Listen to Patients’ Views

Feb 7, 2019

Listen to Patients’ Views

Patients often tell me their lives in the hospital are like in prison.
This is not an overstatement.
Particularly as they have served their sentence in prison, they have truly experienced the darkest sides in life,
and know what they are saying in comparison between prison and hospital.

Recovery seems a limitless journey.
One can hardly see the end point.

Living through a day in the hospital is about waiting for leave (spend out outside the ward).
Locked up in a ward, one waits for days to get one assigned structured escorted or unescorted leave, each time 1 hour around the hospital area. If lucky, the patient can build up the progress
to have more hours in the local area.
If one mistake is made,
all leave is lost and the person has to
start all over again to build the leave back.

Even having the leave, the person is each time routinely questioned,
‘Are you thinking of absconding?’
‘Any thoughts of alcohol or drugs?’
Another trouble is staff facilitation.
When lacking manpower,
patients’ leave has to be held back until further notice.
Certainly this is no one’s fault,
and I can relate to staff’s exhausting workload,
but also it does not change the fact that
patients are annoyed.

What can I do?
While I cannot change the rules,
I would listen to them.
I can advocate their experiences to get more understanding about patients’ bitterness and boredom in life.
Their stories of life matter too.

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