"Forgotten about at Great Western Hospital, Swindon"

About: The Great Western Hospital / General surgery

(as a relative),

Following a recent hospital admission my wife had to attend Saturn Ward to have the IV line fitted to her arm replaced. She had been at home self administering her medication since being released.

She attended the ward at 2.30pm and was promptly seen at 3pm by the duty doctor and another nurse. The nurse administered the anaesthetic cream shortly after and prior to the doctor returning to replace the IV line.

At approximately 6.30pm she decided to walk to the nurse station on the ward to enquire when the procedure would be completed so she could return home. To her utmost surprise and dismay she was told that the off-going shift had not informed the on-coming shift of her presence and she had been “forgotten about” for 4 hours.

Strangely, the doctor who had initially attended to her was still on shift at this time and actually saw her at the nurse station yet made no attempt to continue the treatment already started. To make matters even worse, whilst she was waiting in the day room another patient was brought into that room by two other nurses and that patient told them that she had been waiting to see a nurse.

My wife called me at approx 6.40pm to inform me of the above and I called to speak to the hospital manager immediately to make a formal complaint.

The procedure was eventually carried out after more anaesthetic cream had been administered and completed by 7.15pm. A simple 35-minute procedure had effectively taken the staff nearly 5 hours to complete and my wife had been left to suffer the anxiety of a procedure that she was already very uncomfortable dealing with. This is the fault of no-one but the members of staff immediately involved and their failings to hand over the information of a patient who had placed her trust and welfare in their direct care.

Quite simply I am appalled and disgusted by the lack of care and understanding offered to my wife during this visit and insisted that this episode be formally investigated and those responsible dealt with as severely as the seriousness of the incident. I sent the above account to the hospital as a letter.

But now, almost a month later, we are still to receive a response from the hospital. Not even an apology has been forthcoming. It is a disgrace.

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