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.


The birth of my son at South Tyneside Hospital

My son was born in this hospital 2 years ago; I have just discovered this website and felt I had to tell my story.

A week after my son was due my waters broke, I went to the delivery suite and was examined by a midwife, she said my waters had broken and I would be induced within 48 hours to prevent infection to me and the baby. She left the room and came back, said the head midwife didn’t think my waters had broke and to go home and come back on my planned day of induction if I still didn’t go into labour naturally, I never saw the head midwife she didn’t even come into the room I was in.

For a week I had regular contractions and dilated 3 cms, I was made to go in every day for a heart trace of the baby, every time they said I had a sleepy baby as his heart rate kept slowing, a consultant was called each time and said trace looks fine send her home. I would then hear the midwives whispering that they didn’t think the trace looked good.

On planned day of induction I was told there was no bed for me on the delivery suite, was taken to delivery next morning. The midwife I was given tried to break my waters, I told her they had all ready broke but she tried anyway, said oh there is no waters there!

I ended up having an emergency section, during the op the Anaesthetist was arguing with the some of the midwives telling them to shut up, they were also arguing in recovery.

The next morning I was on maternity ward, told to get up and go in shower, I was in agony and was shouted at by a midwife for been in so much pain as apparently she had a section and wasn’t in pain like I was. I was walked to shower then left. I couldn’t bend down to take surgical stockings off so had to call for help, was huffed and puffed at then left again

I was allowed home the next day, a week later after I’d had the staples removed I felt really unwell, I was shaking and my teeth were chattering, my husband said there was an awful smell and liquid was seeping out of my section wound

I was told to go to A&E. The staff on A&E were lovely. A Gynaecologist came to see me, she was also lovely, she touched my wound and it exploded. What seemed like litres and litres of puss went all over her, up the walls and on the floor, she said my abdomen had burst

I was taken back to maternity ward with my son and given 3 bags of blood and intravenous antibiotics. The next day 3 consultants and 2 junior doctors came to see me, they didn’t introduce themselves or say what they were going to do. A midwife was told to get forceps, and they whispered amongst themselves, a midwife was told to lift my stomach up (bit over overhang off pregnancy belly ) a junior doctor proceeded to rip open the part of my wound that had healed, I was offered no pain relief or told what they were doing, I was in absolute agony and screaming at them to stop touching me, they then all left the room

A few hours later a midwife and a auxiliary arrived and told me they needed to get the fluid out of me, this meant the midwife putting both of her hands on my abdomen and pushing as hard as she could, again this was extremely painful and I was crying out and asking her to stop, she didn’t, at this point my husband walked in and asked them what the hell they thought they were doing, she walked out with her head down. He went down to the staff room to ask what was going on but nobody seemed to know

After this my husband wouldn’t leave me and slept in the private room on a chair for a week, another consultant came to see me, said my wound had broken down and you could see my rectal sheath, he said my wound would have to heal from the inside out then it would have to be sown up again, a lovely midwife arranged for me to have a bottle of gas and air brought to me, I used this the 2 times a day the wound was cleaned and packed

A week later the consultant came back and said he would “fix ” me

I was taken into theatre and my wound was cleaned and repaired, I was in theatre for 4 hours

it was the worst experience of my life, the way I was treated was an utter disgrace.


Admission to Royal Preston Hospital Gynae unit

I was admitted for a Gynae operation in June. My husband was not allowed to stay with me.

I saw a nurse straight away and was sent to a toilet to change into a hospital nightie, robe and operation stockings. There was no where to put my clothes and I had to go into the reception area to sit down to put on the stockings. I then had to go into a waiting room with three other ladies (who were strangers) and wait to be called for my operation.

No one came to speak to us other than to take us for our operations, needless to say I was last to go for my operation 7 hours after I’d arrived. There was a television in this waiting room which only had one channel, ITV. I found this process very traumatic and out of order.

Kate Cameron

Myself and my father

I went in for a standard d & c. 3 days later I was still there recovering from a partial hysterectomy – I was 18.

My father had an aorta aneurysm operation. He was an incredibly fit man, 6′ 4″ and still weighed the same as when he was 19. Went into Basildon, taken into ICU. After the op when I visited him, I was horrified to see his feet and legs nearly black. After a lot of complaining, they did put on surgical stockings. Sadly by that time the blot clot that killed him had already formed.

