Inhumane Restrictions in NHS Hospital Causing Distress and Harm

Autistic, partially deaf, mask, PCR test and CV-19 vaccine-exempt, and in need of life-saving surgery: ‘you don’t qualify’, say the NHS – a report on the maltreatment of a patient and her partner, written by Tom Penn.

The only things Government really require the public to know about the post-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 reached out to me after reading a piece I wrote about Hull University Hospital Trust’s barbarous mask and visitation rules, with a truly appalling personal story they were desperate to share.

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 clinically exempt not only from wearing a mask, but from PCR testing and Covid-19 vaccination.

At a late November dental appointment for toothache, Kate was informed she required just a small filling, yet the dentist had failed to spot an abscess in the root of the tooth, and by morning her throat was entirely swollen on one side. 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 visitation protocol remains restricted to one person for half an hour each day, and who recommend in all but exceptional circumstances this apply only after the patient has already been in hospital a full five days. They also have a blanket ban on any child under 16 visiting the hospital 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 had been reprimanded by the receptionist on duty that day, who had barked ‘It doesn’t matter if you’re exempt, get it on!’: astonishing malpractice for which Kate later received an official apology from the hospital, but only after Jim had submitted a formal complaint on her behalf.

The apology however, proved vacuous, as during this far more pressing visit of hers, Stepping Hill’s receptionist again flagged up a breach of mask rules in spite of Kate’s clearly expressed medical exemption.

Jim, also mask exempt to help facilitate better communication between himself and kate, and despite having presented his ‘Carers card’, was not permitted to accompany his vulnerable and gravely ill partner through to the main waiting room, and was instead instructed to remain in the foyer: a space with neither refreshments nor toilet, and full of others who had likewise foolhardily accompanied loved ones to hospital in hope of providing them 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’, in what is nevertheless a hazardous waste of both time and resources; as then proved the case in Kate’s situation.

Despite Jim having outlined to the receptionist the ramifications to his partner of being separated from him – requiring two hearing aids she may perhaps not hear her name called to the appointment, and regardless cannot lip-read a masked mouth – he was still ordered to remain in the foyer.

Highly agitated, he went outside to take some air and clear his head, 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, due to the calamitous nature of what should have been a simple booking procedure, 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.

Even after this sham, Jim was still not permitted to enter the main waiting area, and in complete exasperation took an opportunity to regardless bypass the receptionist and make his way inside.

Finally seen, Kate was immediately administered intravenous antibiotics and sent right away 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.

Due 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 had undertaken a PCR test, for which she is in part exempt due to 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 nose-bleeds for a full 24 hours.

As it stands she remains in perpetual anxiety over the matter of her suspected vaccination, and now psychologically associates every of 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 instead opted to delay her investigation as – as she so disquietingly sees it – she should theoretically receive confirmation of the worst-case scenario 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 21.30 hours into the freezing cold night of a busy and unfamiliar locale alone: to wait for a taxi the Infirmary had ultimately failed to book.

Heavily bandaged and cold – autistic and partially deaf – she once again panicked and had to call upon Security for assistance: a needlessly lackadaisical end on the NHS’s part, to what had proved at times a likewise needless toying with her life.

We see medical apartheid gravely 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 actual fact it has already arrived. It has simply not yet been given a suitably softened name by the State.