Friday, May 14, 2010
Wow, what a day.
So, I went up to Birmingham to one of the hospitals for this meeting about a complaint.
(My uncle's BF had some very bad care there, so has a complaint in, but my uncle gets anxiety over speaking so couldn't really do it, and his bf is not articulate at all so couldn't do it, and my mum was going to do it but she is ill)
So there's me trying to look after Stephen (uncle) and Trev (bf). Stephen was a bag of nerves even though he didn't have to do/say anything. Trev was just very emotional.
Off we go into this meeting, around a big table, with all these people. Head of Patients Services. Nurse Manager (the MATRON ffs!). Head of Operations for Plastics. The top-top surgeon for plastics (this department has 15 plastics surgeons, so that guy is a pretty big deal). Some woman who is a doctor of some kind who managed something or other - I believe infection control or something. And this bloke who manages the Maxillo Facial Department.
I know what you're thinking. I thought the same. I don't even know what the Maxillo Facial dept. is or what they do.
So the Mr Big Deal surgeon did much of the talking, and the 'some woman' was pretty annoying and kept chipping in saying how it was mostly down to 'perspective' and taking every opportunity to imply Trev was lying.
It was all very civilised. And I did pretty well. When i first walked in I had two seconds of being like "whoa!!!" and then I relaxed. I had to tell 'some woman' off because she kept asking Trev stuff, and he was obviously a bit distressed by it (he sometimes struggles to process stuff). So I had to set some ground rules. And I was fine from then.
I was sat on the train home thinking "wow, I held my own with that top surgeon bloke with no problem". He had to concede to me on lots of points. And I kept really calm and totally aggressively (even when I was really angry at their implications) and straight to the point (this guy liked using lots of complex scenarios to demonstrate points which weren't really relevant).
So, they basically tried to be really dismissive of everything. So I challenged it all in there. And then when I walked away I was quite downhearted that they didn't seem to be taking things seriously.
So then it clicked in my head: that's 6 senior Trust people. Very busy people with very little time. And they just spent an hour and a half addressing this complaint. Which means they are taking it very seriously and whatever they might say, are very concerned that we have a very solid case. If they weren't, we'd have been there with the patient services person and the nurse.
I'm pretty proud of myself really. Stephen and Trev said I did good. I had everyone's attention and they didn't get anything past me ;). And well. All those senior people. And 5 of them were at least 30 years older than me. And the other one - the Head of Operations - was rather yummy. Very yummy actually. So I managed to do good even when they were all senior, mostly old, and with the added complication of fancying one (the hardest bit, of course).
He gave me his mobile number. So I can nag him for Trev's ongoing care :(.
Trev informs me he was wearing a wedding ring (Trev can always be trusted to notice such things).
Its very sad!
p.s. sorry for babbling, but I was seriously nervous and it went really well!!