"Nobody told me what they had done in surgery"

About: Russells Hall Hospital / Trauma and orthopaedics

(as the patient),

I was admitted after having treatment for my second ectopic pregnancy and was advised to have a check up to ensure my beta hcg level had dropped.

I entered the hospital at 11. 30am and after several botched attempts as getting blood they finally sent off for my results. The staff were very nice however were too hesitant when taking my blood resulting in me being covered in bruises. I was sent down for an ultrasound and after thinking I would be leaving that day the nurse let slip that I wouldn't be going home and I'd probably be having an operation. At this point I was totally shocked. Nobody along the way had even hinted that there might be something wrong or ever mentioned an operation.

I kept asking for my results from my blood test as I wanted to be sure that my previous treatment was definitely not working before I had an unnecessary operation. The staff just kept saying they were waiting and never came to update me in the whole 13 hours I had been waiting. I could hear the doctor in the reception laughing and joking with the nurses but not once did she come and check on me. When asked why she wasn't coming to see me she said she had no update so "what was the point in coming to see me".

When I finally got my results I was scheduled for an operation at "some point" the next day. The next morning I woke up to really wonderful pleasant staff and the doctor came to brief me on what would be happening. The porter and the lady who took me down to theatre were wonderful. Holding my hand and wiping my tears.

When I came around after the operation on the ward at 3:30pm I asked to speak to a doctor as nobody had told me what they had done in surgery, was my tube removed? Could I still have children? After asking to see the doctor about 25 times someone came just after midnight to tell me my tube had been removed and just "try and see if the other tube works".

At around 2am I called the nurse as I was bleeding and wasn't sure if that was normal. She said she would check and then I didn't see any staff for 5 hours. I was left on my own in a side room with the curtain drawn and no monitors on me for 5 hours after I had advised I was bleeding. Anything could have happened to me but no one came until the new staff came on in the morning.

My nurse in the morning was wonderful and checked all my wounds and discharged me. As I was getting ready to leave the doctor came in, asked if everything was ok then said "so I think we can discharge you today". She clearly hadn't read my notes and I had to explain that I had already been discharged.

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Responses

Response from The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for taking the time to give us your feedback about your stay in our hospital. We welcome all feedback and would like to assure you that all comments are taken seriously and acted upon as part of our ongoing commitment to improving patient experience.

We are so sorry you had such a negative experience during treatment for your ectopic pregnancy. Making sure our patients feel fully involved and informed about all aspects of their care is very important, and so it is really disappointing to learn that you felt you were not fully aware of your treatment plan. We would always expect our staff to make communication with patients an absolute priority and so must apologise if this was not the case during your stay. The situation you describe is not acceptable and not one we would wish for any of our patients. Please accept our apologies for any stress we may have caused.

Although you have given us a lot of information about your experience, it is difficult for us to comment further on your specific case without your own details and reviewing your medical notes.

Some of the issues you have raised are really concerning and, with your permission, we would like to register this as a formal complaint so that we can carry out a thorough investigation. In order to do this, please get in touch with our complaints team by emailing Complaints.Dept@dgh.nhs.uk or phoning 01384 456 321035.