"Could be improved"

About: Southern General Hospital / Urology

(as the patient),

I recently attended the Southern General Hospital Ward 8 for an investigation for male infertility. The patient information I received in advance of my appointment stated that to bring overnight items and I took from this that I would be staying overnight. When I arrived at the admissions desk the nurse there informed me and my wife that I would be out by about 3pm that day and that I would be able to leave on my own by taxi even though I would have been recovering from a general anaesthetic at the time.

When I was prepped for surgery and transferred to theatre during my handover it was mentioned by a diligent nurse that I would be handed back to urology and that they shut at 1630. This was an issue as at the pre-assessment I was told that I would be able to leave on my own. My wife works on the other side of the country and would not be in a position to come and get me until about 1800. Thankfully something was arranged whereby I would be able to stay in a day room in another ward until I was able to be collected. This issue could have be alleviated by better information in the letter I received about my appointment.

Just before I was put under anaesthetic, it came to light that no-one could find my legal HFEA consent forms which I had signed over 3 months ago at a different hospital - without which, my investigation could not proceed. I had to sign new forms whilst on the trolley in order for my investigation to proceed - I found this poor planning on the part of the NHS and that this should have be highlighted / rectified long before I even arrived at the hospital for my appointment.

As part of the very thorough peri operative assessments by different members of NHS staff I was informed of the type of investigation that they would be performing. The doctor also informed me that as part of the operation, an embryologist would be present to analyse and give confirmation or otherwise of a positive outcome. The doctor informed me that this result would then be relayed to me presumably once I woke up. This did not happen. I did not get any kind of follow up from the doctor when I was returned to my ward and only by me looking through my own notes left in my room was I to discover that due to complications the MESA was not conducted but a biopsy taken instead. Does it really have to take the patient leafing through their own notes to find out what happened - I find this appalling bad care. I asked the nurse on the ward how long it would take for results of my investigation to which a reply of 6 weeks was given. I can accept that this may be the turnaround for a biopsy analysis however I was never told by any of the NHS staff that a biopsy was conducted.

Upon discharge from my ward at 1630 ( then moved to a day room to await collection), the only information I was given was an immediate discharge letter stating that a MESA was conducted and that I was well post operatively. I did not in fact have a MESA conducted, a more invasive biopsy was conducted and there was no follow up information given - when I was discharged from my ward I was still recovering from general anaesthetic, wearing an athletic support and in some discomfort from the procedure. I was not given any advice on when to remove my bandaging or any post operative information. I had assumed that the next ward I was moving to (to sit in their day room) would conduct a formal discharge, however when I questioned one of the nurses she stated that they did not have any of my notes and advised that I contact my consultant's secretary to find out information, bearing in mind this was now 1800 in the evening and that I would not be able to contact this secretary until the next working day.

The only food that was offered to me post op was tea and toast. I was on nil by mouth from midnight and at the time I woke up after my operation at 1130 I was pretty hungry.

I did not get offered any more food whilst I was at the hospital - I left at 1820. One of the nurses in ward 9 where I was sitting in their day room said that I had she known I was staying so late she would have got me some dinner - again another communication issue, most of the staff in ward 9 did not know I was in there ward until I walked out of their day room - much to the surprise of the staff nurse.

Overall I feel the service provided to me was below what I would expect. I am now sitting in my bed at home having to contact persons after my operation to find out what to do regarding post operative care. There would seem to be, in my case anyway, some issues regarding communications which I imagine can be improved upon.

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

Dear Aengus,

I am really disappointed to read your story as you highlight a number of communication issues which altogether resulted in a very poor experience for you, and certainly one which we would not wish for our patients.

You write in such detail that it wouldn't be fair of me to provide a response that was anything less, however I wanted to acknowledge your post and let you know that I will look into this further to provide you with a more detailed response based on the issues you highlight. I hope this is acceptable to you, but if there is anything you would like to add in the meantime, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me directly on lorna.gray@ggc.scot.nhs.uk.

Best Wishes,


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