My husband’s TIA and my TIA

In July last year my husband suffered a TIA. We went to Southend Hospital A&E and after examination by the Stroke Registrar, he was admitted to the Stroke Unit and monitored overnight. He then took part in a pilot to try out some drugs. He was also monitored further to see what had caused his stroke. It was later discovered that he had a heart murmur. All this time, he was looked after with the greatest of care and continues to do so during his visits to the Warfarin Clinic.

Ten days after my husband had the TIA, I experienced tingling in my left arm. At first I thought I had been lying on it, but when it happened again, we rang for the ambulance. I was taken to A & E. Nothing was found, but they referred me to the Stroke Clinic and I was given an appointment for the following week. I thought I had over-reacted, but they said not to worry. I had a Doppler scan and the consultant said I would not be going home. He showed me the X-Ray of my carotid artery and explained that I was in danger of having a full-blown stroke.

To cut a long story short, I was admitted to hospital, everyone was so kind and took time to explain what they wanted to do and what the operation would entail and what could happen. This happened several times and several people spoke to me about it. The surgical team visited me and explained everything that would happen.

I did have to spend a long time in hospital because the specialist anaesthetists were not available, but during all that time I was really well looked after and was never made to feel a nuisance and I never felt ignored and put in a corner. Every time someone came into the ward they spoke to me, even when they had come to see someone else.

I have to say that everyone on this ward treated me with the utmost care and respect and I think this Unit achieves the standard that any ward or unit would be pleased to attain.

Since then I have had treatment in the Endoscopy Unit and have also found them to be kind and caring.

Both my husband and I think we are lucky to live close to Southend Hospital and we are very grateful to have received such wonderful care.


I really admired the way the staff went about their respective tasks, efficiently and courteously

I was admitted to East Surrey Hospital (Cardiology) for a pacemaker implant having been experiencing periods of dizziness and my 24 hour pulse monitor having shown irregular heart beats and stoppage of pulse overnight for periods of almost four seconds (atrial fibrilation). The procedure was done in September by Dr. Saha and I was discharged at lunchtime on Monday.

The attention I received from the medical staff and others throughout my stay was brilliant and I really admired the way they went about their respective tasks, efficiently and courteously.

Josie Wales

My son’s heart operations

We are from Belfast, Northern Ireland.

We were made to feel at home by all the hospital staff as we had no family with us and were able to talk to someone and were always kept informed for what was happening to our son.

We have been to the hospital 4 times and wish we didn’t have to go, but glad it is there as the staff, nurses and doctors, are fab.

Keep it up and see you soon.

belfast girl

The care our father received in hospital earlier this year

Our 75 year old father was admitted to Grimsby Princess Diana Hospital in January this year with breathing difficulties. 7 days later, after what we felt was a lack of care, and being assaulted by another patient (he was pushed to the ground face down on to his hernia causing bruising to his head and nose), and despite us being told he would be home within a few days, he suffered a heart attack and died less than 24 hours later.

This is now an open complaint case. The ward was put under special measures, which we understand is because of concerns around patient care (though it was explained to us that this was not just due to the care our father received).


Missed diagnosis at Chichester Hospital, great care elsewhere.

My husband had a suspected TIA in December 2011. He underwent various tests including an echocardiogram. Cardiologist wanted to do angiogram but we had no confidence in him so we paid to go privately to have a CT angiogram. On receipt of this report at NHS hospital close to us my husband saw a different consultant. His greeting was “Why are you here? “He didn’t seem to have the vaguest idea as to what was wrong even though he must have seen that my husband had a heart murmur. Had he read the CT report? Anyway he decided that there was nothing to be done.

In July 2012 I dialled 999 and my husband was taken back to this hospital and was diagnosed as having had a heart attack. It was now necessary to have an angiogram performed by a cardiologist. Thankfully this hospital said they no longer performed such procedures and he was transferred to Worthing Hospital. They immediately said he hadn’t had a heart attack and decided to redo all the tests. They diagnosed severe aortic stenosis. It was so severe that he was transferred to Brighton Hospital within a few days where they operated giving him a mechanical aortic valve. The medical care at both Worthing and Brighton was fantastic. They saved my husband’s life and now he is fully recovered.

We looked at our copy of CT report from December 2011 that stated that my husband had aortic stenosis! I am absolutely furious with our local hospital and wonder how many more people have been treated so badly.

Patient Activist

I cannot thank everyone enough

After visiting the hospital for an ECG I was asked to wait on from when I had been admitted. The doctor visited me and said I would be put on Warfrin in order to get my blood sorted. After a few days I was able to go home, and I am visiting the hospital weekly for blood checks. I have been referred to the heart specialist I was under before. Everyone has been very helpful. The food was very good. I cannot thank everyone enough.


I have nothing but praise for ward C4

I was admitted to ward C4 Chesterman wing at the Northern General Hospital for a heart bypass in early June.

All the staff from the lady that served the tea to the sisters in charge were fantastic. Nothing was too much trouble for them and they were very kind and friendly. They had to put up with some very awkward patients but they never lost their tempers under pressure. They are a credit to the hospital and the NHS.

The doctors visited regularly and kept me informed of my progress and treatment. Everything worked very well. When I left I was given full information about what I was to do and how my progress would go.

The cleanliness was spot on and the staff constantly washed their hands after every patient, I was very impressed.

The only fault was the food which although adequate was on many occasions tasteless. Having said that, there were some very good desserts and plenty of choice.

Well done and I have nothing but praise for them.


Good care at QMC Paediatrics

I took my son into the paediatrics department at the Queen’s Medical Centre with a suspected heart murmur. The standard of care he received was good – he was spoken to about each procedure in order to let him know what was going to happen, so he was less frightened about the treatment.

Thank you to all staff who we saw during my son’s stay.


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.


Inadequate meals for someone with Coeliac Disease

I have recently stayed in the Northern General Hospital on Chesterman 1 ward for treatment with my heart and for diarrhea. I am Coeliac gluten free and on two mornings there was no cereal, bread i could eat or anything for breakfast. This made me very angry. For the meals you have to make out a menu for two days in front. I did not get what I ordered, no meal. They did baked potatoes and beans, not very nice.

I felt that when I went into hospital I was treated like I was different, because I had Coeliac, there were no biscuits when tea was brought around either.