"Ward 118 ICU"

About: Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh at Little France / General Medicine Victoria Hospital / Cardiology Victoria Hospital / Respiratory Medicine

(as a relative),

My little brother was admitted in September to ward 118 ICU with a suspected heart attack, his liver and kidneys were closing down and my brother was very ill.

My brother was admitted in the evening, after being rushed by ambulance from Kirkcaldy's Victoria HospitalI which is only a 10 minute walk from all our families houses. I was asked to have a seat in the waiting room and within 15 minutes a nurse called Shaun / Sean came and spoke to me and explained what was happening and took me to see my brother. My brother had a small op that night and they let me see him as soon as it was over.

That night I fell asleep in the waiting room, during that night I woke with a female nurse putting a blanket over me and turning the lights down, she said if I needed anything to let them know. My Mum and other brother came to the hospital the next afternoon, it was only then we were told how very ill he was.

My other brother had a cold but they allowed him in with a mask because the doctors said he was critical but we could all see him. The next day they had to sedate my brother and attach him to a machine to help his heart and lungs function (ECMO??). We were allowed to see him at any time.

My brother had an operation to try and repair his heart but it was too badly damaged to be properly repaired, so they said he would need another op in 4 - 6 weeks. When after 12 days my brother started to deteriorate it was decided he would have another op then.

All the time my brother was in hospital he wasn't only looked after, he was nursed and cared for. We were also kept informed every step of the way and a consultant would always find the time to come and see us if we needed to ask questions or were unsure of anything. Myself, Mum and Brother cannot thank the ward 118 staff enough.

Sadly my brother was too ill to have another operation and we knew we had to let him go. My brother died on the 24th, he died with his family around him.

Even after he died he was treated with dignity and respect. I would like to especially mention Shaun / Sean for reassuring me, making me smile and for treating my brother so gently.

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Response from Louise Ewing, Patient Relations Manager, NHS Fife

picture of Louise Ewing

Dear Grateful sister

Thank you for sharing your experience with us which was very moving. I was sorry to read of your loss and offer you my sincere condolences. I do hope that you and your family are managing to come to terms with what has happened which cannot be easy. It was heartwarming to hear about the way in which staff approached caring for your little brother and the wider family. This is such an important aspect of care and when it is delivered so well it can have a lasting impact for the family which provides comfort in the months and years ahead.

From reading your story, it reads to me that the care you described relates to another hospital rather than the Victoria, am I correct? if so please do let me know so that I can make sure that we pass this on to the team. In the meantime, I see that your story has been read by a number of people who can take the lessons from your experience to apply in their respective areas.

Thank you for bravely sharing your experience

Kind regards

Louise Ewing

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Update posted by Greatful sister (a relative)

It was actually The Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh my little brother went to after Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy. The Victoria staff were good also but the staff in ward 118 Edinburgh were outstanding.

Obviously I didn't say in my story that a few days before my brother passed an old lady passed away, there were none of her family there and she was treated the same as my brother ( I could see through a gap in the curtains) so the care my brother received wasn't just because we were there.

Please thank the staff in 118 especially Shaun/Sean for me if you can and thank you for your reply.