"Dreadful A&E Treatment"

About: South Tyneside District Hospital

I attended A & E on 11 March with severe renal colic. Having seen triage, I later saw a doctor. I have had kidney stones for many years and I asked if I would have an x ray and was told there was "no point since they had nothing to compare it with". After 4 hours I saw the A&E consultant who sent me home with tramadol. The next evening at 10pm I was in such pain that I returned to A&E. I saw a doctor who asked various details. I was in such pain, I told the doctor they were in the file they had from day before. I was examined then left in the waiting area having received a pain killing injection. This did not work. I had blood and urine samples taken. At 2 am the Dr. asked if I had been to xray and when I said it had not been authorised, the doctor produced a sheet previously printed off at midnight. (The department was not busy and staff behind the desk were busy organising a tombola!!) I was then sent to xray, with my 65 year old relative left to push me there and back in a wheelchair. Once results were back, the above doctor asked what I wanted to do. I asked what was the outcome and diagnosis from the tests. The doctor said I had several stones in the bladder. I asked if there were any in the kidney or the tract, and the doctor said the could not see because of "the shadow" but did not explain further. I asked about pain relief and they said take Tramadol. I said I'd been taking it from the day before and it hadn't worked and that's why I returned. The doctor then said double the dose I said would go the following morning to see my GP for a referral to a BUPA consultant and the doctor then sent me home. On leaving A&E another patient noticed that I had been discharged with the cannula still in the back of my hand! The following morning I went to my GP for the referral to a BUPA consultant. The consultant examined me, and did tests then authorised a CT scan. In the meantime I passed a 5mm stone. On getting the results, the doctor told me I had one small stone in each kidney, however the "several stones in the bladder" referred to by A&E were in fact calcium deposits at the end of the lymph nodes which are apparently quite common. The doctor also said that the "shadow" had in fact been gas. A&E had failed to carry out basic tests, did not give me appropriate advice or tell me about any follow-up. Their attitude was far from caring or in the interest of the patient and as such the department failed to meet standards set down in their charter.

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Responses

Response from South Tyneside District Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to post on the NHS Choices website your recent experience of our A&E Service. I am truly sorry that you had cause to visit the Accident & Emergency Department on two occasions within 24 hours for the same symptoms. From your comments I can see there were communication issues relating to your care and diagnosis for which I apologise. Should you wish this matter to be formally investigated, please write to me at South Tyneside District Hospital, Harton Lane, South Shields, NE34 0PL or email me at Lorraine.lambert@stft.nhs.uk I have copied in the relevant managers to this response in order that they can share your experience with the medical staff to ensure lessons are learned. In the meantime, I do sincerely hope your pain has subsided and you are in a more comfortable position. Kind regards Lorraine B Lambert Chief Executive

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