. Best wishes.