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.


Disappointed by care at A&E

I was at Charing Cross A&E as I have all symptoms for pregnancy.

I explained to the lady at reception that I only need an ultrasound to see if there is a baby inside me or something really wrong was going on with my body. Because although I had so many of the symptoms that pregnant ladies have, I have an implant in my left arm. And I did check myself with a digital pregnancy test couple of days ago. But the lady at reception said “Oh, you shouldn’t really be here, you have to refer to your GP practice.”

I explained to her that in my GP practice they always give you appointments for two weeks after as they seem very busy. Then she said it will take a while, around 2 hours as there were 8 people in front of me. But what happens after is I started counting. I was called at number 11 or 12, not 8 as she said.

An unfriendly, and quite rude doctor presented themselves very quickly. I wish I could put the complaint straight to them (they also treated me few months ago when I had ear infection).

So on that visit today, the doctor only took my blood pressure and that’s it! Nothing else! They said I have to give a urine sample and then let me go out. I thought they would give me an empty sterilised container to do it so, but no, I had to go to reception again and embarrass myself asking for a bottle as the doctor asked me for a urine sample. After I did it, I wasn’t told by anyone where to leave it, why my name is not on the bottle etc. So I had to go to reception again and ask them quietly, because I was embarrassed to hold my own urine there in front of all people.

But they were not quiet, they had to shout or talk really loud so everyone in the waiting room (over 20 people) had to hear what were we talking about. They said I have to wait until someone called me. I sat there and wait for almost 1 hour and then went to ask them again what’s happening. I thought meanwhile they could have taken the sample and read the results rather than wait even more.

I went again and asked when I’ll be taken into consideration to be seen as I’ve been waiting for more than hour and a half. They said I will be in next 1 or 2 people to be called. This didn’t happen. Doctors come out and shout different names, but mine was not amongst them. So I went again and asked what is this nonsense, that I’ve been told I’ll be next and still no one called me. I was very angry at this point, even my friend was very angry and shouted at the person at the reception.

I was really annoyed to wait so long for something so simple which I can even check myself home. I told them I need an ultrascan, just to confirm if I’m pregnant, I have to take my implant out and start being more healthy for the baby, or if it wasn’t a baby, then what is really wrong with my body? This isn’t normal, I can’t lie on my front, I have lower abdomen cramps, they are strong – they come and go, the pain is not always there.

They seem to work very slowly, maybe there is a lack of staff, but they need to change doctors behaviour towards patients. We need just little bit more care and proper attention, not just paracetamol and go home and rest. This has been common experience to me, and most of my friends and family.

So in total I stayed there for almost 3 and a half hours without been seen, ignored by staff and feeling embarrassed holding my own urine. I left. I was disappointed, and I am never going there again.


sensitive care for autistic person

I brought my autistic 19 year old son to the X-Ray Department for an ultrasound today.

He was adamant that he wanted a male sonographer so we asked the receptionist when we arrived.

They apologised that there are not any male sonographers at this clinic.

However, they immediately offered to find a male chaperone and said they would alert the sonographer to my son’s concerns.

He was escorted by a male chaperone to the screening room within 5 minutes of arriving.

Having said on the way to the hospital that he would not go through with the procedure if it was done by a woman, the reassurance and presence of a man in the room, coupled with the sensitivity of all staff to his need for modesty and discretion, enabled the procedure to be completed succesfully.

Thank you for this very prompt and sensitive care of a vulnerable and anxious young man.


why bother with an emergency ward no one…

I was told by my gp that I needed to go to be assessed urgently for suspected appendicitis or problems with unconfirmed ovarian cyst. I waited an hour to be seen to fill in paper work, three hours for bloods to be taken , then a little longer to be seen by surgeon, five hours for ultrasound scan, six hours for pain killers,s five and a half for results of scan, nearly eight for blood results. A total of ten hours in hospital to be treated to then over hear the appauling night staff talking to the surgeon on duty st that time say give me the easy cases I font have time to deal with anything else! The day staff I can find little fault with apart from time they were polite and caring, the night staff where off hand, indiscrest and uncaring! I was eventually discharged without any paperwork as scan unclear and as far as the surgeon on duty in evening was concerned was now my gp’s problem! No treatment offered or given or cause for all my pain and no further effort made I was just sent home to cope in agnony! I was not the only patient discharged in this state! Disgusted is an understatement!


