Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Hospital visit

I had my first ever emergency admission and overnight stay in hospital on Monday night. Basically it was an asthma attack, but one that was so serious that my own medication couldn’t tame it, so Hari and I took a taxi to the A & E department at Bradford Royal Infirmary, where I was nebulised and stabilised.
I ended up spending the night, and most of the following day, at the hospital, and for a lot of the time I was on oxygen. But thankfully by yesterday afternoon I was good to go home and was discharged in the evening. I’m now feeling much, much better and my asthma symptoms have subsided dramatically, so I’m all well again.
As this was my first hospital visit, here’s the good and bad things about my visit:

  • A lot has been said about hygiene in NHS hospitals. All the rooms I was in looked very clean, and there were anti-bacterial handwash dispensers quite literally everywhere you looked. Hygiene is obviously taken seriously here.
  • The staff were, for the most, part very friendly and helpful – the A & E staff especially.
  • Food wasn’t bad – better than I expected at least.
  • All the beds had Patientline terminals, so a payment of £5 for the day got me my own personal phone number, about 20 Sky TV channels plus some radio channels, and internet access. It certainly helped to pass the time and let me update my friends via Facebook.
  • And this is the NHS so all of my treatment was free. When you’re hyperventilating and waiting to be seen, at least you only have to worry about getting better and not whether you can afford the treatment, or whether your insurance will cover your treatment. We’re very fortunate to have the NHS in this country and I don’t think everyone appreciates just how lucky we are to have it.


  • There was a shortage of beds, so when the decision was made to keep me in at about 1am, it wasn’t until 3am that I was on a ward. And then I got woken up by the ward doctor at 4:30am to go through my symptons, and with all the beeping machinery and people being moved around I didn’t get an awful lot of sleep while I was there.
  • There were about 25 people on my ward, all in the same room, and it was a mixed ward. I’m not too worried about this but there was a patient who was being quite loud and abusive, which isn’t quite what I wanted. But hey, it’s free treatment – can’t have everything.
  • It took about 3 hours from the doctor saying I could be discharged to me actually being able to get my coat on and leave. Admittedly the staff were busy but it would have been nicer to be back home at 5pm, not 8pm.

Still, on the whole I had a good first hospital experience, and I’d like to thank all the staff there who helped me get better. Especially the A & E staff who were very friendly and helpful. And thanks to Hari who was very supporting during my time of need.

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