"Anxiety after diagnosis"

About: Colchester General Hospital

I was admitted into a cardiac ward from A+E dept on Friday 22cnd Cochester General, having complained of intermittent r ght sided chest pain one Friday evening. In A+E it was quickly established that my blood pressure was very high and my pulse fast and erratic. Blood was taken to establish whether I had had a heart attack (I hadn't) and once on the ward I was fitted up to a heart monitor. This monitor was beeping everytime my heart rate went above 90 and that was most of the time. 2 days. It was very alarming for me and i'm sure did not help my anxious state, as none of the staff appeared to even notice. explain or even braoch the subject.I felt alone and alarmed, and I wondered why it had to be this way. I felt that the nurses, who were very pleasant were not as approachable as they should be and always seemed otherwise busy. I really would have appreciated a reassuring word or two, it was awful to sit in silence, my nerves shot. I consider myself a very fit 57 year old and it came as a huge shock to me in all respects that I was told I was suffering from Atrial Fibrillation/heart disease the following day and that I would need to see the Cardiologist for assessment and to be anti-coagulant therapy! Even the consultant seemed in a hurry. and delivered the bad news in 6 minutes.... For goodness sake!, you are delivering news that is devastating and life-changing and yet there is no support at that moment, no backup nurse to follow on from the consultants visit to make sure you are ok and to explain his findings in a simpler way, no reassurance, no, just left to take the blow in front of a ward full of other patients. I was pleased to be discharged and armed with loads of new pills and Injections, appts for futher blood tests I left the hospital. My point is this : I feel that the anxiety/worry etc caused by my sudden admission and newly diagnosed 'life-threatening disease was not addressed holistically and probably exacerbated my symptoms. I was not offered a friendly ear, nor was I given any reassurance from the nursing staff. I do feel that if I had been diagnosed with a cancer I would have been cradled from the beginning with sensitivity and understanding. My life had changed dramatically from that admission but my emotional and psychological needs were without any doubt ignored. I was admitted, pricked and prodded, diagnosed and discharged, no-one asked how I felt about my AF. A very poor show of Cardiac nursing standards and I speak from my own career as a nurse in the NHS. It would appear that it is no longer a vocation for compassion, healing and caring of patients. It is a career chosen for the 'Techno' minded young today, machines bleeping with no one attending or recording....and who's natural instincts for actual empathy are more directed towards 'drug administration'. I am sorry to say.

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Response from Colchester General Hospital

I apologise you’ve not had a good patient experience. We try really hard to improve our services based on the comments we receive from our patients, their relatives or carers. We would like the opportunity to discuss your experiences more fully and to apologise in person. If you are willing I would appreciate it if I could ask the matron to contact you. Could you email me, using the reference “Comment on Cardiology at RDEE4-Colchester General Hospital at 10/06/2014 21:08:12”, please? Many thanks Paul Searle, Head of Communications Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust info@colchesterhospital.nhs.uk

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