Advice required

hi, I didn’t know which section to put this: I am mum’s carer, I have to have cataract surgery, and the hospital insist someone picks me up. I explained that I would get a cab, but that isn’t good enough and they won’t do the surgery if I can’t be collected by someone. Trouble is, there is no-one I can ask. I don’t believe I am the only one with this problem, and wondered if anyone can suggest what I can do. I did contact a charity who said they could do it, but they rang back today to say that as I am not in their area they can’t help. (They are only the next county or I wouldn’t have phoned them!). I am now at my wits end and it is affecting mum too, she is very worried for me. Would anyone have any ideas/advice, has anyone heard of this happening to someone they know? I would be grateful for any feedback.

Hi Carertomum.

Direct link to the NHS on hospital transport :

How to organise transport to and from hospital - NHS

In the absense of your gp surgery making the arrangements , I would investigate the about link.

In my caring days . both local hospitals had transport departments … together with hospital volunteers who undertook getting
patients from A to B … one of my fellow Astronomy Society members here in Worksop does precisely that … even on standby
at home in case a call for assistance comes through … virtually an essential service is less prosperous areas ( Given the cost and
unreliability of public transport. )

( In some cases , volunteer drivers would bring a colleague to look after the caree whilst the carer was in transit. I volunteered
meself on one occasion , pensioner sitting an elderly gentleman whilst Andrew whisked the carer to and from our local hospital.
He loved me London accent ! Are things different in 2019 … another post code lottery ? )

hi, thank you so much for your reply. Unfortunately patient transport would not be given to me as I do not fit the criteria. (It was bad enough trying to get the transport for mum and at that time she was in her 80s and walked badly, it was always a fight, she was constantly told she wasn’t eligible even though she was. Some of her appointments were for hospitals quite a way away. Also the wait to come home could go on into the evening. So, in the end she stopped using the service, and when necessary we get a cab.) Unfortunately they seem to be constantly cutting down on the service.

No volunteer drivers based at your local hospital ?

Here in Worksop , the usual red tape is thrown out the window … including by some of the local gp surgeries.

( Shades of " The Siege " in 1984 and 1985 … miners strike … when the whole community was under threat. )

As if the local community is running it’s own local service … catering for most patient’s needs irrespective of NHS
guidelines … even some of the hospital staff … a sense of loyalty to the community over the NHS.

Presumably you are having this done as day surgery? They are worried about the effects of the anaesthetic.

My father in law was told the same thing, he had to stay with us overnight, complete nightmare as he was up and down to the toilet like a yo yo, and I got no sleep as a result!

When I complained, the hospital said that if they knew he lived alone, they could do him as the first patient of the day, then he could stay at the day unit until it closed in the evening.

Ask for this to be done for you, otherwise they should admit you overnight. They cannot refuse surgery just because you don’t have anyone. If they persist, complain to the CEO of the hospital!

Have a chat to the dept at your hospital.

What’s their objection to getting a cab?

I had to do that when I had a colonoscopy, the cab driver came right into the dept. to collect me so they knew I was actually going home in a cab.

The NHS is much more fussy than a private hospital, I’ve had sedation for dental extractions a number of times, just had to wait for an hour then they called a cab for me. Last time, in an NHS hospital, they insisted my son came to collect me. I had the last appointment so he didn’t have to take time off work.

My husband had this operation twice, one eye at a time earlier this year. The ‘sedation’ consisted of a teeny pellet being placed under the lower eye lid and the op took all of 5 ish minutes. There was a lot of waiting around before and after for the ‘sedation’ to take effect and to check all was well afterwards and get the eye drops (every 4 hours) to be available. This was at a private clinic but on the NHS. My husbands optician referred him.
I drove him there and back but from his experience I cannot see why a taxi won’t do.
You have to wear an eye patch for a few days and have to have the drops administered but my medical phobic (GPs, Dentists, needles) husband was fine. No feeling poorly or anything.
Hope you find a transport solution.

I was in this position but I only had one eye done. Do you have to have both done at once? Then I agree the taxi should be possible. My brother had both done at once when he was bedridden. In my case, as it was only one eye, I had no problems travelling and didn’t have to report it to the DVLA.

Unlike Elaine’s husband’s cataract surgery, mine lasted 20 minutes. It was at an NHS hospital. It is totally painless but a bit weird as you can’t talk, and whereas at the dentist’s they can tell you what’s going on, the cataract surgery would probably sound horrifying if they described it.

many thanks to all for your kind replies. The following is in reply to all of you. So far as I am aware there are no volunteer drivers. However thanks for the suggestion re PALS, I will phone them. It is day surgery, but they can’t tell me until I get there where I am on the list. re cab drivers, I’m not sure but I think they have to stay with their vehicles, and can only wait for a limited amount of time. I am only having one eye done. It does seem as if every hospital in every area has different rules and regulations!

. re cab drivers, I’m not sure but I think they have to stay with their vehicles, and can only wait for a limited amount of time

assuming the hospital has a car park - surely the driver would be able to park in the car park before coming to the department to collect you ? Obviously you would pay the driver for any parking fee and waiting time involved along with the cost of the journey.

I used two cabs, one to get there, and then phoned another to get home again after my probe was done.

There will almost certainly be somewhere that cabs can wait for a few minutes to pick up passengers; there is at all the hospitals that I regularly use.

Yes, you can use two cabs, don’t let one wait. They can wait if you pay for the waiting time, but that doesn’t make sense. The hospital I used has a phone where they offer you a number of cab firm numbers to ring, including mini cabs.

hi, yes there is a waiting area for cabs, but when I have been for appointments by cab you are dropped off at the front entrance; then, when the cab comes back to pick you up there are a very few spaces for that purpose, I get the impression that they are not allowed to walk away from the cab and also that they can’t wait long. I can understand that as there are not too many spaces and there would be a backlog if all the drivers were off collecting patients! These things are certainly not made easy for us poor patients.

Sorry I don’t think it made it clear in my post ! I meant that when the cab comes to pick you up after the procedure (either pre booked or phoned for when needed) for him to park in the car park and then for him to come and find you. Then he wouldn’t have to leave his cab in a restricted waiting time area.