I still carry a card saying that if I am ill or am in an accident do not take me to Basildon Hospital.


Poor care after laparoscopy

I had a surgery in summer 2011 in the Royal United Hospital in Bath. I felt I was hugely neglected by the nurse who prepared me for the operation and was supposed to look after me after the surgery.

First of all the nurse didn’t provide me the surgery stockings, although other patients were wearing them at the same ward. I don’t know why but I also didn’t ask for them, so I went to the surgery without them on.

After the operation I was put on the bed and the nurse hasn’t approached me and came to see me a SINGLE time. I spent there 4 hours after the operation before they discharged me and she hasn’t showed her sight during that time. When the pain became strong I had to call a nurse to give me pain killers. I saw other nurses coming to their patioents regulalrly and checking on them. I don’t know why my case was different.

So I had to ask nurses passing by to give me water, to help me sit down on the bed – it was terrible. And the nurses did help me but were really unhappy about me asking them, not sure either they assumed that I was already looked after or some other reason. The attitude was not friendly at all, thankfully they at least did assist me in my requests.

More than that, when my husband came to collect me I was so poor that I couldn’t properly walk, so I had to lean on my husband and he was almost carrying me, and I heard comments behind my back from the nurses. Some said: “Oh, to that extent” Meaning that I was pretending. I was so outraged but didn’t have energy even to look at the person saying that. I felt really terrible.

I was expecting a feedback form afterwards to tell about my bad experience hoping that they will take that into consideration to improve their attitude but never received one.

And another thing, I also never saw a doctor after a surgery, not sure if it’s normal, so no one ever asked me how I felt, what should happen to me and what to expect. I never ever after the surgery was contacted or asked.

My surgery was not a major one – a laparoscopy, but major enough to feel poorly for about two weeks after it, so I think the attitude should be more serious as well.

Another thing: during the operation the doctor put in a catheter to pump out urine before the operation. I don’t think it was done well because after the operation I couldn’t wee for 8 hours, my bladder didn’t seem to respond at all, which made me panic. I was relieved when after 8 hours I could finally squeeze something out but I really had to work hard.

But the worst thing is that 6 months later I still have to squeeze water. When I came to the doctor’s appointment a month later and complained about discharges I got, he assumed that I got a BV and prescribed me antibiotics without even taking a smear test! The doctor works at the Fertility centre in Bath.

I overall I felt the care service level as really poor both at the Hospital as well as the Fertility centre and I hope it will be reconsidered because I wouldn’t wish to be treated there again.

Kate from Bath

Having a baby at Jessop Wing

I attended hospital for a planned caesarean section and stayed for three nights.

In terms of the caesarean section itself I cannot speak more highly of the theatre team. In particular both myself and my boyfriend found the anaesthetist to be excellent. He talked to us throughout and explained what was happening in a reassuring manner.

The issues started once I was transferred to PACU. Our baby’s cord had been clamped too short and part of his skin had also been clamped. As such the paediatrician had to be called to look at him, which meant he had to be taken away from me for some time whilst the issue was resolved. Given the time in PACU was the only time we had with our baby in a relatively private setting (at least until he was 2 days old) I found this very upsetting.

We were then transferred to Norfolk ward and where women who have just had surgery are placed on a shared bay with three other women and babies in the same position. This arrangement is not at all conducive to either bonding with your newborn baby or recovering from surgery. The sections of the bay around each individual bed are pitifully small. My boyfriend had to spend 12 hours a day for the next two days sat on a small, uncomfortable office chair, crammed into the corner of the room. In addition, my baby’s cot kept being banged by any movement in the bed space next to mine.

There was also no privacy whatsoever. The curtains can only provide a limited amount of privacy, but were constantly being opened and often left open by staff, regardless of what you are doing. This included an occasion where I was using a breast pump and a member of staff left the curtain open. This was during visiting hours and a visitor of one of the women opposite me was blatantly watching me whilst I expressed milk. In addition, the curtains make confidentiality impossible as they cannot allow for any sound proofing. I was incredibly upset at numerous times during my stay and I did not particularly want other people to hear this – yet this was inevitable in the cramped and overcrowded environment I was in.

