"Poor communication/potential serious outcome."

About: Colchester General Hospital

Recently I had surgery for a hernia. My medical insurance company (BUPA) do not recognize Colchester General as one of their hospitals. It was agreed for me to have the operation there for 2 reasons. 1 After a previous operation some 6 years ago in Colchester General there were some serious complications, & 2, I have sleep Apnoea and require nightly use of a CPAP machine. On the morning of admittance I was visited by the Anesthetist where we had a conversation as part of a checking process where I told him that I had this condition and that I had brought my machine with me. He was satisfied with this. My consultant also visited and we had a similar conversation. When I was taken for the general anesthetic I told the nurse and porter about the machine, they said that if it was needed it could be collected later, I told them it would be needed, I was taken down without it. The anesthetist asked his questions and again I mentioned the machine, he appeared annoyed with the nurse and asked why it had not been brought down and told her to go back and get it and put it on the end of the bed. When I came round sometime after the operation I asked for the machine to be put on me and was told that I had been asleep for ages and didn't need it. I spent the next few hours going in and out of consciousness each time asking for the machine but was never given it. Sleep Apnoea is not something very visible and as mine is moderate to high, being under sedation is potentially dangerous. 6 hours later I was moved from the recovery area to a holding ward and then onto Wivenhoe ward. I was discharged the following morning. Due to complications at home I was brought back by ambulance, the ambulance and A & E staff were fantastic what great people you have. That evening I was admitted to Brightlensea ward. Again some great staff. I did not have my CPAP machine as it had been left at home in the emergency and I had nobody to bring it in. The senior nurse tried to get one but was not able to so moved my bed to an area much closer to her station so she could keep a close eye on me. In the morning she told the shift change colleagues she had to wake me a few times during the night because I had stopped breathing, thank God for her knowledge. Later my machine was brought in and she set it up. Very early In the morning another nurse came to make the usual checks and while I was sleeping just unplugged the machine without a thought. For a second I felt I was suffocating, she didn't even realize what she had done. 2 days later I was discharged. This took from 1pm to 7p.m to organize with me constantly having to chase for the Meds. and papers, twice I heard a nurse tell someone on the phone there were no free beds on the ward ? In the end I had to get a Junior doctor to sort it out. It was known that the meds I was released with would cause constipation, but why did I have to ask for something to treat this The doctor agreed it would be a good idea

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Responses

Response from Colchester General Hospital

I apologise you’ve not had a good patient experience. We try really hard to improve our services based on the comments we receive from our patients, their relatives or carers. We would like the opportunity to discuss your experiences more fully and to apologise in person. If you are willing I would appreciate it if I could ask the matron to contact you. Could you email me, using the reference “Comment on Surgery - Vascular at 13/02/2015 17:26:14 ”, please? Many thanks Paul Searle, Head of Communications Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust info@colchesterhospital.nhs.uk

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