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.


Lost personal belongings and staff apathy

My elderly father was admitted to A&E in early December 2012. We brought in some personal items and his medication. His medication and slippers were lost.

He was eventually transferred to Tandridge Ward. He developed the D & V virus. We visited him not knowing that he had this and consequently we were also struck down with the virus. A quick phone call to us could have prevented this. I mentioned this to this to a member of staff who appeared unconcerned and just said that is was a very virulent disease and that I could complain through PALS.

If we had been told we most certainly would not have driven from London to visit my father. I noticed that after about 2 weeks the hospital decided to close wards by putting notices up at the entrance. Not very helpful when you have already had the virus.

At some point after this I discovered that my father’s glasses were missing. I searched everywhere for them and asked staff if they knew what had happened to them. No one could help.

Finally at the beginning of January, my father was going to be transferred to Crawley hospital. I only discovered this whilst making a call to the hospital to speak to my father. They said they were trying to contact me. I then asked if they had found my father’s glasses. They said they had.

When I visited my father in Crwaley hospital (Caravell ward) I discovered that they had given him someone else’s glasses. In order to make progress with his walking he really does need to be able to see. I have tried unsuccessfully to get him new ones but he needs to have a new eye test. The cost of an optician visiting the hospital would cost £50 and the price to replace for a new pair of similar bifocals will cost £130. His towel was also lost.


Listen to me, Respect me, Assess me properly

I have had serious pain and had difficulty walking for over four years.

My first attempt to get help from the GP resulted in them telling me, “You are getting old it comes with age.” The doctor considered that it was depression and prescribed antidepressants. He did not ask my history and I feel did not seem interested in my problems. I did not think I was depressed but did take the medicine. It didn’t improve anything and my pain was still there.

I deteriorated and the pain was worsening. I felt like the doctor looked more earnestly at the screen and rarely at me. He seemed always in a hurry and I felt had no time to listen. I continued for a long time trying to be stoical about the pain. I heard about a sympathetic doctor at our surgery. I made an appointment to see him.

Eventually this doctor listened and sent me for a scan. I had damage to my spine. I had surgery which was successful. The people at the hospital were wonderful. Following this there was a period of two weeks when I had a holiday in Wales and was able to walk three or four days along the gentler parts of the coastal path.

Later I had Physiotherapy and the pain from the exercises was unbearable. I felt like no one listened to me and I was brushed off. My physiotherapist discharged me.

I saw another GP who re-referred me back to the neuron-surgeon.

It was decided to do further surgery on my back. I waited and had a date for surgery. I had two pre op appointments I attended both and then five different admission dates all being cancelled.

To get ready for surgery packing toiletries and pyjamas and getting ready in your mind to only be told it was off, repeatedly was shattering for me.

Eventually we saw the surgeon who was unhappy with the plan for surgery and sent me for another x-ray. This resulted in the very clear evidence that I had severe osteoarthritis the head of the hip bone which had no definition.

Why was there not a proper assessment initially? I feel that if my doctor had time and patience to listen to me instead of rushing and not speaking to me but talking to the screen, then there may have been a different outcome. I am now waiting to see another surgeon to deal with my hip. I understand that my GP surgery met all its targets and is considered first class, but not to me as I think targets have come before people.


Received excellent patient care from the A&E…

A couple of weeks I was hit by another driver after he lost control and it was a relatively high impact. The healthcare team that treated me were fantastic. The paramedics who arrived were very friendly and chatty, and had me laughing on the way to the hospital.

In A&E the doctor who was treating me was wonderful. The doctor was very attentive, warm and friendly, and most importantly I felt they were genuinely interested in me as opposed to me being another patient to get seen to quickly and move on. After I’d had my tests, we were waiting for results, they took so long their shift ended but they came to let me know they were leaving but someone else would take me on, and they were still waiting for the report of the scan. This doctor came back once more to check I was ok before they left, at which point I was having a nose bleed, so they came back again and expressed concern and offered me the choice to stay in overnight for observation just to be safe.

The following morning one of the nurses noticed I had been there for a while with no knowledge of what was happening. This nurse was incredibly bubbly and helpful, and started to chase up the report which still hadn’t materialised.

Overall I felt incredibly well cared for, and these particular staff members stood out for me because they were all so friendly that it was almost enjoyable. At the very least I was able to have a laugh with the staff after a very difficult event!

Only small gripe was that when I was discharged there wasn’t any discussion of what I should do. I was given a shoe, an appointment for the next day with a doctor and then left. It wasn’t until I got home that I realised I didn’t know what I was meant to do with a broken foot (ilike is it ok to put weight on it, does the shoe need to be on all day or just when walking) An explanation before I was discharged would have been nice.


Dignity and respect

Matron told a doctor off who was about to check my mums condition in front of everyone. The matron in all fairness aplogised to my mum.Also saw an elderly lady on a trolley bed in her underwear! All a bit callamitous really as doctor kept walking off leaving us standing there! We were then told to go to Lister ward…well what can I say…inadequate waiting area and had to sit on floor with doctors and nurses walking past and not batting an eyelid which says a lot. I do understand Hospital has a huge cattachment area but seems to me Medway Hospital has a mountain to climb


Knee replacement

From walking in to Reception until walking out again after my operation and stay, I was really impressed with the efficiency and cheerfulness of all the staff. They all worked together to make my stay a successful one. The excellent food served definitely helped my appetite and subsequent recuperation. As I’ve said, all these things contributed to the team effort making such a difference to my recovery.