During the afternoon I suffered from a migraine which hugely affected my vision. Thankfully because of the painkillers I was already on I was not in any pain, but I was hugely distressed that I could not see my baby. In addition I was trying to breastfeed my baby, but because my vision was disturbed I could not see what I was doing. I know from many years experience of having migraines that the only thing that will resolve this loss of vision is for me to sleep. In a shared bay this was impossible. It was the middle of visiting time, so there were a huge number of people around. The fluorescent strip lighting was also incredibly unhelpful. In addition the bay was incredibly hot. Together, the light, noise and heat in the room made it impossible to sleep.

I became very upset that I could not see my baby properly, therefore my boyfriend reported the issue to staff and we asked whether I could be moved to a single room. The response from the member of staff concerned was wholly unsympathetic. She did not seem to understand what the issue was and kept offering pain relief, even though I kept saying that was not the issue. She said it was not possible to move me to a single room, but she did not explain why.

I struggled through the next few hours and eventually my vision returned to normal. Unfortunately at around 7pm I then had a second migraine and my vision was disturbed again. I became even more distressed as again it was impossible for me to get the sleep I needed. Again the response from staff was unhelpful. The member of staff concerned again focused on pain relief, despite my explanation that it was my vision that was the problem and not pain. We asked again about a single room so that I could get some sleep, but we were told that this was not allowed on the first night after a caesarean as they needed to keep a close eye on me. I then asked how I was supposed to sleep and the member of staff misunderstood again and seemed to think I was asking her to take my baby away from me so that I could sleep! I was disgusted and made it very clear to her that I definitely did not want my baby taken away from me, I just needed to be somewhere quieter to sleep. The only concession made was to turn off the strip lighting in the room. Not one member of staff asked about my migraines after this and I noticed on my notes that it had been noted that I’d had a headache (inaccurate, they were migraines) and that I had been very demanding – which I feel is grossly unfair. It was also implied in my notes that the migraines were due to me having a lot of visitors (and therefore by implication my own fault). This simply is not true as the only visitors I had other than my boyfriend were my parents, who only visited after I had had the first migraine.

I also had huge problems trying to establish breastfeeding with my baby and I feel that some of the responses I received from staff on this issue were unhelpful. I also feel that some of the information I was given was inaccurate. During my pre-op appointment I asked whether having a caesarean would affect the initiation of lactation. I was told that it would not make any difference. I was surprised by this as I understood that the hormones released during labour helped to start lactation. I specifically asked if this was the case, to be told it was not and that it was all triggered by skin to skin contact and the baby suckling. What wasn’t explained however was that the opportunity for skin to skin contact would be delayed due to the surgery. Skin to skin contact was something both me and my boyfriend were looking forward to – however this was limited as I was not able to hold my baby until after the surgery was complete and even our time in recovery was interrupted. In addition it was difficult to have skin to skin contact once we returned to Norfolk ward because of the lack of privacy. There was also no opportunity for my boyfriend to have skin to skin contact with our baby because of the lack of space and lack of privacy on the ward.

In addition I soon learned after the birth that there can be a significant delay in lactation commencing after a section. Because I had gestational diabetes I was told that it was essential for my baby to feed within 2 hours of birth. Unfortunately I was only told this approximately 2 hours after he was born – not in advance. We were then faced with a midwife insisting that our baby had to have some formula because he was not able to get any milk from me. This came completely out of the blue for us as we had not been informed of the delay we could expect in me being able to produce milk, or the need for our baby to feed so soon. We were then asked numerous questions about what formula we would prefer, which we did not have any answers to as we had not even considered formula feeding. I found it very upsetting that my baby was being given formula when he was only 2 hours old and that because of the delay in me being able to produce milk, this formula feeding had to continue throughout the first day.

