Person or 'delayed discharge'? It's not all about the numbers.......

Good 'patient flow' is vital for our ED and hospital processes to work at their most efficient. We report daily on our 'flow problems', the news is full of tales of 'bed blockers' and 'delayed discharges'. How often do we stop and listen to the people that matter?

One of our very talented service managers, Billie Flynn, has listened and put our patient words into the following poem. Perhaps we all need to do a bit more listening...


I’m ready to go home, that is where I need to be

But they tell me I’m not fit, that doesn’t really suit me

When I came here I was sick and I needed care

But those days are gone and yet I’m still here

Realising that life just isn’t the same anymore

When you’re told you’ll never have your own front door

Night after night into the darkness I peer

Days sitting wondering , sometimes with fear

What will happen today, will the nurses be able

To stop that man tipping up his bed table

Nothing is private, nowhere for my stuff

Too many questions, that makes me quite gruff

Wishing I could get in a bath on my own

I know that the nurse fears I might drown

Waking up with strangers, those I wouldn’t chose

And the woman opposite keeps taking my shoes

New clothes are required, I want to get them myself

I’m told that’s not possible I'll need to have help

Oh to cook my own tea and make up my bed

And leave the book by my side that still isn’t read

Sometimes I am muddled about where I am

But the nurses are kind and tell me to stay calm

The flowers in my garden,  I haven’t seen bloom

Not even the space for a plant in this room

Lights on, lights off, not a switch did I touch

It never seemed to have mattered so much

Time to wash, time to eat

Up you get, let’s move those feet

There’s nothing left its base function you see………

Killing all else that was once uniquely me

When I wake I hope that today will be

The day they have some news for me

For we cannot help agreeing

This is a lonely life for a human being

I’ve had years of living and months of waiting

Weeks of dreaming and days of wishing

That these hospital prison days are over