Outpatient cerebral angiography

On the whole my experience was infinitely better than previous visits to QE. What is gratifying is that there appears to be a real response to previous feedback that is reflected in the discussions I have had with staff on this visit.

This visit in itself is worthy of more detailed feedback; first where change is required.

My appointment letter arrived 9 days prior to the procedure date. Whilst I was able to move things around in terms of work and home life many people would not be able to at such short notice.

The information leaflet, which arrived with my appointment letter, is 5 years old. This predates the service reconfiguration at QE and means that the instructions with regard to phone numbers and locations are out of date.

The information leaflet also includes incorrect instructions and missing information. When, as I was instructed to do, I stopped my Aspirin and attempted to contact the department I spent about an hour on the phone being bounced backwards and forwards until I found the right person to talk to. It turns out that I didn’t need to ring in anyway.

There seems to be a failure in the culture at UHB with regard to staff introducing themselves. I’ve raised this in previous stories and it doesn’t get any better.

I met at least 9 members of staff in my short visit this time. Only two of them introduced them selves Bev, who met me to discuss the issues around my previous visit and Joe Radiology SpR who performed the procedure.

In my opinion, introducing your self when meeting someone on the first occasion is basic common decency.

I am disturbed that Nurses Doctors and Radiologists seem to be uncaring enough to think that this isn’t important.

The upside; what went well or should be commended.

All of the staff were professional (save for the introductions) and caring. My journey through Ambulatory care and Angio was efficient and the standard of clinical care was high.

I would like to draw attention to a number of members of staff who I will name where possible (either they introduced themselves or I asked their names).

Bev who made a point of meeting me prior to my procedure to discuss my previous concerns address my new ones (the information leaflet) and inform me of the progress in the actions she had been taking to deal with the issues. Bev has maintained contact since the procedure and is genuinely taking my feedback on board in an effort to improve the patient experience. Thank you Bev.

Joe Radiology SpR, who’s patient explanation, easy going manner and skills eased my anxieties and ensured plain sailing through the procedure. His handling of the minor emergency during the procedure was calm and efficient. Thank you Joe.

Angio Suite staff, whilst I didn’t catch any of their names they were all kind and effective at their respective jobs. As I mentioned before a minor emergency during the procedure was dealt with very calmly and efficiently which made me feel very safe in their hands. To be honest if I didn’t have a little ‘insider knowledge’ I wouldn’t have known there was an emergency at all.

In addition the very careful and deliberate instruction given to the staff nurse from ambulatory care ward as to what and how frequently to monitor post procedure made me feel again that I was in safe hands. As an after thought I’m not sure that the Staff nurse would have known had she not been given this instruction- there might be an education issue there.

Student Nurse Beth and Staff Nurse Sueett. who diligently and carefully followed the pre and post op instructions with care and good humour. I developed some pain post procedure and whilst there was nothing prescribed Sueett ensured that medications were prescribed electronically and remotely and administered them within 20minutes of me asking.


Chemotherapy- Day Unit YPU

The final treatment of my chemotherapy I waited for 5 1/2 hours before being told that although my drugs had been ready, they weren’t brought up and had expired. They then informed me that I would not be able to have chemotherapy on that day. The pharmacy had not sent them up. They told me I would have to have it the next day but I was planning on returning home to see my mum and friends as I only transferred to Birmingham as I am a student.

I was very upset and the nurses were extremely understanding and helpful making sure that the pharmacy stayed open so my drugs could be made. I arrived at the hospital at 11am and left 11. 30pm. At my previous hospital in Kent I was in and out in 2 1/2 hours without fail. I would like to note that at every hospital I have attended it seems to me that the pharmacy are severely understaffed unable to cope with the high volume of patient demand.


Services for epilepsy are complex

I have suffered with epilepsy for 49 years and have not noticed much if any change in the service provided for neurological conditions in all this time.

In relation to GP Consortia, I would like to know how GPs are going to manage long term conditions because they require many apppointments, lots of time, and tests such as EEG, CT scans, ambulatory monitoring and I cannot see that GPs are going to be up to all of this, as well as repeat prescribing all of the time.

Following the event of the FTGA in Manchester, I just feel that the lack of knowledge GP’s have around this area, especially Neurology because it is so complex, just will not be able to be commissioned by GP’s.

I feel that patients will have to be involved in helping set the clinical pathways for these services, and I am willing to assist in this for the Birmingham area. I represent the Heart of England NHS FT, because it is the patients with the experience of everyday living with the condition and also no two people are the same.

Some suggestions for thought:-

Do you feel that patients would help by attending meetings in the areas to try and work out a clinical pathway?

Lack of information on these areas is common in all areas, and such as Birmingham being multi-cultural would require literature available in many languages?

