Should we only expect the very basic of patient care?

I’m going to open a whole can of worms here, but that’s what blogging’s about, being honest and sharing your thoughts, so here goes…..

Here in the UK, we’re lucky enough to receive free health care from the NHS. When I say free, obviously I don’t mean ‘free’- free. We pay our taxes in return for this care. But does that mean you should expect only the basic of care? Does the very fact we don’t have much say in where our taxes end up mean we should shut up and be grateful that we get any NHS treatment?

I don’t think it should.

The professionals who care for you when you require of any type of medical attention have trained long and hard, so it would make perfect sense that they are appreciated for what they do to make you better, and I am grateful for that. I’m grateful that they have entered into a profession and studied to ensure they deliver the best possible care. There is a flip side to being grateful however, and that is when things go wrong. I’m not grateful when you have trust in a service, which you have paid for, and receive only the minimum of care in return.

Because that care can go wrong, for a number of reasons.

Take the birth of my 1st child for instance; A long gruelling labour that was scary and very nearly had a bad ending because of bad judgements. My poor little baby had an awful journey into the world and I have no doubt spent most of his first few weeks in pain. Then there was the aftercare from that labour;  a night spent on a ward with minimum staff unable to answer by calls for help or being able to care for a new mum meant my care was none existent.

Is it any wonder I suffered anxiety and put off having another baby for a while?

I fully appreciate that the people who are paid to treat and care for us are only human and there’s always the argument for human error. No one’s perfect. But when that treatment is poor and patchy it verges into neglect. Blame overworked staff, managers expecting too much out of people, the list can go on, but there’s no denying that when you’re suffering and patient safety is compromised, it’s the long-term damage to the patient that the focus should shift on. It’s the compromise to the healing process, PTSD, anxiety, loss of earnings and overall safety which should be taken into consideration.

It was nearly 24 hours until I was offered something to eat after the birth of my 1st baby, I was unable to walk to the restaurant thanks to stitches, catheters and an epidural, when I was finally able to make it out of bed, I had no idea where the restaurant (or bathroom!) was. It was that basic care of food and water which was missing. So should I have claimed compensation? I have no doubt that websites such as Your Legal Friend would’ve helped answer a few of those questions. I’m pretty sure they would for a family member who will be giving up work very soon thanks to a monumental medical cock up!

Who’s to say that my career path in life would’ve been different if I’d not been so traumatised by the birth of my first child? If I’d relaxed a little more and enjoyed parenthood and made sure I’d made time for me and my husband?

Anyway, like I said, a whole can of worms there to gather up and throw back in. And dollop of ‘what ifs.’

 

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Home Improvements, Gotta Love ’em.

It’s been some time since I embraced on an epic mission for some home improvements . Top to bottom, no room was spared. And it’s safe to safe that the process was absolutely exhausting, especially while gripped in the early days of morning sickness, shudder. When it was complete (still a few lingering jobs which need finishing so complete is not really the right word.) I hung up my paint splattered joggers and vowed NEVER TO DO IT AGAIN.

But I forgot that houses need maintaining, that kids, dogs and life in general doesn’t consider the time and effort that went into glossing the door frames, stripping wall paper, waxing the skirting boards and painting every bloody room in the house.

I sit here writing this with my back to the black board in my kitchen detailing the growing list of to do jobs mounting up. I need to get the A-Rated Home Improvements professionals in! But I know that there is still so many more home improvements which could make my little home more appealing. Starting with an ickle tiled roof extension or even a conservatory squeezed on the back. Nothing fancy, just an extension from my kitchen with a glass roof. Somewhere to place a big comfy armchair and spend the evening curled up under the stars.

The spot in question is currently home to a small terraced deck furnished with pot plants, a side table and a couple of rattan chairs. It’s the perfect sunny spot to sit with an afternoon cup of tea but now the days are shorter and colder, it’s struck me that this little spot is only used a couple of months of the year.

So while I ignore that chalked up list of DIY jobs, I’m dreaming up ways to waste another few thousand pounds in a glass roofed, chill area room which I clearly don’t need.

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12 Months of Surprises | An Awesome Birthday Present

I gave a sneak preview of a birthday present my bother, sister and I recently gave to our mum. Trying to think of a really unusual and thoughtful gift idea, I remembered something my good friend Sue friend  had done for her husband.

