ALL the Government really want the public to know about the Covid-era NHS is that it is either braced for pressure, unsustainably under said pressure, or a medical warzone. Any information beyond that – the backlog, the epidemic of missed cancer cases or the prioritisation of the booster campaign over the practice of medicine – they deem a trivial addendum to their expanding bible of obscenely cruel Zero Covid stratagems.
The collateral damage of what has become a politicised approach to public health is inflicting devastating real-world consequences upon all those seeking medical attention, who are then forced to confront what appears to be one of many of the NHS’s dirty little pandemic secrets: its hospitals’ indiscriminate and paradoxically life-threatening ‘emergency’ protocols.
Jim and Kate from Stockport contacted me after reading a piece I wrote last week for TCW Defending Freedom about Hull University Teaching Hospitals Trust’s barbarous mask and visitation rules with a truly appalling personal story.
Jim is retired, and carer in an ‘official’ capacity to his partner Kate who is both autistic and partially deaf, and who has been recognised as clinically exempt not only from wearing a mask, but from PCR testing and Covid-19 vaccination.
At a late November dental appointment, Kate was told she needed just a small filling, yet the dentist had failed to spot an abscess in the root of the tooth, and a mere 24 hours on from the appointment her entire throat was swollen.
After a fortuitously simple visit to the GP she was instructed to go urgently to her nearest hospital, Stepping Hill in Stockport; whose own miserly visit protocol remains restricted to one person for half an hour each day, and who recommend that in all but exceptional circumstances this applies only after the patient has already been in hospital for five days. They have a blanket ban on under-16 visitors except where a patient is receiving end-of-life care.
During a prior visit to Stepping Hill for cellulitis treatment, despite the mask exemption for which she always wears a lanyard, Kate was reprimanded by the receptionist, who barked ‘It doesn’t matter if you’re exempt, get it on!’ This was astonishing malpractice for which Kate later received an apology from the hospital.
That apology, however, proved specious as during this far more pressing visit, a receptionist again flagged up a breach of mask rules in spite of Kate’s clearly expressed medical exemption.
Despite presenting his carer’s card, Jim, also mask-exempt to help facilitate better communication with Kate, was not permitted to accompany his vulnerable and ill partner to the main waiting room and had to remain in the foyer, a space with neither refreshments nor lavatory and full of others who had likewise accompanied loved ones to hospital in the hope of providing assistance and comfort.
This flies in the face of Stepping Hill’s own guidance, which clearly states that ‘where the patient has additional needs such as cognitive impairment, learning disability, [or] communication needs, a risk assessment and review will be undertaken by the ward manager and matron, on a case by case basis’.
Despite Jim having outlined to the receptionist the ramifications to his partner of being separated from him – requiring two hearing aids she might not hear her name called to the appointment, and cannot lip-read a masked mouth – he was still ordered to remain in the foyer.
Agitated, he went outside to take some air, a short time after which an increasingly panicking Kate was told she could go through ‘now he’s gone’, but too distressed at this point, and in severe discomfort, she ran out of the building.
Inevitably, Kate did indeed miss her call and so a new appointment was made, meaning a further wait of almost three hours; the infection creeping ever further towards her trachea.
Jim was still not permitted to enter the main waiting area, and in complete exasperation took an opportunity to bypass the receptionist and make his way inside.
Finally seen, Kate was immediately administered intravenous antibiotics and sent to nearby Wythenshawe Hospital for life-saving surgery, whereupon she was informed that in fact no surgeon was available and that she was to be immediately transferred to Manchester Royal Infirmary. The couple were later told that any further major delays to her treatment would have killed her.
Mercifully the operation proved a success, but Kate’s travails had not in any way ended upon her admission to Manchester Royal.
Owing to a combination of distance, Covid-19 protocols and exhaustion, Jim had not accompanied Kate to the final of these three NHS facilities, and once on the ward she had texted him the devastating news that the surgery would not take place until she undertook a PCR test, for which she is in part exempt through having extremely narrow nostrils and ongoing, often debilitating sinus troubles: another further life-threatening delay.
Eventually the Infirmary yielded, but in a sinister turn of events, and despite her difficulties with hearing, Kate says she overheard the doctor in charge say to his colleagues ‘order the Pfizer’.
Her recovery from both the traumatic experiences of obtaining life-saving treatment and then the treatment itself being of paramount importance, the couple are yet to pursue Manchester Royal Infirmary on the small matter of a suspected, and I must stress that word suspected, non-consensual Covid-19 vaccination of a nevertheless vaccine-exempt individual; Kate’s concerns further inflamed by the fact that despite being PCR test-exempt, she experienced mysterious post-surgery nosebleeds for a full 24 hours.
As it stands she remains in perpetual anxiety over the matter of her suspected vaccination and now psychologically associates her frequent migraines with vaccine injury.
Too scared, almost, to want to know the answer (distracted as she is by the healing of the four not insubstantial drain-tube wounds on her throat) she has opted to delay her investigation since – as she so disquietingly sees it – she should theoretically receive confirmation of the worst via a letter or text prompting her to book a second jab.
As if all of this were not traumatic enough, Manchester Royal Infirmary discharged Kate at 9.30pm on a freezing night, alone in a busy and unfamiliar locale, to wait for a taxi the staff had failed to book.
Heavily bandaged and cold – autistic and partially deaf – she once again panicked and had to call upon security for assistance: a fittingly cavalier end to the NHS’s role in this near-disaster.
We see medical apartheid unfolding amongst our European neighbours and Australasian allies, and yet feel that either the same could not possibly happen here in the UK, or that it will arrive piecemeal: enough for the collective nations to be eased into it with minimal disruption – a catastrophe nonetheless.
In fact it has already arrived. It has simply not yet been given a suitably softened name by the State.