Care and compassion shown to my father

I would just like to express my thanks for the care and compassion shown to my father on a recent trip to the QEII in Welwyn Garden City. Following a cardiac episode he was seen by he GP who referred him to the QEII. He has long standing chronic issues, as well as cancer.

He was triaged promptly and the medical and nursing staff were professional and supportive at all times during his whole stay. The young Irish nurse in the Clinical Decsion Unit was lovely and the young doctors and registrar treated my father with dignity and respect. They took time to explain what they were doing and kept us informed.

He is a colourful character and can be quite loud as he is deaf and has lost his hearing aid. Everyone took the time to listen to him and share a few words and support.

The only thing which was slightly jarring note was the radio which was on in the background until I turned if off. I was not clear who it was for and as my father is hard of hearing this made some communication difficult.

This is the third time the QEII have supported and saved my fathers life he is very thankful for thier continuing support and kindness. He hopes he won’t see them again anytime soon!

Please pass these comments to the whole team and our thanks for all the work they do to support people such as my father.

Thankful relative

Told heart rate was normal when having a heart attack

My story of being told my Atrial Fibrillation was harmless and then being told that my heart rate was normal when I was having a heart attack. Then being told by another hospital that I had not had a heart attack. My extreme chest pain being ignored. Being asked why was I playing the system by a nurse. Then being disbelieved when I found an alternative medication that actually worked.

I have suffered from Atrial Fibrillation for most of my adult life and was constantly told by my GP that it was harmless. But one day on the golf course last year my AF went out of control. I drove myself to the nearest hospital and presented myself at the A&E where I was told my heart rate was normal. I insisted (being quite ill) and the nurse agreed to do an ECG. This showed my heart rate to be 215. So much for the accuracy of the heart rate monitor she used on me the first time. The nurse called in the resuss team by computer link and the next thing I was told I would shortly have a feeling of impending doom as a doctor unloaded a syringe of unknown fluid into my arm which was apparently designed to stop my heart for a moment. The nurse leaned over me and whispered “You were right to come in to the hospital”. They took several hours trying to reduce my heart rate and I spent 5 days in the cardiac ward. I was told that I had had a Myocardial Infarction after tests had shown that damage had occurred.

I was allowed to shower before going home and I felt very ill from the physical exertion just from having a shower. This I was told was totally normal for heart attack patients.

This was not my local hospital so when I returned home I switched to my own hospital for tests. This hospital decided that I had not had a heart attack at all and I was fine. Despite the fact that I could hardly climb the stairs at home. They took me off of the drugs and one week later I was back in A&E at my local hospital having been taken there by Emergency Ambulance. This happened about 5 times in all and a 5 day stay in the cardiac ward was the highlight. During that time I had extreme chest pains which lasted from midnight to dawn and I had to sit in a chair all night with oxygen. According to the specialists I saw I was quite healthy. A nurse even asked me why I was playing the system. (As if I would have put my health at risk by being in hospital other than for a genuine reason)

I finally decided to try to work out what was happening for myself and realised by a process of elimination that while I was in hospital I was being injected with Heparin but when they sent me home that was the only drug I was not on. I asked my specialist to be put on heparin and he agreed but only for a couple of months. After a few adjustments to the dose I was feeling much better. Then after a couple of months my specialist wanted to take me off of the heparin because he could not find anything wrong with me. I managed to persuade him to keep me on heparin but 3 days before Christmas his secretary told me that I could no longer have any more heparin and that was final. In my opinion the heparin was keeping me out of hospital. I didn’t want to die so I phoned the police and they said they wouldn’t do anything because it was a health matter. So I wrote a letter to the chief executive of the local heath trust and within hours I was told I could be prescribed heparin by my local GP no problem.

I could not stay on heparin for much longer due to possible side effects but luckily for me by chance I found an alternative form of blood thinning pill.

I now feel fitter than any time in the last 20 years and I have had very few AF attacks and none for the last 3 months. All my other symptoms have gone and I can play golf better than before. I have to be careful not to suddenly stress my heart but apart from that so far I am doing fine on my self prescribed alternative to Heparin.

I must continue with the pills because having missed a dose or two I found my symptoms coming back again. I am having trouble convincing the medics that it actually works but I am from a very technical background where results are everything. I may be making some progress convincing them but there is huge resistance to new ideas in the NHS. There are many theories from doctors as to why what I am taking cannot work but the results show that for me it really does work. I would not be paying 90 pounds a month if it did not work and all my friends know I am not renowned for spending money unwisely. Results are everything, theories are theories. That is Science.

