From the United Kingdom, the latest advances in socialized medicine:
Hospital chiefs have apologised after giving elderly patients a tambourine to call for nurses in an emergency. The musical instrument was left in a day room after older patients feared they were too far away for nurses to hear any cries for help.
A pair of maracas were also handed out as a back-up — in case the tambourine failed. …
Staff put the tambourine in the West Wing day room following complaints from frail patients that they struggled to get the attention of staff.
The son of one patient was outraged when his 90-year-old mother told him about the tambourine alarm put in place for more than 30 patients on the wing. The man, who did not want to be named, said: “I thought she was joking but I went to the day room and there it was. I even took a photograph of it to prove it. …
“I gave the tambourine a good hard shaking – but after 16 minutes I gave up as no-one responded.”
Ruth Walker, executive director of nursing for Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, apologised for the tambourine – and said a new emergency bell will be installed.