"Very Good And Very Poor Care After An Emergency..."
About: Derriford Hospital Derriford Hospital Plymouth PL6 8DH
Posted by Per Ardua
I was admitted by ambulance after being in agony with acute urinary retention for more than nine hours. The Paramedics who brought me in were fantastic. The nurse in Casualty who put a catheter in quickly and without fuss was brilliant, as was her colleague who looked in to see how I was doing. Unfortunately, a different nurse who later came to list my belongings was abrupt and almost rude. The two doctors who saw me in A&E listened to me when I described what I thought may have caused the retention, were attentive, and reassuring. I was told by the second doctor that they would wait for the day shift to come in and then I would have an ultrasound. The two children who took me up to an assessment ward around 7.30am were more interested in each other than me and carried out their personal conversation above my head. Totally unprofessional. At one point I was wheeled into a door frame - and my catheter tube almost dislodged - because the boy wasn't paying attention to me but to the nurse. I was just pushed onto a ward and left there, no explanations as to how to call for help, adjust the bed, etc (in fact I didn't even realise there was an adjuster until hours later when a passing nurse I had shouted for showed me where it had been left hanging out of sight at the end of the bed. But I was never shown the call button. Apart from a somewhat officious nurse who came round to check my vital signs every hour, I was then ignored and left to stew. A consultant on the first ward round told me as he passed that I would be handed over to the day shift ward round. Nothing happened for hours, I was just left there. Eventually, a doctor appeared, wouldn't listen to why I thought my retention had ocurred, came up with his own spurious explanation,.and then disappeared after five minutes, saying he would consult with a urologist. He never came back.There appeared to be no liaison between the A&E and ward doctors, I wasn't even given my blood and urine results. Apart from the lovely, cheerful tea lady who did look after me, that was the last contact I had until, around 1pm, when I asked what was happening and when I was going to get my promised ultrasound? Ten minutes after that my catheter valve was changed, and after a perfunctory check that I could pee through it I was discharged with no explanation or backup. I had to ask to see the doctor again to find out what was happening. He was as dismissive and arrogant as on the first occasion. Absolutely no information given on using the catheter, possible problems, etc. Throughout the morning the ward was being closed down ahead of the Bank Holiday to save costs and it was being cleared as quickly as possible. As a result of this, when I had complications with the catheter and an infection later that weekend, I spent five days in severe pain, in a remote part of Cornwall, unable to summon help. And my arrival time in A&E was incorrect. I was admitted at around 0345. My discharge papers show 0650.