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.


My son’s post operative chronic pain

My son had a cyst on his spleen drained and removed May last year. 6 weeks later he had awful stomach pains and I took him to A & E. The pains came back about every 6 weeks up until Christmas.

By Christmas he was on eight different tablets but they didn’t know what they were treating him for as nothing had been looked into. On our 7th visit to A & E within 7 months we refused to leave until something was done.

He had a CT scan which showed nothing. We have had some appointments since but no one knows what’s wrong and they are putting it down to post op chronic pain. I am still pushing for answers. I have complained to both The Evalina where he had his op but has now been discharged and our local hospital Tunbridge Wells where all the A & E visits were. We have now got our local MP involved.

Each scan he has seems to get different opinions as to who looks at it so have now arranged for a private scan to see who is right. One said he had a fatty lump on his liver and a haematoma on his spleen, the next 3 months later said there was no lump on his liver but that the cyst had returned on his spleen and they were adamant it isn’t a haematoma.

The surgeon also cut through his bowel during the op so we wondered if the problem was there. Our GP has been great, but the lack of care and compassion at both hospitals has appalled us.

My son is 17 and has spent the last 10 months in bed most of the time, not being able to go to college or have any sort of a social life. We have been banned from A&E even though we have been told he has stones in his appendix.

To turn up with a then 16 year old in pain and get told by a surgeon that its not his problem and that we should return to the Evalina. When I pointed out the pain he was in and then the Evalina was quite a journey away just said it wasn’t their problem and that he would arrange a outpatient appointment with the Evalina which he then never did anyway.

I don’t intend to give up. The operation was supposed to get him out of pain not make him worse.


Colonoscopy doesn’t always reveal bowel cancer

My partner had a colonoscopy and was sent to stepping hill after rectal bleeding. This showed no problems and we felt very fortunate. This story is to encourage patients to not accept no further investigation. He had bowel cancer that was further up than a colonoscopy shows and we did not know this. Nobody including his GP asked him about family history which there is and a scan would have shown a sizeable tumour which had spread upwards in the year following his all clear. If we had known, we would have had a private scan as we have done before and there would be no need for this story. Bottom line is you have to arrange things for yourself. Please don’t rely on hospital diagnosis or GPs. We have lost a special person. Don’t be the next.


My miscarriage experience at Queen’s Hospital, Romford

I started to bleed at over 12 weeks pregnant. I had had fertility treatment (privately). I went to Queens who made me wait in an abandoned office room for over 5 hours before I was seen. The Doctor said all was fine after a very brief examination. I was not allowed a scan even though I asked for one many many times. I had to call King George in Seven Kings to try and get a scan (the two hospitals are aparently linked) and was told I could have one in March. Over a month later. I was allowed to come that afternoon to sit and wait for a scan – but only after begging and crying on the phone. I was sent back to Queens after being told unceremoniously the ‘product is dead’. At Queens I encountered the most unsympathetic, unhelpful people I felt I have ever met in my life.

They constantly referred to my baby as ‘the product’, and I feel they tried to bully me into having the baby removed surgically. I didn’t and in the end I had no idea what was going to happen to me. I didn’t get any emotional care, no advice on what would happen physically, and no advice as to who I should contact if I had any questions. They didn’t even give me a leaflet.

That night I had full on contractions and the baby came. I went to the hospital the next day as I was in so much pain I could hardly walk. The staff member yelled my name and walked away so quickly that I couldn’t follow. I felt I was obviously a massive inconvenience to them all. The whole experience had been so unbelievably awful that we went away to Portsmouth for the weekend. When I got there I realised I was really ill. (I have type 1 diabetes) My blood sugars were so high they wouldn’t register which is a typical sign of infection. I went to the A&E there (Queen Alexandra – I would recommend it to anyone) and the staff were absolutely lovely. The first thing they did was to give me a leaflet from the miscarriage association and tell me what was happening to my body.

They diagnosed me with a serious infection of my uterus (which could have left me infertile had it not been treated). I was admitted and had IV antibiotics and then 4 weeks of oral antibiotics, such was the seriousness of the infection.

I DID write to Queens hospital and had a letter of apology and telling me all the things they had put in place to change what had happened to me.

More recently I had another miscarriage at 7 weeks pregnant and once again went to Queens, reassured that their practice had improved significantly.

Absolutely nothing had changed in my opinion. I thought the treatment was again awful, there was still no information given to me and I still don’t feel as if my emotional needs were even considered.

I am very lucky in that I have my very supportive partner, family and friends and have medical experience as I trained as a nurse but if I hadn’t I can’t even bear to think about how I would have coped.

Extremely Unhappy

Upsetting experience after 1st trimester screening

On a Friday in April 2012, I was really excited to have my first scan on my first baby. This turned to absolute devastation, when I found out that my baby had anencephaly (skull hadn’t formed properly).

