Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Another yellow card

Just sent in our second 'yellow card' in a week for substandard/failing medical devices.

Another part of the feeding system - the tubes that connect gastrostomy to feed tubing. We've had x5 fall apart in a fortnight (they're meant to last about x3 months). The ends with the connections seem not to be glued onto the tubing and they simply fall apart in use. Result is feed pumped everywhere - except into his stomache.

There has been a real deterioration in medical equipment in the last few years - presumably due to cost cutting resulting in poorer quality. Meanwhile we are told 'you're the only ones complaining'. Reason for this is simple. Most of this type of equipment is used in hospitals or nursing homes. If an item fails, the staff member doing the job simply discards it and pulls another off the shelf. There is no incentive (it's actually quite hard) to send it back and/or report it. so it looks like it's working. We have seen this happen numerous times on the wards - in the community, we get shouted at by the budget holders for trying to use 'more than his allowance.'

I do object to this equipment failing on value for money grounds. I object much more to it failing as it results in my son being malnourished, dehydrated and soaked in sticky feed that should be going into his body, not all over it.

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