"No one seemed to be monitoring my husband"

About: Stoke Mandeville Hospital / Accident and emergency

(as a relative),

My husband woke up one morning to find the bedsheets covered in blood. As the Emergency Medical Unit has been closed at High Wycombe Hospital; he decided to go to his GP as this is just a few minutes down the road. After waiting in the surgery for over 45 minutes; he eventually got to see a GP who called an ambulance as the bleeding had failed to stop. We used to have a local A&E just 5 minutes down the road, but sadly this has been closed, so he had to endure a 35 minute transfer down a windy country road to Stoke Mandeville. The paramedic in the ambulance was a trainee, so he wasn't able to explain to my husband what was happening or provide reassurance. Eventually, he arrived at the hospital about 1. 5 hours after arriving the GP surgery.

In A&E he was placed in a side room; my husband was absolutely terrified by this point as the bleeding was still continuing and no-one had explained what was going on or what would happen next. A member of staff popped in after one hour! and explained that they were waiting for the scanner to become available. He didn't see anyone else for another hour. To make matters worse my husband was still bleeding heavily, so he needed to go to the toilet; there was no "buzzer" to allow him to call for help and so he had to find his own way to the toilet, across a public corridor, with no-one to help! There seemed to be lots of staff walking up and down carrying paperwork, but no-one seemed to be monitoring my husband. If he had fainted through too much blood loss, then there was no "alarm" in the room and I suspect that he would not be here today if this had happened, as staff were not performing proper checks.

Once he was transferred to the ward, then things improved, but staff morale was generally low and some of the more elderly patients who had been on the ward for a few days were not receiving proper care. The staff that he spoke to about this said that they were unhappy with the 12 hour shift patterns.

I understand that Wycombe District Council are looking into the lack of emergency provision for Wycombe. From my experiences, I can only say that the transfer times to Stoke in the event of a genuine emergency are too long. I am not surprised A&E services at Stoke Mandeville are still rated as inadequate by the CQC. In my opinion it is very clear that Stoke M has a severe staff morale problem, which does need to be addressed. Part of the problem is that this hospital has too many patients, as it is trying to cover too wide an area. I believe that part of this can be resolved by providing emergency care and overnight care at Wycombe. , perhaps, as an interim measure it would be a good idea to re-open the Emergency Medical Unit. At least then patients would be able to see someone who is qualified in emergency medicine rather than having to resort to calling in at their GP surgery. I am surprised that there haven't been more deaths due to long transfer times from Wycombe.

On a positive note, my husband had a follow-up appointment at Wycombe for further testing. The staff in the Endoscopy Unit were friendly and efficient and provided a good service. Why Oh Why do the residents of Wycombe have to endure travelling all the way to Stoke M only to receive poor services, when we have a great hospital with wonderful staff on our doorstep!

Please do not ask me to write to PALS as I have been through the formal complaint process a number of times, and I feel all BucksHealthcare seems to do is pay lip service to patient complaints.

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Responses

Response from Anthony Banton, Patient Experience Manager, Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust

Dear Responder

Thank you for your comments. I was sorry to learn that your experience using our services fell short of the standard you would expect from us. I have shared your concerns with relevant senior managers and will respond to you again with an update. I would ask in the first instance that you contact me on anthony.banton@buckshealthcare.nhs.uk to inform me how you would like your concerns to be managed

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