Then the nightmare rollercoaster started. From the scan room, we had to wait in the Quiet room for a doctor to explain what exactly all this meant and to weigh our options. He explained that an abortion would be the best option. So we were referred to St Mary’s Ella Gordon unit, who would ring us in an hour.

They rang us to say we had to wait 4 days to see a consultant and then we would have to wait to get an appointment to actually have the abortion, which we wouldn’t be able to have in Portsmouth where we live as QA don’t do abortions if you are 12 weeks or over. We had to travel to Bournemouth.

3 days later went to my doctors, who weren’t informed on anything! Then, a couple of weeks later, midwife got hold of us to say we had missed an appointment.

I am absolutely disgusted and angry at the way we were treated and have lost a lot of faith in all these people that call themselves professionals and still to this day we have had no help to get through this devastation.

Friday 13th

Unhappy with experience of MRI and scan

Firstly the pain release from my injections have been wonderful. Consultant, staff, nurses are all brilliant.

However, I am terrified of small spaces and had to endure 3 MRIs. One I had to refuse due to nerves but everytime I had one, the MRI was lost! And then I had to endure another- it was awful, I cried and couldn’t believe it kept happening.

In the end I had a scan because I could not face another MRI. The operator of the scan told me to undress in the same room. “Take your bra off” whilst others were watching through the window. I was embarrassed and very uncomfortable.

The operator of the scan was Asian and I believe his Asian patients were given cubicles to undress in. I am still thinking of taking this further as I am not happy.


Staff telling jokes about patients in Kingston A&E

I was in A&E with what is now suspected to be diverticulitis. It felt disorganised in the extreme.

I was taken straight through without triage and put directly on a bed because I was in agonising pain. We only saw a nurse an hour and a half after i was given a bed to take blood pressure and pain killers. I had to ask for a urine sample pot because i knew they would eventually require one. Another 30 minutes passed and the same nurse came back to give me a blood test. We didn’t see a doctor for 3 hours (I was crying in pain) and only got one to my bedside because my boyfriend who had had enough, went up and demanded it from the nurses in no uncertain terms. He was so strident we had a doctor there in two minutes.

Some doctors were standing around telling jokes. The one that horrified me the most was that one doctor and one nurse were laughing about a patient because he only had one leg. I was disgusted.

A nurse said ‘I was laughing so hard seeing that stump I had to leave the room.’ A doctor laughing about a patient’s unfortunate physical condition in A&E where they are supposed to take care of you, and there are only curtains for a divide and everyone can hear everything? I just hope that man had been discharged by that point in time. Poor guy. He came into A&E for whatever his problem was and had the doctors and nurses mock and ridicule him.

In the cubicle to my left was a girl who couldn’t have been more than 20 years old who was incredibly ill. She continuously vomited for 2 hours and not one person came to see her other than a nurse to give her bowls to throw up in. She arrived at around the same time we did and as far as I saw no one even took her blood pressure or took a blood or urine sample for the first 2 hours we were there. No one put her on an IV to give her any fluids (she must have been dehydrated).

In the cubicle to my right there was a man who had sever haemorrhoidal problems (there is no privacy because only curtains divide). The doctor spoke little english, it seemed. The poor guy had to describe his symptoms six times before the doctor understood what was going on.

I have been to Kingston A&E before. The first time they were ok (with the exception of giving me antibiotics for an infection with a known resistance, I had to get a private doctor who gave me the appropriate drugs a few days later).



I was given the usual painkillers that did not help at all. They were restricted a bit as I can not take NSAIDS owing to other medication. I was then referred to a physiotherapist. No help there so I was given acupuncture. Weeks of waiting each time.

I was eventually referred to the pain clinic. I waited 16 weeks for this. At no time have I had a scan. I finally had a caudal epidural and an injection.

This has made it considerably worse! The GP put me on morphine to try and control the agonising pain which it did not. The dose has been increased but hardly helping. The side effects are most unpleasant.

I am now waiting another three months for my next appointment, living a life of agony.It is now just one week away from being one year since the start of the sciatica.


Denied funding for arthroscopy

I have been suffering with pain in my left hip for two years now.

I went to see my doctor whom referred me to Calow Royal Hospital Chesterfield, where I had a scan/xray. My doctor told me that they didn’t deal with what was wrong with me so then referred me to Doncaster Royal Infirmary where I saw a specialist who deals with what I’m having at the moment, I had an arthrogram, I had scans etc…

This didn’t help having a steroid injection and was told that they could no longer help me! I cried and a nurse said do not give up, ring your doctor and ask to get a referral. I did this and was again seen by the specialist, he told me he would do the op.

I then got a letter from my doctor telling me the funding was denied. I need this op as I’m in pain, my marriage is suffering, can anyone help me?