Friday 24 March 2006

Busy, busy, busy.

Not blogged in ages. Sorry about that. Ah, the demanding life of a programmer. And the boringness of the news. Politicians corrupt? Spare me.

Anyway, can't find a link for this, but, according to Balance magazine, NHS hospitals are now insisting that no patients be allowed to administer their own medication, and that includes diabetics giving themselves insulin. When a diabetic is admitted to hospital, they are expected to give their insulin to the staff and rely on nurses to check their blood sugar and inject their insulin. This is a Bad Thing.

In our experience, the trouble is not merely that your average nurse or even doctor knows very little about diabetes, but that your average doctor or nurse is so keen on ignoring or overruling their absent colleagues. So, when you're on a hospital ward, the advice of your diabetic specialist consultant who's been treating you for years really carries no more weight than the opinion of the duty nurse who's known you for twenty minutes, because the nurse is there and the consultant isn't. This isn't a huge problem when you're injecting yourself, because you can in turn choose to ignore the idiotic advice of the ignorant nurse and do what your consultant advised you to anyway. But that, apparently, is no longer allowed. The people who don't know what to feed you, how much insulin to give you, or whether to put you on a glucose drip are now solely in charge of feeding you, injecting your insulin, and deciding when to put you on a glucose drip.

It will come as a surprise to no-one with any experience of the NHS to learn that this approach has so far killed two people.


Oops; turns out I was mistaken. This approach has so far killed two people in Northern Ireland alone. I don't know the figure for the UK as a whole, but I'm not sticking my neck out all that far in imagining it to be larger, am I?

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