12 months of surprises

Each month she planned a different day out from driving a train to a weekend break away Cornwall, It seemed such a lovely, thoughtful idea so for our dear old mum’s 60th birthday last year we decided to do the same.

Each year she tells us not to waste our money on her but as she’s more often than not our first port of call when we need something or someone, helping us emotionally, financially and physically over the years(her cooking and cleaning skills are always a welcome gesture!) She is nearly always chief organiser in family get togethers we thought for 12 months it was time to let the kids do the organising.

If like us, you’re doing this as part of a team, we found it easier to allocate each month to a person. Ours runs on a 3 month cycle, so each of us know who’s doing what and when limiting confusion. It also helps if you’re planning ahead.

12 months of surprises for the ultimate birthday present.

Surprise Month 1 – a family walk

We’ve also put a limit of how much each spends over the course of their 4 months and now we’re 5 months in with the months going a little like this;

November – Posh wellies and a family walk

December – A weekend away visiting Totnes Christmas market staying in a friends holiday let

January – A picnic hamper

February – High tea in a posh hotel

March – A magical mystery  tour including a steam train ride and lunch

12 surprises, 1 a month for a year. The gift which keeps on giving and the ultimate birthday present.

Surprise month 3 – high tea in a posh hotel

For each surprise, we write whats happening on some pretty paper bought from the scrapbook section of eBay and we introduced the whole surprise via a poem my brother adapted which was then made into a certificate on Canva.

There really is no limit as to what you choose. It can be a homemade picnic in the local park to a month of weekend breakfast in beds or a hot air balloon ride, this is one gift where your imagination can go to town. For us, some months are going to be lower key than others but the key thing is the thought and it is a really lovely way to show someone how much you love them.

If your thinking of doing the same and need some ideas why not pin the image below to remind you.

how about a full year of surprises, one a month, for the ultimate birthday present. Herd's some ideas and what I did

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Spring Cleaning Tips For Busy Families

Spring Cleaning time again? try this to get it done in no time!

There’s nothing like a beautiful spring morning with the sun shining through your windows to highlight every damn spec of dust and cobweb in your house! I guess that’s where the term spring clean comes from as the rest of the year everything seems relatively acceptable. I’ve tried convincing myself that when my children make patterns in the dust on the TV stand this counts as creative development.

It’s not a good thing though and as much as try to convince myself other wise, after a long damp winter my house is in dire need of a spring clean. ** Humph **

Bearing in mind that I have a toddler, dog, pre-teen and teenager, as well as a Mum in a Nutshell, a small business to manage and a social life (of sorts) eating away at my day this leaves very little spare time to do the much-needed dust down. So I’ve been on a mission to plan the perfect spring clean for a busy family. I’ve narrowed the necessities into small bitesize chunks which can be done over 2 weeks, giving a 10 step spring clean.

Wash the carpets

This gets my number one spot for the simple reason being as much as a hoover gets rid of the surface dirt lord only knows what my bonkers sprocker picks up on his daily dog walk not to mention what we all praise through.

I hoover daily, don’t allow the dog or shoes upstairs and am 75 % wooden flooring downstairs, but once you actually see what comes out of your carpets it makes you realise how much t needed it! I  use the Vax Dual Power Reach Carpet Cleaner .if you would like a recommendation.

At first glance, it looks like an ordinary upright vacuum cleaner. Making it easier to store, that's quite a big factor for me as there's very little storage space left in the Nutshell crib. It works by filling the upper tank with water and cleaning solution (which is provided) and running over your carpets with the solution and then again with the suction switched on. It as simple as that. If you're wondering whether washing carpets is really necessary, surely a decent vacuum cleaner will do the job effectively, just by going over with a Vax Duel Power pro will let you know all you need. It's actually quite embarrassing when you see the colour of the liquid being lifted from what you think is a perfectly clean carpet. To think that my toddler plays on that, and the Tween and Teenager will lie down and watch movies. I always like to think I'm a clean person and I can keep the wooden floors hygienic with a mop and steamer, but just seeing the difference that a carpet washer makes has made me realise that all was not as it seems!

This is just from my front door lobby area and runner!

Clean food cupboard shelves

Also checking best before dates and returning them back in some sort of logical order i.e:things that you don’t use so often on the top shelves and those with a longer best before date at the back. I keep rice, pasta and lentils in a wide, shallow plastic container to catch any runaways, so give that a wash too. You’ll be surprised how many spices and herb pots are out of date but don’t throw them away. Click here for a handy idea of how to reuse them.

