"Comparing dialysis treatment"

About: Crosshouse Hospital / Urology Monklands District General Hospital / Urology

(as the patient),

I regularly go to Monklands hospital for dialysis treatment, I also occasionally go to Crosshouse.

At Monklands the treatment I have received and the nurses are all splendid. However there are a few things at Monklands I’d like to raise when I compare this with Crosshouse.

In ward 2 at Monklands there are no auxiliary nurses to undertake some of the support work, nurses have to clear out empty boxes and other bits and pieces. This means that if I need to speak to a nurse they are all tied up and very busy.

At Crosshouse auxiliary staff come and see me as soon as I’m hooked up to the dialysis machine and ask if I’d like a cup of tea and a piece of toast. They will also come again later to see if I’d like a cup of soup – these little touches keep you going during the 4-5 hour treatment. When I’ve asked about this at Monklands I was told they are concerned about salt levels – all I can say is that at Monklands the prospect of a dry sandwich and a coffee at the end of the dialysis means that patients bring their own refreshments in.

In Monklands they give you a recliner chair during the treatment – 90% are broken and have to be ‘reclined’ manually by the nurses. If, during treatment, you want to alter the chair position nurses again have to do this manually. I’m 15 stone so a nurse would be at risk trying to manually alter the position with me in the chair! Again, When I’ve asked about this I was told the chairs are maintained under a contract with a company in the south. All I can say is that I’ve never seen any maintenance work being undertaken. I’m told risk assessments have been carried out – one chair has a jagged broken armrest another has no armrests at all.

The dialysis machines are very sensitive so the smallest problem can prevent the treatment either starting or completing. For example I went for treatment on Tuesday but after several attempts on different machines they did a blood test and sent me home. I then had to go back two days later to have the dialysis. At Crosshouse they use ‘Gambon’ machines which seem to be less sensitive – could these be used at Monklands? Before I left on Tuesday, without any treatment, I asked what would happen on Thursday when I returned. They said I’d be put on a different ward and hooked up to a dialysis machine next to a bed.

Finally, having looked on the internet I understand a doctor should be present when patients are having this treatment. The doctor at Monklands is excellent but so very busy it is difficult to talk to him. All the notes in my file have been explained to me and I am free to see them at any time but this in no way compensates for being able to speak to someone and to share your concerns.

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Response from Eunice Goodwin, Patient Feedback Manager for NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Quality Improvement and Governance Team, NHS Ayrshire and Arran

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Dear Bit519,

Thank you taking the time to tell us about your experiences and that you are happy with the dialysis service at Crosshouse Hospital. I will be very pleased to pass this to the dialysis team. I am sure they will also be delighted that it suits your needs. I hope all goes well with your future treatments.

Kind regards,


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Response from Rhona Roberton, Director of Hospital Services, Monklands Hospital, NHS Lanarkshire

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Dear Bit519,

Thank you for taking the time to post your comments regarding your recent experience at the renal unit at Monklands Hospital. The unit has a different nursing model to that of Crosshouse and I am assured that staff are visible and available to speak to patients at all times. Food and refreshments are reviewed on a regular basis with patient and dietetic input. We would welcome your input into this group and I would ask you to approach the senior charge nurse if you wish to be involved.

I can reassure you that the chairs are not broken but are a little older than the ones at Crosshouse. A few of our chairs need to be reclined manually but there is no risk of injury to staff and patients in the unit. If patients are unhappy with the overall comfort of the chair, the staff offer to complete the dialysis session using a bed.

The make of machines at Monklands are Braun machines and overall it has been our experience that when the machine alarms this is usually due to problems with patients vascular access and not the sensitivity of the machine. However as you have pointed this out, we will monitor on a regular basis.

I share your views about having access to medical staff and would be grateful if you would speak to the nurse in charge the next time you are in the unit so that any medical concerns can be addressed.

Thank you for your kind words about the nursing and medical staff. I will ensure that the unit is made aware of this.


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Update posted by Bit519 (the patient)

I welcome the response to my patients opinion from crosshouse and monklands.however the monklands response has not in my opinion addressed the fact that there seems to be very few if any auxiliaries available to assist trained staff. I have seen have staff nurses and indeed the charge nurse collecting bags of waste and breaking up boxes surely surely that cannot be right.

I also note that my observation re broken chairs has been denied some are indeed broken but a number do not operate as they were designed to do,no recliner should be operated manually as was advised in my response,indeed they should operate efficiently simple by the patient pulling a leaver and not operated by a nurses knee to enable it to shut after use

I note my response from monklands that a patient not be satisfied with the chair they may request a bed but I believe we are all aware of the shortage of beds within the hospital.

I appreciate the opportunity to express my views many thanks.

Response from Joan James, Divisional Nurse Director, Acute Services, NHS Lanarkshire

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Dear Bit 519

I am sorry that you feel that we have not addressed the issue you raised. Thank you for feedback regarding the splendid nurses. It may be more helpful to meet with the Ward Sister, Carol and Senior Nursing staff at Monklands to discuss the areas you raise relating to food and refreshments,nursing levels, dialysis machines and chairs on a face to face basis.We have a very active Kidney Patient association and we would encourage you to become a member and provide input and feedback to continue to improve services

Thank you for taking the time to give us feedback

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Update posted by Bit519 (the patient)

thank you again for getting back to me, I would indeed be delighted to take an active part in the kidney patients association if someone would be kind enough to advise me how I go about it. again many thanks

Response from Rhona Roberton, Director of Hospital Services, Monklands Hospital, NHS Lanarkshire

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Dear Bit519,

Thank you for your latest post. The Kidney Patients Association Meetings are held on the last Tuesday of every month at 7.30pm in the Renal conference room at Monklands. The Senior Charge Nurse can be contacted on 01236 712643 and she would be delighted to advise you on how to become a participant.

Patient feedback is extremely important to us and we value your anticipated participation.

Kind regards


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