I spent much of the next two days struggling with breastfeeding. The help from staff was inconsistent. It didn’t help that each time I asked for help breastfeeding it was a different member of staff who came and each of them had completely different advice to offer. It was only the day after he was born that I was finally able to produce a few millilitres of colostrum. By this stage my baby was used to having milk poured down his throat from a pipette. I was assured numerous times that this would not affect his ability to breastfeed, however I would disagree with this. Over time my baby latched onto the breast well, but he would not suck. This continued for the first week of my baby’s life – he just expected the milk to flow without him having to do anything, something which he must have learned from being fed through a pipette. This meant that the first week was a very frustrating and emotional experience for me. Breastfeeding was a constant battle and it was clear my baby was not getting enough milk from me, simply because he would not suck. Every midwife I asked for advice informed me my technique was fine, it was just that my baby would not suck. Eventually I dreaded the prospect of feeding my baby and the amount of milk I was producing was hugely affected by the stress of this. I feel overall I should have been provided with better advice in advance about how breastfeeding can be affected by a section and about how important it is for a baby to feed so soon after birth when the mother has had gestational diabetes, so we could have at least prepared for the prospect that we would have to formula feed our baby.

The support I received on my first night in hospital was appallingly bad and contradicted the assertion that I had to remain on a shared bay so that staff could keep an eye on me. Other than the routine obs, the only time a member of staff came near me was when I buzzed for help – both of these could have just have easily been done in a single room, therefore I do not understand why I could not have been moved on that first day when I became ill with migraines.

At around 10pm on the first evening my baby needed feeding. The midwife came to get him out of his cot and assist me with breastfeeding. When it became apparent that he was not sucking she showed me how to hand express – however this failed to produce any milk. She then said that she would leave me to keep trying with my baby and return in 10 minutes to see how we were getting on. 30 minutes passed and I had made no progress with breastfeeding my baby and the midwife had not returned. My baby was increasingly frustrated and I was very upset. In addition, the noise of my baby crying must have been very intrusive for the other women in the room. As the midwife had not returned I rang for help. A second member of staff appeared and I explained I was struggling to breastfeed. Her response frankly astounded me. She offered no help and bluntly stated that I would just have to formula feed him. I would seriously question how this fits with encouraging women to breastfeed their babies. I became very upset and told her that I did not want to feed him formula, I wanted to breastfeed him. The only solution she could offer was to get me a breast pump. She therefore went to fetch one.

Another 30 minutes passed and the second member of staff also did not return. By this stage I had been trying to feed my baby for over an hour with no success and no support. I therefore rang for help again. A third member of staff arrived. I explained to her that the midwife and second member of staff had failed to return as promised. This third member of staff replied by asking what I expected the staff to do about it! I explained to her that if someone said they would return to help then I expected them to do so. She replied that there was nothing they could do because they were understaffed. It was clear there was only three members of staff on duty at night, but I believe this may be the established staffing level at night, because the two subsequent nights had the same number of staff on duty. I therefore question whether this member of staff was being honest with me about being understaffed. I would seriously question however whether three members of staff on a ward full of women who’ve had sections is enough. Surely the other postnatal wards do not run on any fewer staff than this at night, yet Norfolk ward has more dependent patients.

Anyway, this third member of staff did eventually return with a breast pump, however I was still unable to express any milk and the midwife eventually returned to give formula to my baby. Overall I was very upset at the lack of support I received that night, and particularly the blasé attitude shown by staff towards my desire to breastfeed. I noticed that the other women in the bay were formula feeding their babies and were being attended to much quicker that I was whenever they buzzed for formula to be brought to them – each time it was brought to them immediately, whereas I was just left to it, even though the staff knew I was struggling. I can only imagine this was because it was easier to deal with women who are formula feeding.

That night I did not sleep at all. The room was too hot and too noisy. I even had earplugs in, but still failed to get any sleep. I cannot see how anyone can sleep in a shared bay, where there is generally at least one baby crying, or at least one buzzer going off, or at least one member of staff in dealing with a patient. I’d be very interested to know how the hospital feels this environment is at all suitable to people recovering from surgery.

The next day generally the support from staff was better, however there were still some issues occurring that caused me concern. I was assisted in getting up for a shower at around 6am that morning. The staff member who helped me placed a sheet on the bathroom floor and gave me towels to use. She advised me to leave these items on the bathroom floor as she did not want me to bend to pick them up. Needless to say, as this was less than 24 hours after having a baby, the towels and sheet were stained with blood after I had used them. I left them on the floor as instructed only to find that they were then left there for the rest of the morning. Each time I went to this shared bathroom, the towels and sheet with my blood on them were still on the floor. This was unpleasant enough for me, never mind anyone else having to use the bathroom. In addition, there was a jug full of urine left in the corner of the bathroom for much of the day, which was frankly disgusting. Also, there were no sanitary disposal bags in which to put used pads, so they were put in the bin without being wrapped, which meant they all stuck together. As you can imagine this was very unpleasant every time I had to dispose of a pad. I cannot understand why a postnatal ward does not have an adequate supply of sanitary disposal bags. The bathroom was finally cleaned at 1pm that afternoon, however the jug of urine was still there for the duration of the afternoon.