Neglected on Gynae Ward

I was back and forth from Barnet Early Pregnancy Unit for over two weeks for an ectopic pregnancy. Once it was diagnosed, I was given a choice for surgical tube removal or an injection and close monitoring. I was terrified of losing my reproductive parts and having a major surgery so I opted for the medical management and methotrexate injection.

Unfortunatlely it didn’t work and a week later I had a rupture. I walked into Barnet A&E and told them I had an ectopic and believed I had ruptured and was in extreme pain. After waiting 20 minutes my brother arrived at A&E and was shocked I hadn’t been seen straight away! He demanded they assess me and I was admitted to the emergency gynae ward. Even though they knew I had a life threatening diagnosis they left me with internal bleeding on that ward for over 20 hours with a morphine drip waiting for a simple ultrasound!

I kept asking the nurses when I would get the scan and they said when ultrasound team was ready they would call me. They knew I was in pain and kept offering me drugs. They kept me nil by mouth and kept pumping fluilds and morphine into me. When my fiance arrived the next day he was stunned that I hadn’t been seen and threatened to take me to another hospital right away. The ultrasound team then gave me a scan and said none of the nurses has told them about me!

They found I had a ruptured right tube and internal bleeding and was told I need emergency surgery. My fiance was so angry and didn’t trust Barnet with the surgery after the complete mess they had already made, the doctor kept apologising but we were fed up and I was so frightened, so I self discharged and he took me straight to West Middlesex hospital where they successfully performed emergency laproscopic surgery to remove my right tube and everything was resolved within 6 hours. This was my first experience being hospitalised on the NHS as I’ve had private before. I thought this must be how all NHS services are, but West Middlesex was fantastic. They kept trying to ring Barnet to get my records and no one at Barnet would answer the phones!

I am so angry and shocked by the care at Barnet, the gynaecology ward (Willow Ward) is nurse-led and it seems that non of the staff are accountable to anyone. It wasn’t just me, other ladies were being neglected as well. One lady next to me had lost all feeling from the waist down after an epidural for a hsyterectomy. I witnessed a nurse vernally abuse an elderly patient. It was terrifying. The nurses were rude, loud, had foul attitudes and poor team communication. The outpatient EPU care was fantastic but the care on the ward was absolutely shocking, it was like the Francis report and Mid Staffordshire scandal come to life.

Michelle N

Antenatal care

I want to share my story on antenatal care at North Middlesex Hospital (NMH). Unfortunately, I had two late miscarriages there. My experience was mixed; I think NMH has some very good consultants that provide high standard of care and advice. But it is very difficult to get to see a consultant and I felt I was left to deal with midwives who were careless and clueless.

I still don’t understand, why you can not have your scan and midwives appointment on the same date to save you going there twice for example?

You can not go to day unit until 20 weeks and if you have complications you have to go to A&E. I know that some hospitals in London accept patients to day clinics from as early as 14 weeks. I had dreadful experience where midwives day unit wouldn’t accept me as I was 19.5 weeks, even thought my consultant made me an appointment there. The midwife would insist on sending me to A&E and it took 15 min of what I felt was an embarrassing argument to persuade her to call the consultant and confirm that I was in the right place indeed.

I felt that probably 95% of my appointments were at least 30 min late and in one case I had to wait for 2 1/2 hours to be seen. So I would naturally ask the question, why do they give you time slot in the first place? It is different for ultrasound appointments, where the longest I ever waited was 20 min.

I felt that all my appointments with midwives were a waste of my time, they fill in a form, which I think I can easily do myself. I would only recommend the consultant lead care in NMH.


Don’t take referral issues out on the patient!

My appointment was this morning and I had to have x2 investigation, an Ultrasound scan for urology and then a invasive investigation to my bladder health.

