Telephone helplines, useful or not?

Posted: April 13, 2013 in books

Today I had to ring one of these so called NHS helplines and lets just say I would have had more luck banging my head off a wall. My grandson had ripped his cord off a little too early since he is such a little fidget, the midwives had seen it and advised to keep it clean since blood had been seeping from a tear. Today however blood was pooling in his belly button so we thought it best to get checked out. Not quite A&E emergency I thought it was best to ring the helpline and see what they suggested. After several mind numbing questions such as is the baby unresponsive and unusually quiet while he is actually screaming in the background, they decided I should take him to minor injuries in the hospital down the road from me. 

After getting off the phone I actually rang the hospital because I know some minor injuries won’t deal with children under the age of two and yes I was correct they won’t see him so the hospital told me to ring them back.

On the phone again I have to go over the whole scenario again, including the endless questions because apparently they don’t log the calls. Clearly NHS cutbacks again, I know, I know, I keep slamming the NHS but I have recently had the misfortune of seeing quite a few useless health professionals and today was no exception. So they decide that the same hospital has a GP surgery in it and went on to make us an appointment.

We turn up at the hospital and are amazingly seen on time, situation explained we strip him down and the GP decides he shouldn’t be the one to treat him, that is the job of a pediatrician, he doesn’t deal with wounds only things he can write a prescription for. He also said he doesn’t know why we came to him, I explained that it was on the advice of the helpline who had made the appointment. Eventually after much debate he went and asked a nurse to take a look, she dressed it advising to keep it clean and obviously if the bleeding gets worse take him to A&E but that it should clear itself up.

So was the helpline useful? Absolutely not and apparently neither are G.P.’S 🙂

  1. Jane Risdon says:

    Linda I am trying hard to recall what you put on the cord when it is weeping like this…clear liquid in a bottle. Driving me nuts trying to think of it….it is similar to white spirit but it is NOT that!! I’ll ask Mum later if I get a chance to call her, mother of 6 knows all this stuff. Don;t think it is serious though coz we have come through the centuries without NHS help! Keep clean and keep and eye on it. Should be fine.

    • The nurse did mention something about clear liquid but then said they are no longer using it these days, just another tradition that has been abandoned lol. The nappy rubbing against it doesn’t help, at least he has a dressing now so hopefully after a few days of nothing rubbing against it there may be a chance it can heal. Of course in a few days time when the dressing comes off we may be back to square one if the scab comes off with it 🙂

      • Jane Risdon says:

        I’ll ask Mum tomorrow if I cannot recall. There is nothing wrong with old remedies, we are too sophisticated for our own good these days and common sense has gone out of the window. I wish I could remember; it is not prescription or whatever, it is over the counter. Mum used to be a dispenser so she won’t suggest anything harmful. Try some petroleum jelly on top of the it so that when taking the dressings off t does not pull the skin attached underneath. That is why gauze is often used between the wound and the dressing. Poor little one.

  2. Is it maybe saline? I know they use that for some things, she did put a little square of gauze over it then added the dressing on top. Babies skin is so soft it took us ages to get the plaster off from the heel prick test .

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