"Emergency care"

About: East Surrey Hospital / Accident and emergency

(as the patient),

At work I had head pain, followed by inability to speak, couldn't move my arms and having difficulty breathing and had a numb jaw. Taken home by my boss my legs went at the garden gate, I had slurred and stuttering speech and was disoriented felt very spacey and not with things.

Paramedic came by bp was 214/100 and was taken to A&E. We didn't see anybody for hours, was taken for a chest x-ray and had some bloods taken, a doctor turned up, I repeated the above over another couple of hours he returned to say he didn't have a clue what was wrong with me and discharged me!

My GP referred me to the mini-stroke clinic where the doctor said I had a small posterior stroke. Not everyone has the symptoms and reactions to things that happen to them, but now looking back they seem to be pretty close to the FAST campaign, this shouldn't have been missed.

Maybe my second A&E visit could have been avoided, not that I had much care then either being discharged with nothing wrong and collapsing on leaving. I spent a month in hospital and still the doctors didn't know what was wrong!

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Responses

Response from Stroke Association, Stroke Association

Dear Smiler61

We noticed your post and thought you may be interested to hear about the work of the Stroke Association and how we may be able to support you. Stroke Association is the leading charity in the UK changing the world for people affected by stroke.

Our Stroke Helpline is there for anyone who has been affected by stroke in any way. You may want to know more about stroke and its effects, be looking for practical information and support, or simply someone to talk to. The Stroke Helpline is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm on 0303 30 33 100. You can also email us at info@stroke.org.uk. We also have a range of services across the UK, providing information, advice and support to stroke survivors and their families. You can find out if there is a service in your area by contacting the Helpline.

We were sorry to hear of your stroke and that you feel you did not receive good care. It may be helpful to contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) if you continue to have concerns about the care you received. PALS is an independent organisation, and is there to ensure that the NHS listens to patients, their relatives, carers and friends, answers their questions and resolves their concerns as quickly as possible. You can telephone PALS at East Surrey Hospital on 01737 231958 or 01293 600399; or email them at pals@sash.nhs.uk

Finally, you can also find lots of information about stroke on our website at www.stroke.org.uk. You can read about our services, read or listen to other people’s experiences and download all of our publications free of charge. There is news about our campaigns to improve services for stroke survivors, national and local events and our research programmes. You can also join the Talkstroke discussion group where you can share your experiences with other people who have been affected by stroke.

I hope that this is helpful and that you are now getting the support that you need to make the best recovery possible.

Stroke Information Service

info@stroke.org.uk

Stroke Association staff are not medically trained and the information provided does not replace information given to you by your own healthcare provider.

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Response from Ben Mearns, Chief of Medicine, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

picture of Ben Mearns

Dear Smiler61

I'm very sorry to hear about what happened on your visit to our East Surrey Hospital and as the Clinical Lead in charge of the TIA and Stroke service I would like to look into this further.

If you are happy to do so please can you email me on ben.mearns@sash.nhs.uk and let me have your contact details and I could call you to discuss?

I do hope that you are well and please let me know if you need anything further.

Kindest regards

Dr Ben Mearns

Clinical Lead for Acute & Elderly Medicine

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Response from Ben Mearns, Chief of Medicine, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust We are preparing to make a change

picture of Ben Mearns

Dear Smiler61

Thank you very much for emailling me.

I will be in touch as soon as I have reviewed the notes and hope to make changes to improve our service,

Thanks for taking the time to let us know and I wish you well.

Dr Ben Mearns

Clinical Lead for Acute & Elderly Medicine

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Response from Ben Mearns, Chief of Medicine, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust We have made a change

picture of Ben Mearns

Dear Smiler 61

I have now had a chance to review your notes and thank you for the detailed response.

As you say your case was rather complex for the team and I will not go through all of that here, but they did not reach a firm diagnosis. I can understand that the symptoms that you were suffering would be extremely distressing and this lack of clarity must be making you very concerned.

There does not appear to be any clear evidence of stroke at all.

I understand that you are awaiting further tests and follow-up and I am very glad to hear that. I am so sorry that you were left feeling uncertain and I will make sure that this is fed back. doctrs must be good communicators and clearly they didn't get this right.

Let me know if you need anything further and please do get in touch once you've had your follow-up to let me know. If you are concerned then please do come and see us again.

I am preparing some guidance to ensure that patients leaving without a clear diagnosis have better discharge information and hope that this will assist patients in future. Thank you helping us to do that.

Kindest regards

Dr Ben Mearns

Clinical Lead for Acute & Elderly Medicine

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Update posted by Smiler61 (the patient)

Dear Dr Mearns

I am very grateful for all the time you have spent reviewing my notes, but I think I have clouded the issue regarding my first visit to A&E in October and requesting help regarding my second visit in November. I am very pleased and thank you that inpatients will now be given more details and explanation when being discharged with no clear diagnosis, but A&E may still have issues that need reviewing?

best wishes

Smiler61

Response from Ben Mearns, Chief of Medicine, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust We have made a change

picture of Ben Mearns

Dear Smiler61

Thanks for that. I'm glad for the clarification and I will make sure our Stroke Lead Consultant goes down to the Emergency Department to ensure that our stroke training is up to scratch including difficult posterior stroke symptoms.

Since we started speaking about this you may be interested to know that one of our Emergency Department Consultants has expressed a wish to lead on Stroke pathways in the department. It really is amazing what can come out of feedback and thanks for going the extra mile to give us so much information.

Kindest regards

Dr Ben Mearns

Clinical Lead for Acute & Elderly Medicine

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Update posted by Smiler61 (the patient)

Fabulous news.

Thank you Dr Mearns for your time, patience and all your understanding.

God bless you,

Smiler 61

Response from Ben Mearns, Chief of Medicine, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

picture of Ben Mearns

My pleasure.

Please let us know if you need anything more.

Dr Ben Mearns

Clinical Lead for Acute & Elderly Medicine

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