Peter Spiller

Care of elderly

Visiting my mother who was admitted into Nutfield Ward today, I found that staff the were very sharp when talking to the bedridden patients suffering with varying degrees of Dementia.

I asked one of the staff for a clean drinking tumbler and showed her that my mum’s one was encrusted with food, I was given a clean tumbler, I mentioned that the staff seemed very stressed and she promptly handed me a urine sample pot as well. This staff member’s knowledge of English seemed very limited.

I was told by the staff that my mum could use the toilet and for her to use the walking frame, my husband and I had to lift her off the bed, she had to stop several times as she could not breathe, it was not an acceptable situation. In the emergency unit they supplied a commode. Another visitor appeared to have a grievance regarding the care given to his mother by staff, a heated discussion with a member of staff took place on the ward in front of everyone, surely this should have been dealt with in a private area.

The poor patients are left to stare at the ceiling, there is nothing to stimulate them at all, there was a TV in the room but not switched on. I feel very uneasy leaving my mum there.


Nobody could help me because it was a Saturday

I recently went up to the Jr Hospital in Oxford. I cannot remember the name of the nurse but I shall find it and make an official complaint.

I went to the outpatients area to see the doctor because I had a suspected slight dislocation in my shoulder. I sat there for 10 minutes telling them how i suffer with my shoulders but i had never felt this pain before and it was intense, i had pins and needles in my hands. They told me to take pain killers, i asked them what about the pain in my joint, they said they don’t know and to be honest it’s a saturday and even if they wanted to help me nobody could because it was a saturday.

I didn’t realise that i pay national insurance for a 9-5, 5 day NHS!

I was so appalled and last night my condition worsened and i was having problems walking. I was so distraught when i left the hospital that not even a place full of doctors and what-not would help me.


Thank you to Ashwell ward staff

I was a patient on Ashwell ward at the Nottingham City hospital after having trouble walking. I was most impressed with the care I received from the medical staff and with the fact that I was given constant attention.

The food, although not too bad, is the only thing which could have been better.

Thank you to all staff on Ashwell ward.


My story about Rotherham hospital

In December 2011, I went in to hospital with cellulitis. I was put on IVs, also got moved to another ward but when I got released from the other ward no one was telling me to deal with the sister or ward manager on that ward – I didn’t know because I’ve not been in hospital in my life.

Then on Saturday I was released in to the care of the nurse at home who was very good. Then Saturday night my body was shaking so the nurse asked me if I wanted them to call an ambulance. I told them I would go back up to the hospital the next day.

A nurse who was very good took my blood for test but with it being Sunday my blood results did not come back until Monday and the doctor on Sunday said there is nothing wrong with me so they were sending me home. They said that it would be a waste of money and time being kept in so suggest I got a taxi home and a taxi back on Monday morning. This made me feel bad. I think if the blood test was done there and then which would take an hour for result and a few days for the blood count to be done so the doctor would have know that I had blood poisoning. I had a spectrometer for two days before it was picked up but also the other problem was that I did not have a rash or anything else and I was walking around the hospital like nothing was wrong. I was told a few days later that I should have been in ITC unit.

I was admitted to the ward on Monday to change my IV and then to check on me – got told I could go home later that day but at end of Monday I was moved to another ward. I felt down because nobody came to me and the team couldn’t take over treatment at home because the IV was going too long.

If the nurse or doctor hadn’t come to me and said this there would have been no problem and when I moved up to another ward the nurse asked me if I minded stopping in over night because no one had told them what was going on. He couldn’t tell me what was happening so I could not sleep – I was more stressed with no one telling me, I felt like more of a number than a person.

When staff go off shift, treatment should be able to carry on and everyone should know what is happening.

I think the doctors and nurse should play the role of a patient and know what it is like. I got told I need a scan on my arm on one ward but this would probably take a couple of days to do so I wasn’t allowed to go home until they’d done the scan but day before I was just about to be taken down for the scan and the doctor said he doesn’t need this which was fine but it cheesed me off.

I got put in the PIU but could go home at night then go back next day but was very unwell so I got readmitted to hospital. I asked the nurse what is wrong with me and what can they do to fix me but they said they did not know but they could not even get a doctor until next day. The doctor did not spend long with me so I could not ask what they were going to.

Some times you just want to go in to a room and have some time to get your head straight and I think also there should be a room as sometimes you want to tell the doctor or nurse something without other people being unable to hear you speak.

I also think there should be a big notice to say you can arrange for books to be brought to your ward because a lot of people didn’t know this.

I felt sick at one point so I pressed my buzzer and thought the two assistant nurses would have answered and brought a sick bowl but they carried on casually behind the desk so the nurse had to stop doing the medicine and get me a sick bowl. I think the senior nurse should have been able to carry on with doing medicine and the other staff could have helped me. If they had made a mistake with medication it could be really serious.

Lastly, when the food list comes round I think there should be a pen so you can write what you want because some patients come in by ambulance or by A&E and so you do not have a pen with you sometimes.