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.


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

Extremely impressed with my mother’s care

My parents were staying with us over the Christmas period and unfortunately my mother (79 years of age) collapsed whilst getting up from the evening meal on January 2nd. Although she remained alert and ‘compos mentis’ at all times it was clear that something was not right.

We initially rang the out of hours service through our surgery who advised us that she should go straight to A&E and actually called the ambulance for us.

To put things into context, I have to explain that my parents and I were very anxious to avoid going into hospital at all costs, driven by a series of past experiences with the NHS which eventually culminated in the loss of my brother at the relatively young age of 33. I hasten to add that this was not at East Surrey Hospital. My mother went off with a great deal of trepidation which I too shared. All I could think was – if so much lack of compassion (not to mention lack of cohesive and continuity of care) was shown to an intelligent vibrant 33 year old what on earth would happen to my elderly frail mother in this strapped for cash system!

We could not have been more mistaken – from the moment my mother arrived at A&E she was dealt with in the most courteous and professional manner imaginable – no patronizing, just efficient professionalism. The unit was incredibly busy, added to which they were trying to deal with the Noro Virus. All who came into contact with Mum were amazing but I want to highlight the physician who eventually diagnosed a suspected TIA (mini stroke) and referred Mum to the Acute Medical Unit for further assessment the next day. I believe he was either a registrar or higher whose first name was Benjamin and surname something Up…(I think!). He was very clear, precise and above all sympathetic despite clearly being under a great deal of pressure.

This professionalism continued the next day in the AMU from the receptionist through to the Nurse who took bloods and the Junior Doctor who made the initial assessment. We can’t put into words how impressed, and frankly blown away we were by the efficiency of the Unit.

But special mention has to be made of Dr Natalie Powell, the Consultant who reviewed all the scans and history and set up a plan going forward for my Mother including organizing a further MRI of the brain. She was awesome in her professional and calm manner imparting what actually is not easy news to a fragile elderly lady and her family – she showed so much warmth and compassion and imparted total confidence, that Mum felt she was getting the very best treatment.

I am eternally grateful and all I can say is that our faith in the NHS and to be honest in humanity has been somewhat restored. Thank you East Surrey.


A&E and Acute Medical Unit

My Mother (79) was admitted to A&E on Monday night with symptoms of a TIA; she has a history of stroke and atrial fibrillation. She is in full control of her drugs which include Warfarin and is monitored closely.

Fortunately, when we arrived at 1. 00 am the department was not too busy and she received lots of attentive care, with many professionals asking for her story. Unfortunately, no bed could be found straight away but eventually she was transferred to a 6-bedded unit (an off-shoot of A&E I believe) where she also received excellent care. She was discharged during that afternoon and was asked to return the following morning at 8. 30 for the TIA clinic.

During our day in AMU, which started with blood tests and a consultation with a junior doctor, Mum was given a CT scan, an ultrasound scan and an MIR scan. The very kind junior doctor also came to find us in the scanning department to let us know that the Consultant was available to see to discuss her treatment and we were given lots of information on her condition, and an alternative protocol to prevent a repeat TIA. Clearly, Mum’s condition was unstable so devoting a whole day to get a complete picture and new treatment was most gratifying and prevented us worrying over several weeks, between appointments.

Without exception, everyone we came into contact with during the day, in every department, (including the Pharmacy and Costa’s! ! ) couldn’t have been more helpful or kind. Thank you.


One night in Rotherham hospital for a TIA

I was in Rotherham Hospital for 1 night in March after having a TIA (transient ischaemic attack). At first I was put on a ladies ward but was moved after my wife objected – that was a bit of a laugh!

I was let out the next day as I was going on holiday not long after and they said they could deal with everything when I get back.

I found the whole experience very good.


A TIA in Carlisle

Two months ago Anne had a TIA: one minute she was typing something OK, then she was typing gobbldygook. Took her to our excellent GP who examined her carefully and agreed that this was an emergency that should be investigated forthwith, arranging immediate admission to Carlisle Infirmary.

The medical unit that had agreed to take her didn’t have a bed at that time (1730 hours)so she was kept in A&E. A specialist registrar from the unit came down at 2030 (A&E staff had monitored her carefully while we were waiting).

The registrar took a careful history, examined her thoroughly and set up basic investigations such as ECG and then arranged for a MRI scan. The radiographer had to come in to do this, but the radiologist could read the scan from his home in Penrith, 26 miles away!

The registrar stayed on the case long after he was off duty because, it being his birthday next day, he was going to have a day off. he waited til all the results were in and Anne was admitted to his medical ward. By this time her difficulty speaking had cleared.

She was seen by the consultant next morning and discharged. Both the registrar and the consultant were excellent communicators, courteously explaining everything and respecting Anne’s dignity. A good experience.


Appointments promised, still waiting.

I recently suffered what appears to have been a T. I. A. and for half an hour lost all my right side of the field of vision.

I visited my local GP surgery the following day.

My GP contacted the East Surrey Hospital and told me to visit Limpsfield Ward later the same day.

