"Your life in their hands................"

About: Kettering General Hospital

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Arrived at A&E approx 10.00pm with a letter from GP stating 88yr old patient severely hypotensive, dizzy, 2 'falls' (due to low bp) and ? heart attack. Asked reception where I could find a wheelchair to bring patient from car. ' I don't think we have any, try the main entrance' Eventually found one. Waited to see triage nurse - no urgency. Was this because the receptionist didn't recognise the term '? silent MI' or are possible heart attacks no longer considered an emergency. Nurse was unable to move the footplate on the wheelchair so was going to attempt to move this dizzy 88yr old onto the trolley with a gap between the two. I insisted on moving it nearer myself. Nurse admitted didn't like needles. Attempted to take blood from collapsing vein in hand several times and then gave up saying 'we'll try again later' Never checked alternatives. Dr performed this procedure later. Nurse in loud voice talking about notes that should not be there because they ddidn't have a patient of that name 'need returning to A&E'. When name is mentioned I tell her that it is this patient Dr comes to listen to chest. Realises he hasn't got his stethescope. Leaves bed, side down and not seen again for at least 15 mins. Bed side put up to prevent further disaster. Arrived on Ward at 5.00am, Nurse on duty brilliant. Confidence slightly restored! 4.00pm Patient tells me discharge is likely. I ask Nurse what about the problems that patient was admitted with and those diagnosed on admission Dr is summoned to explain. Prescribes change in medication but 'doesn't know what she is already on' . Told list of medication given to nurse earlier and was attached to ring binder in patient's notes. 'We couldn't find it'. Another look through the notes and there it is. Medication is changed by crossing out what is discontinued, ticked what needs to be continued and dosages changed accordingly. I retain this so as there can be no mistake. Told patient will be sent an appt for an echocardiogram. Nurse returns and tells me the medication patient has been prescribed. Two drugs having the same action are on the list (different names). I tell nurse that one of these has been discontinued. She is now confused and has to check with Dr. I am right. I can only hope that if this had not been picked up that the pharmacist would have queried it. Following morning find Venflon still in situ which I remove. Four days later no letter to GP from hospital. GP thinks this may have been sent to wrong surgery. Rings hospital. No mention of drugs discontinued and now talking about ECG not echocardiogram. will be referred to 'falls clinic'. ( Falls due to low bp so this seems a waste of an appointment, but then who am I?????????) GP not impressed.

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