"Treatment as a patient from staff."

About: Glasgow Royal Infirmary / General Surgery Stobhill Hospital / General Surgery

(as the patient),

I had pilonidal sinus surgery (karydakis flap procedure) at Stobhill Hospital and was discharged around 9.30pm that night. I was full of medicine (morphine and other medicines) that I didn't feel the pain so decided go home. I slept till around 5am and when I woke up I was in agony and had to make my way up to the Royal with the surgeons expecting me as I phoned NHS prior so they made ward 65 aware of my arrival. I was in so much pain from the surgery that my walking ability was very poor and slow and I struggled to sit down from the excruciating pain from the area. I was eventually moved to ward 67 and then 66.

However, in ward 66 I feel I received very unreasonable behavior from some of the nurse’s one in particular. They seemed to have an unpleasant attitude with me from the first time we met. When I was in agony and pressed my nurse button they would be huffing and puffing and look uninterested and annoyed. When I would explain that I was in a lot of pain and that I would like my prescribed oral morphine they seemed to be annoyed and took some time (up to 20 minutes) to get me my medication even though I explained how severe the pain was.

On one occasion I had received my painkillers half an hour later it was visiting time and I went and met my partner at the lifts (I had been told to move as much as possible so the wound didn't tighten up which would restrict movement even more). I then started to feel very unwell and hot. I got back into my bed and was sweating and then asked my partner to help me to the toilet as I felt sick. I then went on to be sick 5 times bringing up my medication. The nurse saw that I had been sick and I asked if I could get some more medication as I was very sore and had just been sick and brought my medication back up. They said yes, but never did so and I didn't get medication until the night shift staff came on. It came to the point that I was felt uneasy about ringing my nurse button in case of a confrontation would follow.

My consultant wasn't due back in until the weekend. The nurse accompanied another doctor for the ward round, I had asked them to wake me up to speak to the doctor, they failed to do this and told me that the doctor said I was to go home that after noon. I replied explaining that Mr Dickson in our last conversation we had he said I was to stay till at least Monday if my pain was bad and was to go home when I was more comfortable (Mr Dickson was very sympathetic with me and couldn't have been more understanding) then the nurse said well you've to go home, I said but I am to sore and I would rather stay till at least Sunday to see how I am. I then asked if the nurse was sure Mr Dickson said this, then they said ‘oh its wasn't Mr Dickson that was in it was the weekend doctor’ but clearly in my notes from Mr Dickson it would have stated our prior conversation surely? I was in complete agony, but trying my best to move and walk as much as I could. I am a heavy smoker, but because of the pain I was going down with a friend who was also in the same ward only 3 times a day for a cigarette if that and I thought this was also good to get some movement for my wound instead of lying in a bed all day, even though I was in agony walking as well. The nurse did not agree with this and I felt gave me dirty snide looks every time I hobbled by the ward front desk.

The incident I am most upset about happened when the nurse came round the ward with the weekend doctor. I was resting my eyes, and I heard them discussing me in a few words, but the nurse knew I personally asked to waken me on the doctors arrival, but they failed to do so again. Luckily I sat up and said I’d like a word. I felt that the doctor was very ignorant to me. When I explained how severe the pain was, they replied with ‘it was just a pilonidal sinus surgery you got’. Might I add that this surgery is very painful and includes a reconstruction of the full buttock area with a 4-6 weeks recovery, I mean why would Mr Dickson a professional doctor prescribe me morphine if it wasn't that sore as this doctor was implying? Anyway the doctor then starts walking away disinterested in me so I knew I was no longer welcome and they wanted me home even though I was very sore and felt unready. I then said to the nurse will you be able to clean my wound as it hadn't been done since the day before. The nurse then said that they refused to dress and clean my wound unless I showered, but I told the nurse I would find that very painful as I can’t bend down or do much for myself. Evidently my partner and mother was washing me down in the toilet with baby wipes and towels on their daily x2 visits. The nurse then said if you don't get the shower I won’t do it, we then started arguing and the nurse started raising their voice at me in front of the full ward telling me ‘not to start’ and various other comments. This deeply upset me and I walked into the shower room/toilet crying. I also suffer from very bad panic attacks and found myself having to get myself out of it with deep breaths. I knew if I didn't shower I wouldn't get my wound cleaned and this could lead to infection so I had no choice. I proceeded to shower, still crying and now in great pain trying to wash my body. I dropped the soap and was unable to bend down to collect it, I was also unable to dry myself properly or put my underwear back on, I didn't shout on a nurse for help in fear the nurse would come in and see that I had been crying as I already felt vulnerable.

When I eventually got out the shower, I was still upset and in a great deal of pain, I started to speak to 2 patients, I had made friends with on my stay there. I was crying and explaining to them I was unhappy they were both older than me so I felt some comfort then the nurse burst open the curtain and started shouting at me again telling me to stop speaking about them and to stop harassing patients which I was clearly not doing because both the patients and I were totally confused by this statement. They then went on tell me to make a formal complaint and to stop ‘moaning’.

I have had 4 operations in the Royal in the past 2 years on the same area. In the past things like this have happened, but not so bad and I have not complained because I know being a nurse can be stressful but this was different, also previously I have witnessed some shocking behavior from staff. On one occasion a nurse telling an 94 year old patient to do the toilet in her bed because their wasn't another nurse to help her to the toilet and this was only 3-4 weeks ago. Might I mention that there was a cleaner in the ward on this particular stay who was actually a patient who had caught an infection from the hospital (the patient told me this). They had a tube coming out of their stomach and it had leaked into the toilet. They then told me that there had been no cleaners up to clean the toilet up that day and that they were going to complain and they are an actual worker for the NHS. Also another patient in my ward had her gall bladder removed (keyhole), was in severe pain and rang the nurse bell, a nurse appeared and seemed rather annoyed ( rather regular) and went to get morphine. I was asking the if they were OK, but they were crying with the pain shutting their eyes, taking deep breathes and holding their body in pain. On the nurses arrival the patient got a bit of a fright and opened their eyes. The nurse replied back in a cheeky manner ‘ do you actually need this cause to me it looked like you were fast as sleep’ when in fact I was a witness that this was not the case. It almost seemed like some of the nurses didn't like giving out the medication when we were needing it, but I don't see the problem when the doctors prescribe this medication for the patients? I would like to point out that not all the nurses were like this. A nurse named Lisa and another named Jennifer from ward 66 were a pleasure to speak to and have treating me.

I am deeply upset that I have experienced and seen this behavior both witnessed it and endured it myself. I feel that something needs to be done.

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Responses

Response from Lorna Gray, Patient Experience, Public Involvement Project Manager, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

Dear Carlo1995,

I am so sorry to hear of your experiences while in hospital - you have provided a lot of very detailed information and highlighted many issues which fall far short of what NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde would expect for patients who come into our care.

I have already passed your comments on to the Manager for this service so that this can be looked into further, however if you feel able, it would also help if you could get in touch with me directly with a couple of more details on lorna.gray@ggc.scot.nhs.uk.

I would like to thank you for taking the time and effort to provide your feedback, as it is so important to us that all patients can tell us about their experiences, both good and bad. I will be back in touch as soon as possible, and in the meantime I hope your recovery is going well.

Best Wishes,

Lorna

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