A blood clot in my leg (DVT)

What was good:

– after I was re-measured, I was really upset that I could not get help from hospital; but my GP got me access to the correct sized RAL class 2 stockings to help me avoid post thrombosis syndrome.

– my physio returned my telephone call to give me new exercises when I got stressed about my walking not improving.

– Until December 2012, my GP had a superb computer booking system that allowed patients to book online. And view appointments online. It was invaluable throughout the INR testing.

– The convenience and ease in that INR testing could be done through my GP surgery, rather than needing to visit Addenbrookes.

What could have been done better:

– A and E or my GP or CamDoc could have taken my symptoms seriously, and helped me get an earlier (DVT) diagnosis. I was in a lot of pain, for a five-week period. And my leg was swollen and useless for months, possibly as a result of the delay in getting access to warfarin treatment.

– Addenbrookes Thrombosis Treatment Team/Anti-Coagulation Team could have given me access to a DVT Consultant, or someone that could examine my leg, explain my DVT and help advise what was stopping me walking. My leg was swollen, cold, bent, and I could not move my toes.

– Other than the first ten days when I was visiting the TTT and could ask the nurses questions (they just told me that everyone was different, and some people can’t walk, and when I mentioned chest pains and my other leg also being swollen and hurting, they told me it was unlikely I had another clot and failed to help me), I had no access to care/advise during my three months on warfarin and that made the whole process a lot more stressful than it needed to be.

– Addenbrookes could have had a DVT Consultant talk to me, and discuss my treatment, and concerns, before sending out a standard letter to take me off warfarin, without any interaction with me over a period of months.

– My walking got worse after I discontinued warfarin, and I had no contact to seek help, guidance or advice.

– Bupa could have communicated promptly with the Thrombosis Treatment Team to make sure that I got access to the treatment that I needed.

– My GP could have liaised with me regularly, and kindly. Rather than initially shouting at me, then at subsequent appointments watching the clock during appointments, and at another appointment suggesting taking away an MSK referral when the nurse insisted that I see a GP for chest pain.

– My GP could have retained their – superb – online booking system, after the December 2012 computer upgrade.


Treatment delivered with care at a time of great stress

We were on holiday when my mum took ill and we had to call 999.

We cannot thank enough the people who delivered care to our mum so quickly, from the staff in A/E to Ward D56 and then onto City Hospital. Diagnosis was so quick and treatment delivered with such care and compassion at a time of great stress for us as a family.

We are eternally grateful.


Fantastic care in A&E for new diabetes

3 weeks ago I was admitted to a&e, with all I had been told by my doctor was problems with my blood glucose levels.

I was admitted around 10.30am and from the minute that I arrived I was taken care of to such a high standard. From the first nurse I seen on arrival to the various nurses and doctors in a&e they all were fantastic with me.

Special mention must be made of Fraser the diabetes nurse and I think her name was Charlotte who was possibly the staff nurse on a&e they were both a credit to the hospital.

Nothing was too much for them, especially Charlotte (I hope that was her name if not I apologise!) as she was taking the micky out of my accent as I’m from Liverpool originally!

scouser in stockport

Why do you have to see a nurse before you get a referral?

I hurt my shoulder in a fall and I am now waiting to see a specialist at Torbay.

However I have to say that I feel the DART process is an over-bureaucratic waste of my time and the health service’s precious resources.

Why do you have to see a nurse for blood test, body weight check, blood pressure etc before you can even ask for a referral? When you ring up to make an appointment with the specialist the DART team have to process you, why when with choose and book everything was done at the doctors on the day of your diagnosis?

I have not received any correspondence with Torbay as the DART team is based in Newton Abbot and apparently the communication is patchy between them. So I have to turn up at Torbay and hope I have an appointment. What a farce the NHS is becoming.

Mr Angry

Diagnosis of Early-Onset Pre-eclampsia

I was let down by my local hospital’s antenatal and fetal assessment unit by the way they failed to recognise or take seriously enough my symptoms, or take the urgent action required when I presented with pre-eclampsia at 20 weeks gestation, quickly worsening with mine and my baby’s life becoming in danger over a period of around 2 weeks.

It was my first pregnancy, achieved through IVF after trying to conceive for 3 years. My baby already had growth restriction at this point.

Prior to this stage I’d had 3 severe bleeds, threatened miscarriages during my first trimester, and despite this was still labelled ‘low’ risk.

Ultimately my baby boy was stillborn at 25+1 weeks – an event that is sadly associated with pre-eclampsia.

Whilst I was in hospital, having been in for a month; I spent 2 weeks in this hospital and then I was transferred for specialist fetal-renal obstetric care – which was excellent – at a Women’s hospital who are more used to looking after mothers-to be in similar situations to how I was.

