Two week stay on Ward 5 Thoracic Heartlands Hospital

Easter 2013 I was transferred from Birmingham QE Hospital with an Empyema following a severe sepsis, I had been critically ill. A Thoracotomy was carried out but because of a collection a further repeat operation had to be carried out.

I am writing to thank all of the staff who looked after me. At all times I was kept fully informed of the medical interventions and their outcomes to deal with my condition, I was never in doubt of their competence in carrying out the required procedures. Also I would like to compliment the nursing staff who made my two week stay very comfortable. Nursing staff displayed compassion at all times and delivered high standards of care.

Thank you staff on Ward 5


Second to none service

Comment received via Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust Website and published with permission of the author:

“Following a visit to Pre-Operative Assessment unit at Heartlands Hospital with my father I feel I have to make contact with you. The service from the initial phone call from a very kind and helpful Sareen, was second to none. All staff are very welcoming and committed to patient satisfaction.

My father is normally very subdued at medical appointments, leaving me to discuss his issues with the professionals, but on this occasion he was totally relaxed and answered all questions Patience (a nurse) asked him – credit to all involved.

I sincerely hope we get the same treatment when attending Good Hope this week.”


Ward 29 staff gave me excellent care

Hi my name is Lorraine tooth sadly I was brought into hospital on 28th july when had fall at home .as a vunable adult I came in very scared and really was a wreck I ended up on ward 29 as a 41 year old whom was in extreme pain couldn’t mobilise my world was upside down.ward 29 I believe need to get recognition I have received excellent care. With out the nurses and the hca and the medical team and the rest of the ward staff I wouldn’t be here today.I was treated with dignity respect and they made me feel safe for first time in years .

If I could give them a award I would. I believe ward 29 cares for people with true heart for caring for vunable adults and would like managers to receive this review.

With special thank yous miss Lorraine tooth


Shocked at the conversation I overheard

Having been admitted for a broken arm I have to say how disappointed I was at my treatment. We are all well aware of the situation of nurses nationally being overworked/underpaid and to be honest I’ve always thought highly of them.

However after my stay with you I really have to question this. It seemed to me that some of the staff far from being overworked quite often they were playing with their mobiles and standing round chatting. This in itself does not look good but when the one staff member is heard discussing quite racist views that they has I was truly shocked. As the hospital itself is situated in a fairly multi ethnic environment I am appalled that you have staff treating a large amount of non-white patients that hold such views. I am still reeling over the language and the conversation I heard. When somebody is entrusted with such a role I would have thought that they should have the knowledge that even if they have these beliefs that they should not be aired so openly on the ward.

I am still considering whether to take this matter further as I am still actually in a state of shock over it.


Thank you to all the doctors and Nurses in A&E

I was recently in a road traffic accident where I sustained a head injury and was later taken to Heartlands Hospital. I arrived at the Accident & Emergency department were I was seen by various members of staff who were concerned about the bleeding from my head as i am warfarin tablets. I wish to thank all the doctors and nurses who worked well together in making my experience less frightening in such traumatic circumstances.

The NHS often receives bad press, which is why I felt I had to write for you to praise your staff involved in treating me with dignity and respect, consdering the fact that I am a ‘vulnerable adult’ at the age of 79!

(Comment received via letter to the Trust and published with permission of the author)


My daughter’s treatment

My daughter had an appointment at Solihull Hospital in early June 2013. She has been seen by an Orthopaedic Paediatrician. After an assessment she has been referred to the Physiotherapy department. She was seen by another person who told us the she will need some support because of her condition. We have been sent home and told to expect a letter from the hospital. My daughter has the symptoms since February 2012 and now, after 17 months she does not have a treatment in place, I am not sure about her diagnosis. I have called today for details but nobody know nothing and knows nothing. I do not know how long it will take to be able to have access to a treatment for my daughter.


Stupid car park!

I was late for my physiotherapy appointment by ten minutes because I’d been driving around the car park for twenty minutes trying to find a space. I had to park in an undesignated spot in the end, or risk losing my appointments.

Why does the car park continue letting people in when there are no spaces available? Why do patients and visitors share a car park?

PLEASE sort something out so that patients can park when they have appointments to attend.


Cystic Fibrosis Inpatient Experience

1. Instances of poor communication when informing treatment decisions previously agreed i.e. desense protocol normal range 7 bags, for myself I was under impression this would be longer – On discharge informed future protocol might be repeating bags 5/6 and 7 for IV dose.

2. On admission, I could not make informed choice due to chest infection and breathing difficulty.

3. Lack of consideration (as above) for previous experience when starting treatment regime, prolonging my recovery and stay – continuity of care.