Simple things such as women and the menopause for people with Epilepsy. No information is available, but for people who have been pregnant and can have HRT there is? Why?

Due to all the falls as a child with the 800+ seizures a year I had I now have a degenerative spine which requires chiropractic treatment, not available on the NHS. This treatment along with Reflexology keep me mobile but I require this every fortnight. Not on NHS.

I am pretty well controlled at present but the menopause is having an impact, but it took over 30 years to get me reasonably stabilised.

Just by this story I am sure you can tell that it is not a simple solution to this type of work.


Long delay in cardiac outpatients dept

We attended Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham for a pre-arranged appointment to review recent exercise tolerance tests. The experience was less than pleasant due an acute over booking of 30 patients.

What makes it worse is that no one waiting to see the Dr was advised that there would be severe delays, bearing in mind this was a cardiac unit, the added stress was not beneficial.

What should they have done? Well, simply follow the guidelines set in other hospitals: keep the patient informed after 20 mins post appointment time, not overbook hard-pressed Drs, and finally take responsibilty and not “pass the buck” by not taking ownership where a complaint is made.

This is not a “whingeing ” complaint. My wife and daughter are heath care professionals who are involved in outpatient clinics. In their opinion the QE staff failed quite miserably, myself as a non-healthcare professional just found the 2 hr wait most inconvenient and this in turn dealyed the long journey home.


A True Caring Professional

I visited a doctor in the Imaging Department on 26th August for an injection in my foot. The doctor explained the procedure to me, located the site and injected accordingly. I was expecting to leap into the air but apart from a tiny prick the incident was pain free! At all times The doctor was communicative, attentive and unhurried. We chatted about this and that during the appointment… Please ensure that this review reaches the doctor with my thanks.

Paul Duggins

Paul Duggins

My experience has left me full of admiration

I have recently been in to the QE (last week) for a gallbladder op and wanted to say how excellent both care and service was. From admission, to theatre and discharge I could not fault the care and attention. Everyone was so friendly and put me at ease.

As a medic myself I know the pressures the health service is under but we should be proud of what we have! My experience has left me full of admiration. Many many thanks


A recent appointment for cataract treatment.

The appointment was booked for 08: 30 so we arrived at 08: 15 which gave us plenty of time to book in. We were told that my mother was fifth on the list and each operation takes 15 to 20 minutes max. so by our calculation the whole time spent would be no longer than 2 hours. My father, who is 89 years old and not in the best of health was left at home to fend for himself not knowing why we were kept so long. My Mother eventually went down for her op at 12. : 00 midday which was at least 90 minutes later than expected, there was no explanation as to why she was delayed we were just told to complain to the doctors. The staff were made aware on arrival my mother suffers with high blood pressure and was very worried and frightened about the operation and we were assured she would be escorted by a nurse to help during the op and the doctor would be made aware also.

While my Mothers operation was in progress another patient informed me that her appointment was for 09: 15 and she apologised and said she felt embarrassed by the fact she had already had her op before my Mother and was aware of how anxious my mother was.

We were informed by our GP that while we were at the hospital my mother needed a chest x-ray for another unrelated condition so when I asked if due to the delay we could go for the x-ray we were told no as once we checked in we were not allowed to leave the department. If we had known previously we would have had the x-ray first before checking in for the operation. This resulted in us having to return the following morning for the x-ray resulting in more expense to me in parking fees.

By the time we arrived home after the visit we had spent over 5 hours away and this caused unnecessary stress and worry on my father who although we kept him informed he was naturally concerned.

So to conclude why was the appointment made so early when she was fifth on the list of six?

Why did people arrive after my Mother with later appointments for the same op but were seen before her?

When we queried this we were told the Doctor made the decision on who was operated on and in what order even though they were all there for the same op.

Why was the appointment times not kept to?

Were the doctors aware the patients were supposed to be seen in accordance with their appointment times and not in a random order which would involve causing even more stress on those waiting?

Why were we not offered any sort of refreshment or informed of what was going on?

When we tried to complain to the nurse we were told not to complain to them but to the doctor so when my mother did complain she was basically ignored.

Finally to add insult to injury we were charged an extortionate rate for 5 hours parking which had already cost me the loss of a days wages.


Excellent patient service

Twice I have been admitted via A&E for a collapsed Disc. On both occasions I have recieved the best care possible, from the moment of arrival to the operation being carried out to repair the Disc. I have to congratulate Mr Petrik my neurosurgeon, he is very caring, attentive, and has twice done a fabulous job, giving me back a normal life.

I would recommend the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, as I have never had a bad experience there. Too often we here the bad care that staff give ( Deserved I agree ) but I believe we should praise all staff who try to do a good job day in and out, sometimes under stressful conditions.

I was discharged by Mr Petik today, and would like to thank him: )