I feel that the staff at the first hospital (my local) did not have the awareness that pre-eclampsia can develop even at this early stage. It seemed to me that they refused to take it seriously, and so correct diagnosis and proper treatment/care was delayed until I finally saw an out-of-hours GP at my local hospital, who immediately understood the severity of my condition; my blood pressure had peaked at 170-180/ 100 by then, and proceeded to get me admitted that night.


Breast Clinic care exceeded my expectations

I was referred here by my Doctor. I was expecting to have a mammogram and then have to wait for the results.

I was very relieved when I arrived to be told I would be seen by a consultant, have a mammogram if needed, and then get the results before I went home.

All of the staff in the treatment centre were lovely, very helpful, kept checking on me and apologising for the wait, we were even supplied with coffee.

Thankfully my test was all clear but the nurse still took the time to sit down with me and have a chat. The care and attention that I (and my worried husband) received was much more than I expected and the staff couldn’t have done more for us, they are doing a great job.


The consultants at QMC gatroenterology are amazing

I would like to say that after suffering from a severe bowel condition for 15 years, that left me housebound, I was extremely pleased to finally be given a diagnosis from QMC which now has me on the correct medication and I am able to finally live my life!

If only my GP had been as concerned about my well being. Then I wouldn’t have been fobbed off with the wrong medication for 15 years. Maybe GPs should listen to their patients’ concerns and then cases like mine wouldn’t happen.

The consultants at the QMC Treatment centre are amazing.


Excellent consultation at DRI Chest clinic

I chose to travel by bus to the DRI as I anticipated that parking could be difficult mid-morning, although I would have preferred to have travelled by car.

The standard of consultation in the Chest clinic was excellent – very thorough; questions answered; never felt rushed; full explanation of diagnosis and aftercare given.


Operations for epidydimal cyst and hydrocele

Cyst caused right scrotum to be twice normal size.

After a brief, rough, inspection in mid-2010, I was placed on waiting list. After 18 weeks, with size now x4, referred to Nuffield Hospital in Plymouth. With no advice or information about probable result, I had an operation in December, after which the surgeon said:

1. The operation was OK

2. I would think that cyst had not been removed.

3. Condition might take some months to recover and

4. He did not wish to see me further.

I was horrified to find that my scrotum was now x10! By late January, with no improvement, I saw my GP who diagnosed a hydrocele. Consultant confirmed this, saying that it was a separate episode.

As it occurred immediately after the operation, and in the same location, I feel that cause and effect are undeniable. I was placed on the list again, marked “urgent”. I was now unable to dress, walk or even sit properly.

When asked, the urology department stated that the delay would still be 18 weeks, but the Benenden Health Society arranged for my operation in the Nuffied in April.

I had a consultation, only to find it was with the same surgeon I had seen a month earlier. After the second operation, the size reverted to x6 for about 5 weeks, before reducing to the current x4, which was its size for the follow-up appointment, when I was discharged. I am about to see my GP again to find out what to do next.

My complaints are:

1. No pre-operative advice, which might have prepared me for the result.

2. No follow-up appointment, which would have meant earlier diagnosis.

3. I dispute the statement that the hydrocele was a separate episode – the two conditions seuged with no discernable break.

4. I have waited a further 6 months for any improvement, but would have expected a further follow-up appointment.

(I concede that the fourth item was in reference to private treatment, not the NHS, but it was the same team.)


Lack of kidney cancer treatment

My father has been diagnosed with kidney cancer, he is 83 years old and my mother is 78. I accompanied them on their initial appointment for a test on his prostrate and scan on his kidneys. When they returned home they received a telephone call asking them to attend the hospital again the next day to see the consultant. I live 1 hour away, so phoned the hospital to see if they were getting results of test etc. I was told no, it was just a routine appointment to chat so I didn’t attend.

At the consultation my parents were told of his kidney cancer and some problems with his lung – I think a lot to take in for elderly people. Further tests were booked, which we attended, this time it was a biopsy, although the staff were very kind they released my father 15 minutes after the procedure. Consequently, when we got him to the car he suffered a seizure – very scary – so had to be rushed back to the hospital and spent 6 hours in A&E.

We have since attended another appointment this time we thought to get the results and treatment, how wrong were we, we only saw a nurse, his notes had been lost and she knew nothing about his condition, diagnosis or treatment plan; she sent us for another test. This whole episode began on the 1st March and we are still in the dark as to how far the cancer has spread, if they will offer him treatment or what their plans are for his care.

I feel extremely angry about the delay and the fact that he has been told he has cancer but offered no treatment plan. It seems to me that once you are over 75 you don’t matter anymore and they can fob you off with test after test. I feel like the whole experience has taken its toll on both my parents. Very worrying for all of us.

Needless to say from this experience I do not feel impressed with Princess Alexandra Hospital, Harlow or St Margrets Hospital Epping.