 Empty the fridge

Taking everything out, I wipe down every shelf, taking the door shelves out and washing them in hot soapy water. I keep open jars in my fridge so check the dates of everything before returning. I also give the seals a wipe through.

Pull out the beds and vacuum clean

Have you actually seen how much dust gathers there? I also vacuum the mattress’ and wipe down skirting boards behind the beds while I’m at it. Throwing everything in the washing machine and turning the mattresses. (That’s a comedy YouTube video on its own.) It’s also a great opportunity to air them out.  Memory foam mattress, like my Leesa one (can’t recommend this enough for comfort) don’t need turning over, instead I turn it top to bottom. Don’t forget that pillows need replacing every 2 years and mattress every 8, so if you’re due a new one, nows the time to look.

A review of a Leesa memory foam mattress, click here to learn more about the convenience of buying a mattress in a box;

Put duvets and pillows outside in the sun to air

We have a super king bed which means our duvet is huge and heavy so I rest it on open window cill to air it through. The smaller ones I can wash in the machine and hang on the line.  Older pillows are replaced and the rest washed.  The feather ones are stacked in an open window for the day.

Wipe down the dining table chairs

Our slate top table gets a battering and has buffered any spillage and stain known to man but the chairs and bench often gets over looked when I’m clearing up the meal spills. So I wash down the backs, legs and seats with hot soapy water.

Wash down walls where mildew has formed

With the house pretty much shut down for the Winter, there’s usually a spot in the house which shows sign of mildew or mould. In our case this is the bathroom. Giving it a wipe down with diluted sterilizing solution and leaving to dry with the windows open usually gets rid of it.

Move the sofas

and vacuum the hidden flooring, whilst also reclaiming a small Lego factory, half a dozen odd socks and the Teenager’s mobile phone. Would it be too sad to admit that I get quite excited wondering what I’m going to find?

Wash the curtains

If they’re washable obviously. I have been known to chuck some ‘dry clean only’ curtains in the tumble drier with a laundry fresher sheet then hang them on the line on a bright sunny day. If you’re not as daring as me then do the sensible thing and take them to the dry cleaners or buy a dry clean kit which you can do at home. Steaming them to remove dust and any other nasties in  the air is also an option. if you don’t have a steamer, use your iron

Hold a toy amnesty

By throwing out any broken ones, recycling old ones they’ve out grown and washing down the ones you’re keeping. This is always a dangerous one to do with children present as you’ll find they suddenly want to play with everything you get out and need to keep them like their life depends on it. I’d advise doing it when they’re not around.

Failing all this you could always just book a 2 week holiday and pay someone else to come and do it while you’re away.

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Ensuring Your Carpets Are Hygienically Clean With a Vax Dual Power Pro Carpet Washer

Life as a mum to three boys and a dog is fab, I love it and wouldn’t change it for the world. But it also comes with varying degrees of mess, that’s not to say that life with daughters would be any easier, I’m just sharing my own story. There’s no denying the fact that housework plays a big part in family life, if I don’t keep on top of it, then my humble abode starts to resemble something on par to a mini tornado sweeping through and that’s just on the surface.

My biggest bug bear though, is that we have no hall way, so unless the no shoes rule is adhered to, my carpets start to suffer. Even those last minute, I’ve forgotten something so I’ll run upstairs, will overtime start to show on my beloved beige Axminster carpets, which adorn the stars and upstairs bedroom. The quick trips from the log pile to the log burner drags in all sorts, over my living room rug and then there’s my inquisitive toddler, who loves nothing more than exploring the contents of my make up bag.

All this Culminates in the tell-tale sign of some serious carpet misuse which a vacuum cleaner can’t remove so an essential piece of kit in ensuring our family home is clean and hygienic is the Vax Dual Power Pro. As a Vax  brand ambassador, I’ll be sharing my experience of how Vax products make life a little simple, and what better way to start than a product which will appeal to everyone.

If you’re wondering whether washing carpets is really necessary, surely a decent vacuum cleaner will do the job effectively, just by going over with a Vax Dual Power pro will let you know all you need. It’s actually quite embarrassing when you see the colour of the liquid being lifted from what you think is a perfectly clean carpet. To think that my toddler plays on that, and the Tween and Teenager will lie down and watch movies.