My work involved diagnosis of technical problems and trouble shooting to the highest level and at one time I was in charge of protecting a major UK University’s computers from attack by computer viruses. There were 60,000 different viruses at the time. There are now around 300,000 computer viruses at large so I am glad I do not have to do that anymore! I also designed an immune system for data disks. If you don’t think data disks can be given an immune system then think again. So there was a striking similarity between my old job and what the NHS does.


Cardiac Rehab

I would like to express my personal thanks and gratitude to all the staff involved in my mother’s care following a heart attack.

Special mention should be given to doctors and staff at A&E and the Coronary Care Unit at Whiston Hospital who provided outstanding service.

She is now taking part in cardiac rehab at the Fingerpost Park Health Centre and has nothing but praise for all the cardiac nurses, trainers and staff. This is a wonderful service, provided by caring, dedicated staff who give patients and relatives peace of mind that the best possible care is given. Thank you Halton and St Helens PCT.


The care could have been better

The nursing care was ok. It could of been better, but the staff are under so much pressure due to a lack of qualified staff.

On one ward the main nurse appeared to do nothing to help patients. When asked for something she would put the work onto other staff. For exp. one patient had a drip alarm sounding. She walked passed it loads of times, I felt it was getting on her nerves. But would she turn it off. No. But she told another member of staff to do it.

That poor girl was working so hard. But when it went off again the nurse went to find the girl to get her to turn it off. It would of been quicker to do it herself. The male nurse was fantastic. He always had time for his patients.

On short stay cardiac ward they were good. Only problem was 24 patients and only 2 qualified nurses. Meaning each one had to care for 12 patients. This is not good for the nurses. I don’t mind who reads this.


An example of why the NHS is a National Treasure

I attended A&E after having chest pains – I was Triaged almost immediately and then taken round to Major treatments quickly.

The Staff Nurse was polite, professional – working quickly explaining what they were doing and was exceptionally proactive (Doing a second ECG as they knew that the Doctor would ask for one, saving valuable time)

The Treating Doctor explained everything – from what they were looking for from the tests they were doing, and the other possible causes of the pain.

In the end the tests showed that I thankfully hadn’t suffered a Cardiac Episode ๐Ÿ™‚

Thank you to the entire team at QA – You do a fantastic job, under often trying circumstances.

Mark W

Long term aftercare could be better

I had a bone marrow transplant and I attend the haematology department at Nottingham City. It has always been fantastic; my only criticism is some of the new staff’s attitudes. Previously you were able to meet people in a similar situation at the clinic, you can talk about your experiences but now you only turn up when your appointment is and I feel I have lost that support network. I understand there is the risk of infection in the haematology department but there is a risk of infection anywhere in the hospital and I feel this long term aftercare could be better; I used to find it helpful to talk to people with similar experiences. Staff are often rude if I turn up a bit early for my appointment. I was in hospital for a long time and I got to know a lot of the old staff but now I feel and I am not even shown at bit of common courtesy by some of the newer members of staff.

I had recently been having MRI and CT scans and they have been very prompt. It seems that there are long waiting times at hospitals but once you are in the system and have a consultant or two you are treated very quickly. Apart from then neurology department, I am seen once every six months but when I was worse and needed to be seen more frequently I still had to wait 3 or 4 months for an appointment.

With regard to my prescription there is sometimes there is a long wait and my tablets to take out and previously I have had to wait over 5 hours after I was discharged for my tablets, I went home and then came back for them.

The eye clinic at City are very thorough and good, and the cardiac team were very quick.

When I visit Queen’s hospital I find it very expensive to park and I do not like Patient Line (where patients pay to watch T.V and make phone calls). I was in hospital with leukaemia for 12 months at when you have to pay £18 this can be very expensive . Its not fair for sick people out of work or on a pension to have to pay to say night to their loved ones last thing at night. Its making money out of the sick. You pay your T.V. licence at home, in the end I brought my own portable T.V. in.

Also I think the alcohol hand sanitisers should be in the entrance as you walk into the hospital, not on reception or at the entrance to wards because people used hand rails, drinks machines etc outside the wards.