Reduced weekend service

My father – who is in the late stages of lung cancer that has spread through his body – was recently admitted to the Carlton/Coleby ward with a suspected respiratory problem.

He has been suffering a lot of pain in recent weeks and was prescribed decently sized doses of strong painkillers, which were just about coping with the pain. Then on admittance to the Carlton/Coleby ward, the pain management team lowered his dosage. He suffered a long drawn out night of high pain on the Friday night of his admittance, continuing through the Saturday morning.

He was clearly suffering when I went to see him Saturday afternoon. We asked the nurse about getting a higher dosage of pain relief, who initially said that this wasn’t possible. After a bit of persistence, it transpired we could call the doctor, who would be able to assess and potentially prescribe a higher dosage. The nurse told us the doctor would be around in “5 – 10 minutes”.

Minutes came and went, while my father continued to suffer – reduced to tears because of the pain. Eventually, over two hours after initially being called, the doctor arrived. After a couple of questions, the doctor was then distracted and disappeared for 10 minutes. After re-appearing and asking a few more questions, she agreed to increase his pain relief medication, although I wasn’t instilled with a high confidence in this assessment. When I left the hospital, almost 3 hours after the initial call to the doctor, he still hadn’t been given his new medication.

During this whole process, it was revealed to us that a “reduced service” runs at the weekends. In this case, from 24 doctors serving up to 168 patients during the week, to just 1 doctor at the weekend. This is obviously a drastic reduction, and is unacceptable. It’s not just a reduced service, it’s pretty much non-existent. My father was essentially forced through hours and hours of pain because the pain management team under-dosed, and there were no doctors available to increase the dosage. Had he been admitted at the start of the week, this would not have been the case.

The nurses, despite some early reticence, were very co-operative once pushed, and were visibly doing a good job on the ward. And despite my lack of confidence in the young doctor, I realise she was in a difficult position being on call to 6 wards, and it wasn’t her fault she was doing this work alone. The problem is obviously with the numbers of doctors available. I would expect a reasonable (maximum) reduction of service to be of the order of 4 doctors per ward to 1 per ward – I. e. a 75% reduction. Instead, they are running at a 96% reduced service for 2 days of the week. I’m not quite sure how this is acceptable, and is particularly unfortunate for those who happen to suffer at the weekend.


Cardiology: Consultant’s bedside manner on one occasion was aggressive

I initially phoned the Ambley Green nurse – these nurses have always been very reassuring and have given me a lot of security for example when I rang a respiratory nurse she was at my house within 20 minutes. She could see I was struggling to breathe and offered to call an ambulance but I opted to ask my son to take me in.

At the hospital I was given a bed straightaway on the Respiratory ward but was transferred to the Cardiology ward. While I was there I had a bad breathing episode, the nurse spent two hours helping me to get my breathing back under control.

I cannot fault the treatment they gave me.

However, the consultant’s bedside manner on one occasion was aggressive and did not talk to me, the patient, but to the other people around me.


Treatment of my disabled son

My Son is 19 years old and profoundly disabled. This is his first hospital admission to an adult ward, as up until now he has always been cared for in paediatrics.

Well all I can say is I’m not surprised people that people experience poor care – because when it comes to my son, the staff who’ve been in contact with him have not seemed to have a clue.

What a shock to the system from paediatrics. I usually have had faith in Southampton General Hospital but not now.

Resuscitation in A&E were fabulous but its been a slow decline from there to acute medical ward. I’ve been on the ward for 2 hours with my son, asked for suction machine over an hour ago but have still not received it.

There are of course a minority of excellent nurses who have shown him compassion, dignity and made me feel like he is worthy human being, but in our experience, they are a minority.


Hard to fault RD&E and Devon Doctors

It is hard to fault my recent experience at the RD&E with my little 3yo boy

It started with a Devon Doctors Call, a prompt visit to the on-call doctor and a quick referral into the paediatric team in the ED.

We were very well care for, my little boy managed most thing, but we did find it a little frustrating that we saw a lot people who all asked the same questions (I gave a potted history at least 5 times). Each time a new person arrived, there was little by way of introduction, as they moved straight into whatever they wanted to know.

We were discharged (shared decision), but ended up back in ED the next morning. After a while we ended up on Bramble Ward for observations. The nurse and medical team there were really great. Made us and my boy feel at ease every step of the way. The discharge felt a little rushed, and the hand over of meds and advice on meds was hard to take in as it was given very quickly.

I was particularly impressed by one nurse, who managed to do a full set of obs (sats, temperature, resp rate, etc. ), while all the time talking about and playing with diggers! Not sure my boy realised. And the Respiratory Nurse was also great.

All in all, despite the repetition and no introductions in the ED, we had, given the circumstances, the best possible experience. thank you care team.


I could not have had better if I had gone privately.

Bowel surgery and respiratory infection.

I was admitted for surgery on Aug 2012. Surgery was not straight forward. Following more surgery I was put on I. C. U for about 3 weeks the H. D. U for months, then 3 weeks on ward B4.

The nursing care throughout was second to none. I could not have had better if I had gone privately.

As you can imagine I was given up a time or two but thanks to wonderful nursing, I am here at nearly 82 years to tell the tale.

God bless nursing staff everywhere.


Mum’s recent stay in hospital

Just wanted to thank all the staff at Leighton Hospital involved in caring so well for my mum who has recently been discharged from Ward 2 (respiratory ward) after a 10 day stay – she has returned home in fine form.

Mum has only positive things to say about the care she received and in particular the time that individuals took to explain things to her. Many thanks on behalf of the whole family.


Basildon Cancelled Appointments

Every single outpatient appointment booked for my husband at this hospital is cancelled to a later date than first given. This applies to various departments, Cardiac, Respiratory, Thyroid clinic.

At times, the due appointment is cancelled more than once. I received a cancellation letter stating that his appointment was cancelled from an earlier cancellation that I had not received. I pointed out that if it hadnt been cancelled again, my husband would have attended his earlier cancelled appointment.

So, what happens next? He turned up at Basildon Cardiac for a follow up to an important scan he’d had and wanted to know the results, and you guessed it, told at the reception desk, sorry cancelled, should have been notified.

I’ve asked receptionist when booking an appointment, she instantly cancels it, hence hopefully it will show as being cancelled and less chance of it being cancelled again. Obviously she would not do this, but once again, just received notification of this appointment being cancelled.

Now as my husband has been put on new drugs to help his heart condition, it’s important for him to be reveiwed when the Doctor said, important to him that is, obviously not for the booking department at this Hospital.

We are totally disgusted at these constant delays!

Frustrated and Angry

Very good care from Leeds General Infirmary

My husband died at the Leeds General Infirmary at the beginning of January this year. While at the hospital, he was taken care of very well by several consultants. He had previously been admitted to the Respiratory Unit where, after 24 hours on Oxygen, he recovered remarkably well, although it was not long later that he passed away in his sleep.

You hear stories of the elderly being neglected in hospital, but we never found this to be the case at LGI. Thank you to all at the hospital.