"Poor care and information"

About: Stirling Royal Infirmary Stirling Royal Infirmary / General Surgery

(as the patient),

I went into Stirling Royal in April 2011 for a very minor operation. I was led to believe by the surgeon that the surgery was very minor and I would regain consciousness quickly and be out of hospital that day.

This was not the case!

During my time after the operation I was left in the recovery room/ward (i'm not sure where or what this is) I lost 6 units of blood. What I don’t understand is why after more than 2 hours of being in that room why nobody noticed I had lost all this blood and because of this was unconscious for a further 5 days. The doctor who delivered my operation and staff in that ward surely should have been checking my blood pressure and if I was bleeding from where the operation took place on my body? This is a lot of blood as i'm sure you will agree and because of this I was then on a life support machine for 4 days in intensive care and my wife was told by a friend of the family who worked at the hospital it was best for everyone to get up to the hospital. AKA I don’t think your husband has long left! A nurse who worked in intensive care kept saying to my wife “he's a poor soul”. What information is that for my wife who was in bits and wanted to know why her husband who was meant to be in for a routine small piece of surgery was now critically ill.

Another thing I don’t understand is why the doctor who performed my operation left for the night after my operation and did not check on me, my wife asked to speak to the doctor that night after and she was informed he was away for the night- surely it is your duty as a doctor to check on your patient before you leave for the night so you are in the utmost confidence you have done your job correctly? My wife was then told later that night, another doctor would be stopping the bleeding and transfused 6 units of blood, which because of this man I am alive today! Why did the doctor who performed the operation not do this?

I then took pneumonia whilst in intensive care. Again something which I feel did not need to happen if the doctor had followed up with his patient and saw I was losing a lot of blood.

When my wife would visit the hospital every waking minute she could, and was told every time she came up “he’s just the same”…how is that giving my wife any information? She was in complete shock and all she ever heard was the night this happened to me she got sat down and got asked what do you want to happen? That was a no brainer! I was then transferred to another ward for 4 days and discharged where the nurses or doctors on that ward let me walk down to the front door and stand myself waiting on my wife and son picking me up. I would like to know why this happened. Surely after losing all that bloody, nearly being at deaths door somebody should have taken me down to the front door and waited with me.

I am a tall sturdy man and left that hospital 2 stone lighter. I was a very fit man and enjoyed gardening, I now can’t do this due to lack of strength. I now wake up during the night having terrible dreams of dying and for about a year after my operation I could hardly sleep because I was scared I wouldn’t wake up. I am half the man I used to be physically and mentally which is frightening and I now would like some answers or advice on what I can do to take this further. I had no confidence to do anything about this until now.

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Response from Arlian Mallis, Person Centred Health and Care Co-ordinator, Department of Nursing, NHS Forth Valley

Hi, this sound like its been a very disturbing and frightening experience for you and your wife. Without more detail its difficult to offer a response that I feel would be helpful to you. I think it would be useful for you to get some answers about your care and treatment. I can suggest two things, I would be happy to meet with yourself and your wife to discuss your experience further, in my role I would use your story as a learning opportunity but I wouldn't investigate the details you have highlighted. If you would like to have an investigation to be completed then you can make a formal complaint via our Patient Relations Team at Forth Valley Royal Hospital.

You can contact me by email - arlian.mallis@nhs.net and I can advise you further.

This would never be the experience of care we would intend to deliver, there are key things in your posting that we can learn from so I hope I can be of assistance.

On behalf of NHS Forth Valley

Arlian Mallis

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Response from Patient Advice and Support Service


We have read your story and thought you'd like to know that, if you want, we can help you if you want to take this forward with NHS Forth Valley. The Patient Advice and Support Service is an independent service which provides free, accessible and confidential information, advice and support to patients, their carers and families about NHS healthcare. We can:

• provide you with information, advice and support if you want to give feedback or comments, or raise concerns or complaints, about healthcare provided by NHS Scotland

• write letters and help you with filling in forms

• help you prepare for meetings with health staff

• help you to see your medical records

• help you understand your rights and responsibilities as a patient

You contact the service via any citizens advice bureau in Scotland. Visit www.patientadvicescotland.org.uk/ or use the phone book to find your local CAB.

Best wishes

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