There were also some other incidents that were of concern. We had been asking for our baby to be bathed on the day he was born, but were told because he had a low temperature he would have to wait until the next day. The next morning I asked again only to be told very bluntly that the nursery nurse was very busy and I would have to wait until the end of the day. Less than 10 minutes later the nursery nurse arrived in my bay and one of the ladies opposite me asked if her baby could be bathed. The nursery nurse bathed her baby there and then, which left me upset about why I had been so rudely told my baby would have to wait. I therefore asked the nursery nurse myself and she confirmed she would bathe him. She then got tied up somewhere else, but thankfully another member of staff bathed him for us.

A member of staff also brought a clean pair of stockings for me to wear that day. She told me not to struggle trying to put these on myself and that someone would come and help me put them on. Several hours later I was still waiting and eventually I had to tell a member of staff that I was still waiting. Finally a member of staff came to ask me if I had passed urine into a jug. I informed her I had not and asked if I needed to. She asked me if anyone had asked me to pass urine into a jug and I informed her they had not. Shortly afterwards I was changing my baby’s nappy and found a jug next to his cot. Obviously someone had brought it to my bed but had failed to inform me that they had even brought it, never mind what it was for.

All through the day me and my boyfriend were asking about being moved to a single room. We were consistently told that I would be moved to a room that day as because I’d had my section first the previous day I would be first to be moved to a single room. These promises continued throughout the day to as late as 7pm, after which we heard nothing. It was only when my boyfriend asked when leaving at 9pm that we were informed that a room was not available after all. This news left me distraught, to the point where I could not stop crying and was even on the verge of asking my boyfriend to return so that I could discharge myself and return home immediately.

To make matters worse, a women was moved into the next bed space who was incredibly noisy. She was constantly either on her phone or eating crisps. In addition, the other two women in the bay were watching two different television channels. The noise in the bay was therefore worse than ever. At around 10pm the midwife on duty came to give me my medication and she then spent a considerable amount of time with me trying to calm me down. She was the first person to explain that I had not been given a room because some emergencies had come in, but that I should get a room the next day. I highlighted that I would be going home the next day as I had been told I would only need to be there for 2 nights, however she then informed me that I would not be allowed home the next day because my baby was not feeding properly. Not one other member of staff during the day had informed me of this and it upset me even more that not only would I have to stay in the bay, but I also was now being told I would not be able to go home as expected.

I explained to the midwife that I had felt completely unsupported during the previous night and she promised this would not happen again. I also explained how difficult I was finding the bay environment and that I had been told all day I would be moved to a single room. She spent much of her night shift with me and supported me hugely with trying to feed my baby. She managed to calm me down and encouraged me to try and get some sleep. Unfortunately again I found this impossible because of the level of noise (even with earplugs in) and by 1.30am I had to get up because of backache and have a bath. After my bath I spent much of the rest of the night with the midwife in the patient’s lounge either trying to breastfeed my baby or expressing milk to feed him by pipette. Unfortunately because I was still not producing very much milk, my baby still had to be topped up with formula. The midwife encouraged me to go back to bed to try and get some sleep as she felt my staying awake had become a kind of mania. I went back to bed at 7am and I did manage to fall asleep from the sheer exhaustion of not having had any sleep for 48 hours.

When I woke up just over half an hour later I felt dreadful. I felt weak and nauseous and unable to get out of bed. The senior midwife on duty came in shortly afterwards to give me my medication. I burst into tears because I felt so tired and she acknowledged that I was suffering with exhaustion because I had not slept again. I told her this was to be expected as I could not understand how anyone could sleep in such an environment. She told me that a single room would be ready for me that morning however I highlighted to her that we had been told this several times the day before and a room had not materialised. I told her that I would therefore be going home that day. She informed me that I would end up being readmitted if I went home, but I explained that I simply could not bear to be in the bay any longer and I did not believe I would get a single room after all the promises. She assured me she would sort out a single room for me and thankfully at 10am that morning I was finally moved to a single room.

