Letter sent by a COPOV member to a BBC website which purports to give our views under the headline15 Feb "Elderly care: Your views". It did not surprise me not to be published.
"Dear and Sir/Madam,
My first experience of an N H S hospital was in Poole . I had cycled home from work when, going down quite a steep hill, a car came out of a side road straight into me. I was pretty badly shaken up, muscles torn in shoulders and legs.
An ambulance came and took me into Poole Hospital . I was wheeled in on a, I think it’s called a gurney or a trolley, and pushed into a room and left. I went into shock and the shivering caused the light covering put over me, to fall on the floor. I could not speak so I just lie there, in dreadful pain shivering away.
Fortunately my wife came to visit me at 7.00 and found me in this room. There had been a change of staff as I came in and I had somehow been forgotten about. This was in the 1977.
In 1984, I needed my gall bladder removed. Hospitalisation and operation all went fine. The Sunday morning I asked to wash myself as my family were coming to visit me that afternoon. 2 Hours passed and I again asked and was told that they hadn’t had time to clean the bath yet. I said “I don’t mind I’ll clean it”. In the bathroom I found the most appalling mess, bed pans were stacked on each other; not empty or badly emptied. The bath had the blackest ring I had ever seen.
I had only just been operated on. My abdomen had a horizontal cut some 15 inches long. But I walked carrying a drip in one and a drain in the other hand, squatting down on my knees, I cleaned the bath.
Since then in 2006 I used the Radcliffe in Oxford , and in 2007, at the Royal Berks in the coronary care unit, I was treated for a heart attack. On both occasions I can only say that the treatment was of the highest standard. The nurses were all efficient, kind and friendly. We even had a lady in our ward. She didn’t mind and neither did we.
The NHS was not perfect in the old days and it’s not terrible now. In fact my experience leads me to say that it has definitely improved out of all recognition. Could we for once accept that things go wrong for all manner of reasons, and whinging on is not the solution. They deserve our praise more often than they get it.
Yours faithfully
David Moffat
75 years old."