"Lack of integrated care, staff falsifying patient records, refusal to provide a service"

About: Newton Abbot Community Hospital / Urology Torbay Hospital / Urology

(as the patient),

My previous story was about being catheterised at Derriford Hospital and their refusal to see me in Urology to follow up after my discharge.

My GP made a separate referral to Torbay Hospital as the catheter should have been removed after 10 days but hasn't been, and I now have a bladder infection as a result. I used choose and book who told me that the Urology Specialist Nurses at Newton Abbot hospital had picked up my referral and were arranging an appointment.

While I was waiting, I started to have a lot of blood in my urine so I went to A&E at Torbay Hospital. The A&E staff told me that they would ask the Urology team to see me because I was on their list to be allocated an appointment, but if they were too busy I would be seen by an A&E doctor. After 2 hours my wife went home to feed the dog and I waited a further 2 hours to see the A&E doctor, who diagnosed a bladder infection and gave me antibiotics.

While I was waiting in A&E the Urology Specialist Nurses from Torbay telephoned my wife at home and told her to pass on to me that I should not worry because an appointment had been made for me to see the Urology team at Torbay.

On the following day I telephoned Urology at Torbay to ask when the appointment might be. They said that the appointment had been the day before, that I had attended it, and that I had also been given a follow up telephone consultation where it was explained what would happen next. This is all untrue and I can only conclude that NHS staff falsified these records.

I asked who had allegedly seen me, where in the hospital, what they had decided to do about removing my catheter, and what they had allegedly said to me during the supposed follow up telephone consultation. Suddenly the Urology team were unable to find any information about my supposed visit to their department, but were adamant that I had been given an appointment and had attended it.

I complained to PALS at Torbay hospital and they confirmed that at no time had I been given an appointment to be seen in Urology. I had previously spoken to my GP who made the referral and she told me that Torbay Urology were asking for a copy of my discharge notes to be faxed to them. Yet PALS told me there is no trace of any correspondence from anyone on my records regarding the referral to Urology.

My GP followed up by contacting Derriford Urology again, and apparently in discussion with Urology at Torbay agreed that a Urology Specialist Nurse from Newton Abbot would be contacting me that afternoon to arrange a visit to clamp off the catheter to see if I can pass water normally. This would then give the Urology team the necessary information to decide if further surgery would be required, or just the catheter removed.

My GP impressed upon me that if I did not hear from this named Specialist Nurse by 3: 30pm that I should phone her and ask when the home visit would be. Her response was to say that she did not intend to visit me or offer me any services, that as far as she was concerned removal of a catheter could be done by a district nurse, and that she had made this clear to my GP previously, and that nothing had changed in this regard.

PALS at Torbay have been very helpful, and are still investigating this allegation of their staff falsifying patient records, and the offhand way in which junior members of the Urology nursing team can apparently ignore, change, and totally disregard instructions from the Urology doctors and my GP.

I have now had an external catheter for almost a month now. It should have been removed after 10 days, and I have a bladder infection as a result. Yet Torbay / Newton Abbot Urology Specialist Nurses have proved to be obstinate in the refusal to provide me with the service that my GP and the Urology team at Derriford have requested for me.

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Responses

Response from Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Bluejay

We are so sorry to read about your negative experience of urology care recently. We understand that you have now contacted our Complaints department and we can confirm that a formal investigation will be undertaken and the team will be in contact with you direct in this regard.

Thank you for taking the time to provide this feedback. Please be assured we will do everything we can to try and resolve this matter.

Updates, changes and questions related to this story