The difference was like night and day. We finally had the privacy and the space to bond with our baby and I had the peace and quiet I needed to get some desperately needed sleep.

Overall I found my stay in Jessop wing very upsetting. As such I made a formal complaint to the Trust. The complaint was handled very badly. They ignored my initial email, even though it was later proved they had received it. After my second email they stated they would investigate my complaint and arranged to meet with me to discuss the investigation. When I met with the Matron it was clear they had not conducted any investigations. Although they were very apologetic I explained that I wanted assurances that actual changes would be made to ensure others did not have similar experiences.

In particular it had been highlighted to me after my discharge, that if you have a planned caesarean on a Friday then it takes longer to be transferred to a single room. This is because the shared bay onto which new patients are admitted does not need to be vacated until Monday morning and as such I believe that some staff leave the women there all weekend as it makes their jobs easier (rather than transferring women based on their care needs). It was admitted in the meeting that if I had had my baby on Monday – Thursday I would have been moved within 24 hours. The Matron stated that this may have been to another shared bay and she did not accept that patients having their babies on Fridays have to wait longer to be moved to a single room. However the ward manager then admitted that they always try to avoid moving patients from one shared bay to another shared bay.

At the end of the meeting they agreed that they would put together an action plan and they would update me on this after another 2 months. This never happened. I ended up referring my complaint to the health service ombudsman and it was only after they became involved that the Trust then followed up the action plan, which had clearly not been completed.

wheres spot

Surgery and care

I attended the emergency at about 3 am one evening, with severe abdominal pain. There were no other people in the waiting area. I saw the receptionist, and waited, and waited and waited.

The notice screen posted a wait of 3 1/2 hours. I could only assume they had an extremely busy evening and were full and backlogged. I was finally seen some 1. 5 hours later, in the paediatric emergency- no other patients at all in there.

I was moved around to adults within minutes and whilst there were a number of patients, there were at least half of the beds empty. I wondered why the protracted wait, I was clearly in a lot of pain and not seen by a nurse for 1 1/2 hours. I mean there was literally no one even walking by, just the receptionist behind the glass wall. There was no explanation as to what the waiting time might be and more puzzling why, given the screen at 3. 5 hours and the fact the emergency room was completely empty apart from me.

I was later admitted for for extensive surgery after moving through all 3 of the newly created waiting areas, wards, as they are called, to avoid incurring penalties around admission within 4 hours.

This did not bother me as much as I found it entirely ridiculous. Staff spend more time receiving handover, organising the next move and then transferring me than they did actually doing any care or any more than the bare minimal involvement with a patient. I felt especially sorry for the elderly patients I saw who seemed totally confused by constant moving around.

Further, it was the porters who seemed to me to dictate care priorities. I heard several times, nurses putting off attending to patients needs (toilet, pain etc) in order “not to keep porters waiting”. The worst incidence of this was on the ward when one patient was being moved to another ward, had asked for some medication for protracted nausea which they had been struggling with all morning. The nurse replied she did not want to keep the porter waiting and she could get it once on the next ward. The patient replied that the move itself would make it worse and explained that the many times she had been admitted it always took forever and sometimes they didn’t have the required medication on the ward. The nurse seemed to dismiss this concern and said “I am sure they will, we have kept the porter long enough! ” I wonder if this is a genuine fear of reprise from the porter staff, they seemed very nice, and not all hurrying the patients or the staff. I was utterly depressed by the lack of compassion, and care and the dismissive attitude from the nursing staff I came into contact with.

If it were so busy I would understand this, but I heard many hours of unrelated work chat and endured many hours of pain while no one came to see me, or a nursing assistant would, then tell a nurse who would not come, and repeat this many times over.

I was in for four days, I saw a nurse only when the Doctors came around and only to hand me medication.

No one helped me to put on the stockings to prevent clots, no one came to assist me or anyone else in my area out of our of bed or to mobilise, everyone in my room had had extensive surgery. No one encouraged deep breathing and coughing to prevent chest chest infections, apart from one agency nurse.

