As many of you will know Angus Findlay recently had an accident whilst in France. He is recovering well, as you will see from the picture, and he thought we might be interested to hear of his experience in the French health care sector. This is what he has sent:
I had a bad fall and could not move. It was late Sunday afternoon and we had been walking near Lagrasse in France. Luckily Lynette and Karen were with me. A strong security man from our local abbey lifted me in his arms like a baby and laid me gently me in the back of the car. Lynette drove us to the Accident and Emergency Department at Narbonne Hospital, about 30 km away. I was x-rayed at 10 at night, left in a passage till my PCR test came back negative and put in a single person ward at about midnight. After interviews with the surgeon and the anaesthetist, I was wheeled in for an operation on a broken femur the next morning.
They took me to a ward, which at first sight seemed to be occupied by elderly bed blockers, but no, this was the transit ward for pre and post operation patients. Friendly people went past with questions like “Where do you come from”, “Scotland”, “We have one thing in common, we cannot stand the English”. A rather officious nurse tried to remove my signet ring. I told her it had been there for 50 years and she said she would take it off when I was asleep. This set me thinking that maybe some teeth would be taken out too… I woke up, who knows how long after, teeth and ring still there, but with quite a sore leg, a pin and three operation scars.
Back in my single ward, I was well looked after, including three visits from a physiotherapist, one on the day of the operation. Single rooms seem to be the norm in French hospitals and nurses only come in when something needs doing, disconcerting, good for privacy but lonely at times. Two days after the operation, I came back from an x-ray and I realised they wanted me out when I found my clothes in a bundle on the bed. Lynette and Karen, who have both been stars, came and collected me.
I am recovering quickly in our house in France. A delightful district nurse visits every other day to change my bandage and an excellent but strict Polish physiotherapist comes twice a week to tempt me with new exercises. The local GP and chemist have both been most supportive. So this story will have a happy ending, thanks to Lynette and Karen’s love and care and thanks also to France’s efficient, well-coordinated and caring health service.