"severe reaction after MRI scan no warning and follow up policy concerns"

About: Charing Cross Hospital / Neurology

(as the patient),

I had an MRI scan for the small bowel, this involved drinking a fluid and intravenous dye. All went well during the procedure and I left the hospital with no warning whatsoever of possible reactions. I got home and by 11am, narrowly missed having diarrhoea as I was walking back, these intense bouts of diarrhoea lasted till 6pm. First thing next morning, I called the imaging department at the hospital, after being passed around for a while, eventually spoke to another radiographer who explained I must have reacted to the fluid and whose general apology I accept.

I am concerned though that they did not ask for my details and it is unclear if my concerns have been noted. Is anyone going to follow up this mistake or have I had a very polite brush off? It would be good to have a clear procedure where the patient can follow up their concerns and the procedure to follow up an issue aught to be made clear.

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Responses

Response from Christine Cornell, PALS manager, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust is sorry to read of your experience and we apologise for the distress caused. Communication is important and your comments are appreciated.

Our PALS service welcomes patient feedback and we ensure that this is reported to the service and a response provided to the client. If you would like to discuss this further please contact pals@imperial.nhs.uk.

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Update posted by sunn (the patient)

In my experience Pals is not helpful. What I would like is to be able to have continuity of care following a procedure with the same team. For example, firstly taking my details when I raised my concerns and having a member of the team call me back would be quite satisfactory, reassuring and simple.

Response from Christine Cornell, PALS manager, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust

The Imaging Service Manager has double checked the Information leaflet that is automatically attached to the appointment letter and there is a paragraph in the leaflet saying that the liquid that the patient drinks will have a laxative effect and suggesting proximity to a toilet. The lead in MRI has been asked to remind staff that they should communicate this verbally to patients again before they leave.

We hope this is helpful and you are assured that your comments have been addressed?

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Update posted by sunn (the patient)

The experience of going in for an MRI scan is daunting and somewhat overwhelming. It ought to be routine for the patients to be reminded of what the 3 pages with the appointment letter contain. Also your response does not answer my main concern which is a continuity of care with a simple aftercare response where patient details are taken and followed through by a simple phone call perhaps.