These are basic but important elements of post surgical care, as indeed is actually caring.

I felt I and other patients I saw were treated as inconveniences, annoying disruptions.

I am a nurse with over 15 years experience and the culture, excuses and poor standards were utterly depressing.

I was discharged with no follow up, despite a pretty big surgery, my wound became infected and I have taken myself to another hospital.


I think Whiston needs to do a lot more for my mum

Earlier this year, my mum went in to Whiston with heart problems. My mum is 81yrs old. She ended up staying in for some months off and on. While she was in Whiston, she started to get a rash. While I was there, I had the feeling that no one looked at this rash. She was moved to different wards. She was put on one ward, and mum told me the staff would not help her put cream on her back as they said she could do it herself.

When I asked why, all I was told was she can do it herself. I asked if they could reach their own back to put cream on but I felt like I was being told off.

My brothers and myself kept asking for help or letting me in early to do it. They still said no. Today my mum still has the rash, and it feels as if no one wants to help. My mum has seen 4 doctors who say they don’t know what to do. This rash my mum has is all over her body, and one doctors wanted her to wear stockings. We went for them and the nurse said they would be of no use to my mum. Now we have a letter saying my mum refused them. My poor mum.

I feel like I can’t not cope anymore and I think Whiston needs to do a lot more for my mum.


Carelessness with my mother-in-law after surgery

My mother in law had a pre planned hip replacement operation at Manchester Royal Infirmary in September 2012. The operation was a complete success and the pain she had sustained for many years has now gone from the hip.

However all is not what it seems. She has diabetes and following the operation the surgical stockings were literally pulled down from her legs without taking due care and attention. This resulted in the skin being torn from the front of her right leg. Now as many will know those with diabetes have to take care of their legs and feet, so you would think that the nursing staff would also know that.

The leg became infected and is still infected 10 weeks later. She cannot walk properly and is in constant pain and housebound. The hip is fine and she would be almost back to normal, if only this act of carelessness had not taken place.

So please all nursing staff, when removing surgical stockings after surgery in the elderly and especially those with diabetes take better care than the staff at the Manchester Royal Infirmary did 10 weeks ago. They don’t realise the suffering that they have caused.


Maternity care – thought the post natal ward was appalling

After a magical delivery I developed a concealed primary post partum haemorrhage due to retained placenta. I went into hypovolaemic shock. For five hours I complained of feeling sick, cold and shaking uncontrollably,I was unable to sit up and I developed blind spots in my vision and I was drifting in and out of consciousness. During this time I wasn’t listened to and I feel two midwives in particular treated me as though I was a pathetic whinger. After an extremely frightening emergency visit to theatre for an evacuation under GA and a 4 unit transfusion, I woke up on HDU unable to breath because I had gone into pulmonary oedema.

I ended up on the critical care unit requiring CPAP.

48 hours later I was transferred to a post natal ward.

It seemed that the midwives sole concern here was breast feeding which I couldn’t do because I had lost my milk supply. I was made to feel like a third class citizen because I wasn’t breastfeeding – even though I wasn’t able to.

My feet were extremely swollen from being immobile whilst I was on CCU and HDU.

I asked for TED stockings 4 times because I recognised I was high risk for DDVT – my request was refused until the fourth request when they were given to me because I was in floods of tears. I was told I really didn’t need them but I could have them to ease my anxiety. I was left overnight (for 12 hours) with no checks on me or the baby in a side room. By this time I was having flashbacks and was petrified to sleep. I was confused and frightened and disorientated from lack of sleep. All I knew was I had to feed and clean my baby.

I later discovered that the ward staff had no idea that I had been back to theatre , required a 4 unit transfusion, experienced pulmonary oedema and been on CCU on CPAP. It had not been handed over.

Further I felt I was also not allowed to see a doctor to discuss my care until my husband threatened to take me home because I was so scared of the lack of care I was receiving on the ward. It was at this time 24 hours after arriving on the post natal ward that my DVT risk assessment was finally done and they realised I was very high risk and needed 6 weeks of TED stockings wear and 5 days of SC clexane.

Even the discharge summary they sent to my GP missed off the fact I had complications and in fact was addressed to a GP 120 miles from where I live.

A year later I am still being treated for post-traumatic stress and I am too scared to have a second child.