From entering the hospital early, every member of staff was polite and helpful, until I actually met the consultant/doctor who was to perform the investigation. They did introduce themselves ( I have forgotten their name, sorry), asked how I was and if I was well. I responded that I was very well. They then proceeded to ask me why I was there, that the referral was wrong and that it should not have been done and that I should not have been referred, and that I didn’t need the flexible cystoscopy performing . They then proceeded to tell me that the results of all my urine tests all proved negative and again that the referral was wrong and not needed.

I then was made to make the decision as to whether to go ahead with the procedure, which I chose to do. The procedure took far less time to do than the doctor had taken in complaining to me that I should not be there. I felt their attitude was very threatening and rude. I would like to think that this type of problem is not dealt with in this way: if there is a problem with the referral system, it should NOT be taken out on the patient. A simple explanation of their concerns could have been made, but not so forcefully that I felt a `fraud` and was wasting their time.

My GP had referred me in good faith, I have NO reason to question their clinical judgement.

I work for the NHS as a band seven district nurse team leader. I would expect any of my patients to complain if any of my team had spoken to them the way I was spoken to this morning.


Hospital missed a broken leg!

I took my son to the doctors as was concerned about his legs. he’s always held them up since he was born.the GP said take him to the hospital as heard a huge click and my son screemed so loud he didnt settle for ages.

as the doctor said i went to QEQM hospital to get it checked out. went to rainbow ward and the doctor said send him to have hip ultrasound for a clicky hip so we did.

it all came back ok but my son was still distressed and they said he will be fine and they will send him to physio, so i thought right ok went home.

he still wasnt happy at all but it seemed to pass so i belived the doctors that he was ok. a few days later my sons leg swelled up. I took him to A&E at QEQM and they said he had a broken leg and it had been done on the day i took him to QEQM but they didnt spot it.

from now on i am going to a diffrent hospital as i dont trust them anymore after that!!!


Partners lack of an explanation of treatments or diagnosis

My partner had lower back and stomach pains and had seen the ‘Go to Doc’ service who provided 3 days worth of antibiotics for urinary infection and advised to see GP.

After some struggling to get in to see her GP came out with painkillers and none the wiser to what the problem could be even though the GP said it could be appendix, ectopic pregnancy or a number of things and advised to seek further help if pain doesn’t clear.

I ended up taking my partner to A&E at 5am in the morning and after bloods took was told it was a urinary infection. She was put on an antibiotic drip and told that should clear it. Minutes later she started shivering and was still in pain. The doctor then gave her some pethidine that eased the pain, sent for an x-ray and said he would keep her in for observation. She was moved to the Medical Assessment Unit and again placed on a drip but 60 hours later and after having ultrasound scan and bloods she still hasn’t been told what is wrong with her or what the treatments are for. And to make matters worse the woman making the beds has told her she’s going to have a transfusion and dialysis.

The nurses say they don’t know what’s happening and the times I’ve phoned for an update has been a joke, I get put through but the phone justs rings for ages with no answer. So as it stands we are left with my partner having no idea what’s wrong, all of us worrying and thinking maybe we should have gone to Manchester Royal Infirmary.

And also she wasn’t asked about her dietry needs, she’s vegetarian and this was only found out after 48 hours. And on a couple of occasions I saw some other patients due medication asking for it then not given any even though the nurses say they will deal with it. I think Tameside medical services in general need to improve their communication with patients as leaving them with no answers is disgraceful.


Pelvic ultrasound scan

Got a next day appointment for ultrasound scan which was fantastic as I was so scared about ovarian problems. Building & grounds very nice … staff pretty good.

Got shown to changing cubicle where I was to change into a gown only to find the previous patients gown still on the bench. Radiogropher quickly removed this. Dr & assistant very nice but bearing in mind my main concern was knowing my ovaries were healthy …. at the end of my scan the Dr said he thought he’d seen my my overies and they looked ok. Not too convincing for my liking.

As you need to have a full bladder for the scan obviously I was desperate for the toilet … I found this a big dissapiontment … bins overflowing with tissue … not what I would expect. Happy to get a fast scan to be reassured all is ok but the overall experience could have been much better. Coffee machine not working, not good when only water allowed for over 4 hours.

Anyway I must stop complaining because I am so happy that all is well & I got to find that out within 24 hrs.