Very caring staff, but could possibly have been clearer about my father’s prognosis

My father was recently admitted to St James’s, having been transferred there from his nursing home. He had lost a lot of weight, was weak and dehydrated. He was swiftly moved to ward 16 where he seemed to be very well looked after.

When my father’s condition deteriorated, the family was contacted so someone could be with him as he neared his end. The nurse who spoke to me on the phone was very kind and caring but she only described symptoms and the hospital’s actions rather than being clear about the fact that he was unlikely to survive more than a couple of hours. Fortunately my job has put me in a position where I speak with senior nurses regularly, including about issues like this – so I understood what to expect when I got the the hospital. I am concerned that someone who has less experience of communicating with hospitals might not have properly understood the severity of Dad’s situation.

Unfortunately I had a long and slow drive to get to the hospital (Manchester to Leeds in rush-hour traffic) and Dad had died before I was able to get to him (other family members had got there more quickly). Because of my knowledge, I was prepared for the sad news when I did arrive and again, the nursing staff were very caring and keen to ensure that I was OK. I am concerned that someone who did not understand the implications of the symptoms as described (and actions taken) might have had a very difficult shock when they arrived.

I believe that the hospital I work with most closely through my job did some research with relatives about end of life care and the strong message from this was that if people are told things like ‘He’s very ill and we’ve had to move him onto x course of treatment’ they tend to assume that there’s still a strong chance of recovery whereas if they were told that the person was not expected to recover and may only last a few more hours, this helped the relatives to prepare for the death. I wonder if this is something that has been considered at St James’s.


Maternity ward

Maternity ward! Delivery ward! Assessment ward!

I was admited for induction after being 14days overdue, the midwives, health care ward staff, doctors were very caring, excellent! As a new 1time mommy i was scared but the support and care i got from the midwives on this ward was excellent, it showed how much the midwives enjoy what they are doing! The food and cleaning excellent! They was 1 midwife that stood out from everyone they were really nice to me, supported me. They even came to look.for me and to.check up on me and the baby whn i got moved upstairs on after delivery ward! I would 100% come back to give birth here again!

Rudo Mapfumo

Never had any problem with the NHS

Dear NHS, just to say I had the best treatment at St James’ Hospital. I had skin cancer of the nose and had skin grafts, the doctors and nurses gave me the best treatment throughout. I had a five and a half hour operation first and a one and a half hour the next day. They helped me very much and I will always be deeply grateful. I had my operations 6 years ago and after the operation told me I was clear of cancer, and will always be deeply grateful. I have never had any problem with the NHS.


Child eye operation waiting times

my 8yr old son has a cyst on his eyelid since september 2011. We finally got refered in december , the cyst ruptured and he has had 4 courses of antibioctics in the last 5 months. He is left with an unsightly sized lump that constantly scabs and regrows.

He has had a consultation in jan 2012 and is waiting for removal still. He is days away from breeching 18weeks and have been told probably 20 weeks, which i also think wont happen as i would like to to think i would of had an admission date by now if its going to happen in 2weeks time??

Preassement appointments seem to have been messed up.

Staff communication between departments is shocking in my experience.

No one seems to have looked into alternitive options for treatment we feel like we are just expected to wait as long as it takes.


Crisis team in leeds

Last month the staff at my home rang the police because I had threatened to OD and the police took me to A&E. I waited about 4 hrs then I saw the crisis team because the nurses called them. They gave me their number to ring when I feel down and before and after I self harm. Then we went home.

I’ve rung the crisis team a lot over the the past 2 months asking for help but all they do is call an ambulance so that I spend 4 hrs alone with my thoughts and free to continue hurting myself. The A&E department now keep calling security to search me, stop me from leaving to go for a smoke and force me to go back into my cubicle. Some of the security and nurses have threatened me that if I leave the hospital they will call the police and they’ll force me to go back. I walked out of the hospital late last month in the early hours of the morning and they did nothing.

Crisis team in Leeds is not helping me – they keep calling ambulance and police who come to my room which isn’t only now upsetting me but they are keeping staff awake. Now I’m getting blamed for being the one who puts myself in hospital by ringing the crisis team even though they actually ring the emergency services and now thanks to them I’m probably at risk of getting sectioned.

I’ve got Aspergers too so none of this is helping. I have now deleted the crisis team number from my phone because they are more bother than worth it.


Waiting months for hysteroscopy

My Doctor requested for hysteroscopy in Nov. Then he requested to another specialist, then he requested to another doctor. Finally i got appointment just to see my face, then he fill form and send my request in Jan, and i got pre-operative appointment in Feb.

Then they said sorry, we are too busy and don’t have any date for operation. Is it fair? Now April, no date. Also they said hope you will get seen after 2-3 month time. I am so upset.

Poor lady who want to became MUM

Visit to accident and emergency

I visited a & e on recently, with an injured thumb. Thinking that I would have a long wait, I took a book and resigned myself to a night at the hospital.

I was pleasantly suprised, as I was seen by reception, assessment staff and x-ray department very quickly and everyone i spoke to evidenced their excellent clinical care.

I was at the hospital for less than an hour and a half and I would like to express my thanks to the staff for their prompt and caring service.

Cyclist from Leeds

Catarct operations at St James Hospital Leeds

My 81 year old mother has recently had two catarct operations performed as an out-patient by one of the consultant eye surgeons at Jimmies. The staff in the unit were very professional, thorough and caring and right from the start my mother was made to feel at ease . The operations were a complete success and regaining her eyesight has given her the ability and confidence she lacked to continue to lead an independent life. Thank you so much Mr Backhouse, and thanks also to your team, from me and my mum.