4. Once stabilised two days after admission seen by lead consultant where we could jointly agree treatment options necessary to support my recovery towards discharge sometime later this week early next week.

5. Rachel from physio dept, as always good daily input and support provided in all aspects of chest clearance to improve lung function. Ward staff and supporting teams’ hostess service excellent.

6. Diabetic care reviewed by Kirpal Marwa to satisfaction and confidence.

7. Hydration (sodium chloride) could be explained more thoroughly by purpose or if alternative options available, perceived as accepted practice without informed patient knowledge by those giving decision to treat.

9. Awaiting to see immunologist for clarity of desense protocol with respect to particular IV drug.

10. Latterly, informed of new protocol should the need arise on future admission i.e. repeating bags 5, 6 and 7 for IV dose.

11. Received Day of discharge IV competency training review by Josie Hussey, happy with outcome (small learning for myself, bad habit/practice identified /correcting behaviour).

Finally, completed IV care at home feeling some benefit from treatment, despite communication and protocol for treatment, reasured by Dr Rifat Rashid positive support for future care and treatment.


My Thyroid hell!

Im a 26 year old male suffering with Hypothyoidism. I have now suffered for 4 years. First I was treated by my G.P. who gradually increased my Thyroxine from 50mcg to 150mcg. I had many symptoms of Hypothyroidsim but was told that it wasn’t my Thyroid disease, it was “depression/mental health issues”. Even though all these “apparent” symptoms were related to my Thyroid disease..

I was thinking. If I have Thyroid disease, and I have many symptoms of an underactive Thyroid, maybe JUST MAYBE its not just a coincidence. I told me G.P. that I was still suffering and he eventually agreed to refer me to a Endocrinologist.

The Endocrinologist was very refreshing telling me he could get my health back to how it was before I started suffering. I was very optimistic. He increased my meds from 175mcg upto 250mcg of Thyroxine. I was feeling better but I wasn’t feeling 100%.

I went back to see him a few times with an A4 page of debilitating symptoms each time. But he said my blood test results were within “normal range”. I now know this as a reference range, not in any way a “normal range”. So my blood tests were apparently “normal”, but my health was still not well.

I asked my GP to help but he said he would only treat with the consent of a specialist. But he wouldn’t give me a second opinion, so my NHS options were over.

I had read some great things on the internet about a drug named Armour and how after Thyroxine had been exhausted people, had tried this medication and became well. I spoke with a few Doctors and pharmacists and they had said they have never heard of it, and my G.P. would not prescribe it unless it was suggested by a specialist. I had told him that NHS doctors are allowed to prescribe it on a named patient basis, but even after giving my G.P. around 10 pages of FACTS to back my reasons for trialing Armour to see if my symptoms would become easier. He would not budge.

So I went in search of a Doctor who was willing to treat me. I had heard many, many great things about DR Skinner, how he had given so many with Thyroid disease their lives back from the crippling disease. He wouldn’t treat on my blood tests alone, he treated on symptoms too not just blood tests.

So I had made up my mind, I will go private and pay for my treatment. After getting a referral from my G.P. I went along and saw Dr Skinner. He was the first Doctor ever to take my condition seriously, he gave me a full examination and told me some new facts I never knew about Thyroid disease. He agreed to try me on a combination of Armour and Thyroxine and sent me on my way.

He kept in regular contact with my G.P. to let him know what his action plan was for me, and what he had started me on.

3 months on and I feel like I did before I had Thyroid disease. After 4 years of suffering, and believe me Thyroid disease does make you suffer. It is not, as the Locum doctor told me an easily managed illness and “at least you will get free prescriptions”.

My G.P. is still not willing to prescribe me Armour even though, I’m feeling better and not draining the NHS of precious money. So I’m buying the Armour myself.

Why then am I not being treated properly and fobbed off even though, Armour works?

I know Armour costs £25 per month per patient, but Thyroxine costs £1 a month per patient. So the NHS are blatantly putting costs over patient well being. Why oh why am I not being treated properly??!! I will never know, but I will continue to fight for proper treatment.

So, what have I learnt from books such as “What the doctors don’t tell you about Hypothyroidism” and websites such as and That doctors shouldn’t just go by blood tests alone, they shouldn’t rule out other medications that are available, if Thyroxine isn’t working. They should, go by symptoms as well. They should take patients concerns and symptoms seriously, as they are serious to us and not just disregard our symptoms as mental health symptoms.

So I have had a difficult journey over the last 4 years but I have persevered. I was lucky enough to be able to pull enough money together to go private, although, if NHS doctors were trained properly and treated Thyroid patients correctly I wouldn’t have too.

Pull your finger out NHS!