I always like to think I’m a clean person and I can keep the wooden floors hygienic with a mop and steamer, but just seeing the difference that a carpet washer makes has made me realise that all was not as it seems!

So now you know why I feel the need to wash my carpets, it’s onto the important stuff, my review of the Vax Dual Power Pro.

Arriving in a large cardboard box, it took me under 4 minutes to unpack and assemble the machine, I needed no tools as it came in 3 pieces which slot together. You get 2 bottles of solution and some extra attachments which so far, I’ve used for the stairs and to tackle some make up stains (apparently my Benefit make up set is really appealing to toddlers!)

At first glance, it looks like an ordinary upright vacuum cleaner. Making it easier to store, that’s quite a big factor for me as there’s very little storage space left in the Nutshell crib.

At first glance, it looks like an ordinary upright vacuum cleaner. Making it easier to store, that's quite a big factor for me as there's very little storage space left in the Nutshell crib. It works by filling the upper tank with water and cleaning solution (which is provided) and running over your carpets with the solution and then again with the suction switched on. It as simple as that. If you're wondering whether washing carpets is really necessary, surely a decent vacuum cleaner will do the job effectively, just by going over with a Vax Duel Power pro will let you know all you need. It's actually quite embarrassing when you see the colour of the liquid being lifted from what you think is a perfectly clean carpet. To think that my toddler plays on that, and the Tween and Teenager will lie down and watch movies. I always like to think I'm a clean person and I can keep the wooden floors hygienic with a mop and steamer, but just seeing the difference that a carpet washer makes has made me realise that all was not as it seems!

Filling up is easy as you can either remove the tank and take it to the sink to fill with warm water, or keep in place and use a measuring jug. This particular washer has a wash and a rinse option so it keeps the water separate from the cleaning solution which is great if you don’t use it all, you can preserve some for your next cleaning session. And other than the water/solution trigger, which is on the handle, the release and on/off buttons are at the bottom, which you operate with your feet.

At first glance, it looks like an ordinary upright vacuum cleaner. Making it easier to store, that's quite a big factor for me as there's very little storage space left in the Nutshell crib. It works by filling the upper tank with water and cleaning solution (which is provided) and running over your carpets with the solution and then again with the suction switched on. It as simple as that. If you're wondering whether washing carpets is really necessary, surely a decent vacuum cleaner will do the job effectively, just by going over with a Vax Duel Power pro will let you know all you need. It's actually quite embarrassing when you see the colour of the liquid being lifted from what you think is a perfectly clean carpet. To think that my toddler plays on that, and the Tween and Teenager will lie down and watch movies. I always like to think I'm a clean person and I can keep the wooden floors hygienic with a mop and steamer, but just seeing the difference that a carpet washer makes has made me realise that all was not as it seems!

Being a busy household, having a dry function is a must, I managed to grab an hour between cleaning and the school home time which was perfect, as it felt slightly damp after washing but was completely dry by the time the boys came home. To clean this rug, it took all 15 minutes from filling up, wash and a rinse.

So, does it work?

Will the Vax Duel Power Pro will it really give my carpets a deep clean?

Well check out the not very appealing image below which is the result of washing of our living room rug, and testament to it’s power, not only did it clean, it also brought up some ground in dog hair (nice) leaving it smelling a lot fresher too!

At first glance, it looks like an ordinary upright vacuum cleaner. Making it easier to store, that's quite a big factor for me as there's very little storage space left in the Nutshell crib. It works by filling the upper tank with water and cleaning solution (which is provided) and running over your carpets with the solution and then again with the suction switched on. It as simple as that. If you're wondering whether washing carpets is really necessary, surely a decent vacuum cleaner will do the job effectively, just by going over with a Vax Duel Power pro will let you know all you need. It's actually quite embarrassing when you see the colour of the liquid being lifted from what you think is a perfectly clean carpet. To think that my toddler plays on that, and the Tween and Teenager will lie down and watch movies. I always like to think I'm a clean person and I can keep the wooden floors hygienic with a mop and steamer, but just seeing the difference that a carpet washer makes has made me realise that all was not as it seems!

Disclaimer

I was sent a Vax carpet washer to review, all words and photographs are entirely my own. 

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