"Attitude and helpfullness of staff in royal infirmary"

About: Glasgow Royal Infirmary / Accident & Emergency Stobhill Hospital / Accident & Emergency

(as a relative),

My brother who is 28 yrs old had major heart attack on 5th of August this year. My brother is thin, lean and quite fit but there was a blockage which caused this. He was sent to the Golden Jubilee Hospital Glasgow who were fantastic and really great with giving us information of what they were doing and what to expect. He was then transferred the next day to Glasgow Royal Infirmary ward 44 Coronary Care Unit (CCU). He was there for 3 days and in those three days I felt we were not given any information of what was happening or what to do next. My brother also came out in a rash; this rash seemed to be where each of the pads was placed on his body. We did ask about this rash but were advised that it should clear on its own in time. My brother got discharged on Saturday the 8th and was advised to follow his patient handbook.

On Thursday the 13th August my brother was suffering from major pains in chest again, the ambulance men asked my sister in law for paperwork to prove what she had informed them of his condition. I can understand this due to his age but I don’t think it seemed to be a very professional process. While my brother was taken into A&E we waited in waiting room. We waited for an hour and half before someone came and allowed my sister in law in to see him. My brother told her that a nurse had advised him the rash that he had was in fact scabies. I felt that this was not the case as I didn’t think it looked like scabies as I thought the usual place is between fingers.

After the nurse had said this my brother explained the rash only came after the pads had come into contact with his body. My brother felt that this comment was not registered by the medical staff as they then proceeded to stay away from him except when doctor came who then scrubbed his arms as though he had just completed surgery. My brother had also visited our own GP in regards to this who had advised that it seemed like reaction to either meds or pads and had prescribed cream. My brother who was already in stressed situation now was very anxious. We did eventually get told he would be kept in and go back to ward 44 in CCU.

After settling him in bed they allowed us in but when we went to see him he told us he was really stressed. I believe the reason for this was that he felt the nurses had not aided him into bed and would not go near him without wearing big gloves and aprons. I do understand why they do this but explaining this to him would have probably calmed him down. My brother then proceeded to say he would be better off leaving and going home. The nurse in attendance who heard him say this then went and informed doctor on duty. The doctor came in to discuss this and explained about how fatal it could be for him by leaving. While she advised this I felt she was continually looking at his arms but we had advised previous nurse of reason he was upset.

When my brother said again that he had been made to feel like he had a disease, the doctor then said he could go if he wanted but first a letter had to be signed and then walked away to get form. I believe the stress that my brother's heart was now under was major. We then had another nurse advise us that she had plenty of patients that needed and wanted help. We then left at around 5am. On the following Saturday my brother went to the doctor’s drop in centre for the rash as the itching was unbearable. He was given a cream and tablets as doctor again advised reaction to something. By Monday the rash had died down with the cream and tablets a great deal. On Monday morning I went to pick up my brother to take him to a booked doctor's appointment but when I saw him he was a ghastly colour. The doctor then advised he should get to hospital asap. When we arrived at Glasgow Royal we again waited while my brother was taken in to be assessed.

We waited for 2 hours before we looked around and saw my brother come out half naked. I think he looked worse than when he went in and looking even more ill. He shouted that we had to take him out of hospital now and take him elsewhere as he was upset with the nurse. We took him outside where he sat on pavement getting his clothes back on. I went to reception to ask for letter that doctor had sent us with. I approached a window but just as I did someone came to speak to receptionist from behind her and she then got up and walked away. I went to 2nd window and girl was typing something on computer. I asked her calmly that I need to get this letter now so I can take my brother to another hospital. The girl asked me to wait 2 minutes and she would go get it. I accepted this and proceeded to turn and advise my sister in law it would be 2 minutes.

I turned back and the receptionist I spoke to was in corner at filing cabinet laughing with another colleague and looking through notes. I thought this was not my brother's notes as I believe they were in next room. I then asked if someone could get my brother's letter as he was in middle of collapsing outside and needed help. The receptionist who I thought was ignoring previously then shouted, "Aye ok can you not see we are busy, you will just have to wait." I advised her that the girl said she would go straight through and get it but she hadn’t. I thought these girls and all the patients had seen the state of my brother. The police then came over and asked me to not be cheeky to the receptionists as they were doing their job. I informed them the state of my brother who was outside then the doctor came out and asked to see me. I asked him to give me the letter and he refused.

I asked again for the letter but he still refused stating he was not giving me the letter as my brother needed help. I shouted for my sister in law to bring my brother in as they were refusing to give me the letter. We then found out from my brother that the reason he wanted to leave was that one of the nurses who was on duty on Thurs night had commented that he had been in but signed himself out and that it was his own fault he was back in. I think this comment to my brother whilst he had been feeling ill and also his experience from Thursday night had made the situation spiral out of control. My brother then became involved in an argument with this particular nurse because of the comment she supposedly made.

I felt his questions were not answered as when he asked for her name he was ignored by other staff and the nurse then took off her badge and placed this in a drawer. She did eventually state her name but we don’t think this was her real name as that was name of building. When this incident first happened my brother had also asked during the 2 hours if he could get his wife in and although he was advised we will get her in a minute, no one ever came and requested her attendance. My brother was then allowed to leave as the doctor who was in fact really nice to us did eventually give us the letter back from the other doctor. We then had to rush back to our GP to request a further letter to go to Stobhill Hospital A&E. By now we believe my brother had been suffering from another heart attack for around 3 hours with no medical assistance. We got a letter for Stobhill and had to wait a further 2 hours before being seen but my brother was now looking really bad but was now calm. The staff there could not have been any nicer to us even though we did explain why we had been sent there.

After the doctor had seen my brother he was admitted which my brother agreed to. When I saw him again before going he was on oxygen, his heart rate was 60 on the machine and blood pressure was extremely low. The staff could not comment on our experience on Thursday and Monday but did say there is always a professional way to respond to someone in distress and in process of a heart attack. I think the result of all this now means that my brother has so much damage to his heart. I think he is in great risk and maybe next time he could die. Although this weekend has been so bad for us, we think as a family the staff from cleaners to consultants could not have been more genuinely sincere, caring and informative at Stobhill. We have come away understanding more about what he has to do and what we have to do to support him. They also gave us a letter to give to the housing association as at present they live in top floor tenement with their 2 kids aged 6 and 11. I cannot thank them enough for helping my family but I don’t think we will ever deal with Glasgow Royal again.

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