I visited the ward and after waiting for some time, I was seen by an opthalmologist. She checked my eyes very thoroughly but did not have the equipment to check for blind spots.

The doctor told me I would be contacted a few days later with appointments for the other eyes tests and a scan on my neck.

Despite many phone calls the the hospital and further visits to the GP surgery, I still await these very necessary tests nearly two weeks later.

According to the NHS website a TIA is treated as a medical emergency, so why do they not seem to be bothering to arrange these other tests I need?


4 month wait for brain scan at Royal Preston Hospital

My husband went to the doctor with a suspected TIA (a mini stroke) at the beginning of August 2006. His doctor sent sent him to the fast track TIA service to see a stroke specialist, but the appointment took 2 weeks.

He had the appointment and the specialist recommended he have a brain scan but we were then told there is 4 month waiting list for this in Preston. I think this is terrible.

I was reading Stroke News (page 13) and found an article reporting that the Public Accounts Committee report says that “a brain scan is vital following a stroke”, so why does it take 4 months to be seen? This makes me think that a suspected stroke patient is not being given the proper treatment.

I wonder if the hospital could reply here on Patient Opinion so that others in the same situation can find out what’s happening.

_Patient Opinion has forwarded this comment to Preston Royal Hospital to see if they wish to respond. _



A couple of weeks ago I was referred to the TIA clinic having had 2 occurrences of mini stroke symptoms plus high blood pressure. I am a 48 year old healthy career woman who has never been ill. All this came as a massive shock. I was referred to a consultant at the TIA clinic. On arrival I was sent for an ECG – I didn’t wait – after this I was sent to a room to be weighed and have my blood pressure taken as well as complete a questionnaire by 2 lovely nurses who could see I was stressed and tried to calm me. After this I was sent to clinic 1 to sit and wait for for the consultant. Only I didn’t sit and wait, they came straight away! This amazing person made me feel at ease. They were exceptionally kind and had a welcoming smile. After spending a considerable time answering questions and going through several tests the consultant delivered their diagnosis. An absolute expert in their field. After spending 1 hour with them I felt so much better, they gave me a list of what they wanted me to do / I have done them and continue to do so. The consultant gave me their direct line and told me to call anytime, they also gave me an open appointment

This person is special. An absolute asset to the NHS and to any hospital that is lucky enough to have them.

They have a reputation as the consultant everyone wants to see. The nurses told me that. I was lucky – they are my Consultant. I would like to thank them and the NHS for the fantastic care and service I received.

Thank you. Lisa Whitfield.

Lisa Whitfield

My husbands fantastic cancer care

My husband was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer nearly 4 years ago. He underwent firstly, hormone treatment, tablets then injections to shrink the cancer and then had seven weeks of radio therapy. He has regular checkups ever since, and care for him has been completely wonderful especially by Dr Rogers at RBH in Reading.

He had a period of rectal bleeding caused by the radio therapy and was treated with great care and immediacy and to date is very fit and well. His annual checkup is next month with Dr Rogers and we are hoping that the results will be the same as last year, i.e. on examination the prostate had shrunk to the extent that he couldn’t even find it!

About three months ago my husband had developed a very small pre-cancerous “mark” on his forehead and at the same time he had a rather large black sebhoreic wart in his hairline discovered by his hairdresser. He was given an appointment at Dermatology within three days, was seen by the skin specialist who simply scraped away the large wart and “froze” the pre-cancerous patch, and we were checked into the clinic, seen by the specialist and treatment given all within 30 minutes. I am only sorry I cannot remember the female doctor we saw, but my husband’s treatment again was outstanding.

He suffered a TIA some eight or nine years ago and due to immediate treatment and a weeks stay at Darenth Hospital in Kent, we were visiting relatives at the time, he responded so well and has fortunately had no other problems in that area. He was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes last year, once again his treatment this time by our local surgery, Mortimer Surgery, by Drs Miller, French and Strang, has been outstanding with regular checkups and care and advice whenever needed. We really cannot fault in any way the NHS treatment in our area in Berkshire, especially with my husband’s medical history.

I only have one problem with the RBH and that is with the Eye Clinic, where I have had to attend fairly regularly over the past two and a half years, with appointments being made and then cancelled at the last minute.

But mainly my problem has been with the reception staff there who I have experienced, I am sorry to say, treat their patients who wait patiently in one queue only to often be told that they are standing in the wrong queue and to move to the next one (Maybe only two feet away). I feel elderly patients need extra care, understanding and above all respect.

Having made complaints about this and other matters concerned with this particular clinic, I have been contacted personally by telephone and apologies and explanations made! I have been told that on my next appointment I should make myself known to this person and she will talk to me face to face with an apology.

I am due for extensive spinal surgery in August under Mr. R Marshall’s care, and without the caring and helpful input of his personal secretary, I might still have been waiting even for an assessment appointment.

I raise my hat (if I had one!) to the NHS treatment both at RBH and the West Berkshire Community Hospital in Thatcham near Newbury where we have been treated admirably.