Trying to access help for a worsening mental health problem

Not a good experience and one that has left me feeling there is no help out there. In June 2012 my GP made a referral to CMHT and it would take a max of 2 weeks for an appointment. It actually took them 15 weeks and lots of phone calls from me and my doctor. I have since found out that since the date of the referral, my case was lost, re-referred, send from CMHT to PCT, back from PCT to CMHT, then CMHT cancelled the case (I am told that this is procedure, if nothing has happened on a case for ten weeks). After much chasing up, my doctors re-referred me again and I received a letter in late Sept, advising of an appointment at 10 am on three days later at Millside Community Mental Health. Leeds. On that date, I arrived in time. The person I was due to see arrived at 10. 15 and told me they thought the appointment was later. They told me they were going to find a room and at 10.45 I finally had an appointment, although they told me that they had not read my notes.

My most major of my concerns is around my eating disorder; this person told me that they didn’t know anything about eating disorders. They said that they didn’t know how CMHT could help and that if I was Bipolar or Schizophrenic it would be “simply a case of changing your meds”. They could offer me help if I needed “help with your shopping or something like that”. Which I don’t. They also told me that ACDS was for people with things like bipolar and schizophrenia (it wasn’t something I wanted anyway). They told me that they would have a meeting and contact me after two weeks, with a decision as to whether they could help, and then gave me a number to call if things got worse.

I in fact rang in early Oct when my anxiety was very high. A few days later was the date that was two weeks after my appointment. When I didn’t hear anything I rang a couple of times to speak to the person I had seen but they never seemed to be there, I heard nothing at all after this. I gave up, assuming they wouldn’t be offering me help.

I have had continuing physical problems, including severe pain, as a result of my eating disorder and have been in hospital twice in early 2012 for this – in Jan and Feb. In early Dec 2012 my pain was again severe and when I went to see my GP she called an ambulance. Such was the pain that morphine had to be administered before I could actually move to the ambulance. I must point out that I have always been honest about this pain and the reasons for it, with medical staff. I don’t really want to go into the details here, but is concerning my physical dependency on laxatives.

At hospital – I arrived at 3.30 pm, at midnight I was still on a trolley. This wasn’t the staff’s fault: there was a shortage of beds and it cannot be helped, however, bearing this in mind, I didn’t actually get to go to sleep in a bed until 1 am. Shortly before I was moved to the ward (so in the middle of the night), a doctor who saw me said I was to have an enema and be sent home. The nurse insisted that neither of these should happen as I was in too much pain. At 3 am that same doctor came to the ward that I had been moved to and insisted that I was woken up to be given an enema. This was painful and produced no result (which I already had told him, as there was nothing in my lower intestines).

The next day I briefly saw a consultant in ward round. He patted my stomach and said, in these words, “There’s poo in there, that’s why it hurts”. He ordered another enema (which, thankfully didn’t happen).

One of his doctors that had been on the ward round later came to see me to ask me about my discharge medication. Incidentally, each time I have been in hospital I have gone without my psychiatric meds for at least 24hrs despite one of them having immediate and horrid withdrawal effects (venlafaxine). He asked me what laxatives I wanted to be prescribed and in what quantity. This upset me, as I have a laxative dependency and am in pain due to this. I became upset and started crying, as I don’t want to be prescribed the things, I want some help I explained and I cried and I begged for help. Something I should not have to do in front of other patients. I even explained how I had tried to get help from CMHT and what had happened and I asked if they could please get me some MH support somehow. I wrote down what he said next, as they depressed me so much. He told me that I don’t understand how difficult it is for one part of the NHS to speak to another part, and that even if he did contact the MH team I needed to understand that, whilst my mental health problems are obviously of great importance to me, they are not a priority for the mental health team: they have more important cases to deal with.

This made me feel awful. I started to question myself as to whether I had made a fuss over nothing, but saw that I could do little else having been in so much pain and that, I had tried to help myself. After some time, the doctor said he would in fact call the mental health team. He came back to me and told me that I did in fact have a CPN (the person I had an appointment with in September), and so the help I was after was in fact available to me.

I rang Millside and tried to speak to my CPN, but they were not there. They said I would get a call back from my CPN, which they did. I was asleep at the time, but got a message on my answer phone saying that they had been my CPN since the assessment but because I hadn’t had any appointments with him, they had discharged me and that if I wanted help I would have to go through the assessment procedure again.

I have not contacted my CPN again. I don’t actually want to speak to them again. To be honest I am too tired and exhausted to go through the assessment procedure again, and I don’t want to be faced with all this again. I don’t want to feel like I am a waste of time. I can prevent further hospital admissions if I continue to use the laxatives, although it has required me to increase the frequency of this as the pain is more and more frequent.

I am writing this not because I want my CPN to reverse the discharge from CMHT, or that I want anything for myself. I am getting to the point when I can’t care. How is it possible for a person with MH problems to stoke up the motivation to help themselves, when someone who is paid to be bothered, doesn’t help? I am writing this because I don’t want anyone else to have to go through this. I would also like to suggest that “not knowing anything about eating disorders” is not an acceptable position for anyone within the MH team to take. If they are not trained on eating disorders, how can they help anyone like me?