So on the post natal ward yesterday. An average kind of a shift – not too dreadful but my urine still looked like lucozade when I finally went to the loo so obviously fairly busy. I had managed to discharge a couple and thought I wouldn’t hear from them when they buzzed and said they had seen a poster about buying an electronic breast pump and would like to do that before they go. Now I realize that seems a perfectly normal ok request….and it is. But it made me want to weep.
In order to sell them a breast pump this is what I had to do:
- I asked all my colleagues I worked with how it was done – top answer “Brenda will know, ask her when she’s back from her lunch at 6pm”
- I called the midwife in charge of labour ward, she didn’t know but another midwife heard the conversation and gave me instructions, as follows:
- Go to Elaine’s office on the floor above using the code 3243
- There are boxes of breast pumps up on the shelf – get one down
- Find a purple folder on Elaine’s desk – this has receipts in which are numbered – find the number that matches the number on a sticker on the breastpump box.
- The couple have to pay in cash – write their name on both receipts and give them one
- Put the cash in an envelope with the other receipt and find a colleague to sign and date the back of the seal of the envelope
- Find out where the ward safe is, get the key for it and put the envelope in there
- I went upstairs but the code to the office didn’t work – I went into the labour ward and asked if anyone else knew the code – someone suggested looking through an ancient notebook of important information – didn’t help – eventually found a midwife who could remember the code but only if actually standing in front of the door – had to wait until she had given someone medication then she let me in.
After that the process ran surprisingly smoothly, the couple even had £80 in notes. It did take about 50 minutes to sort out though which is quite a chunk of my time. There were four other women who were also quite keen to be discharged that day not to mention the ones who had been utterly unable to get their babies to feed for the past 12 hours.
I really hope that money goes somewhere useful.