"Treatment available in A & E at weekends"

About: Tameside General Hospital / Accident and emergency

(as a staff member posting for a patient/service user),

This story has been posted by Healthwatch Tameside on behalf of a member of the public. We have their details and will forward any comments to them. They said…

I am recovering from a very small left superior medial occipital infarction of the brain.

On a Saturday at 5PM I developed blurring followed by loss of vision on the right side. I have had occasional short lasting episodes since my CABG several years ago.

When this episode lasted more than 2 hours I called upon the consultant physician on call at Tameside General Hospital. He advised me to go to the A/E. I went and there the vision cleared.

I waited in the waiting room after giving my particulars to the reception window member of staff. After less than half hour I was called out by a member of the nursing staff. I gave my particulars and history in a quiet clean and pleasant surrounding free from anxiety or reluctance. Thereafter I was asked to wait again in the waiting room which was almost empty quiet clean and pleasant.

In a 1/4 hour I was led to an area inside where a doctor nurses and other staff were carrying on attending to what ever they were doing. I was informed that they were waiting for an area where they could examine me, to become vacant. This took another 1/2 hour.

Subsequently I narrated my symptoms again to the doctor in attendance, who informed me that he was an orthopaedic doctor and could not examine my fundi eyes or any other aspects of neurological system. But he made an appointment for me to attend Ambulatory care assessment unit on Monday morning. He also advised me to change my Aspirin dose to 300mgm daily for 2 weeks.

I heard in the background some one was looking for me, who turned out to be a senior speciality doctor in medicine for the elderly, who informed me that as I could now see well, I might as well go home and return on Monday as directed. I requested an examination to which I was informed that she only came as she heard of me there through the consultant on call, and was in fact in the middle of examining another patient. She offered me the choice of her returning in half hour or so and examine. However as I according to me seem to have recovered from loss of vision, no immediate admission was planned and as the facilities to carry out investigations in a planned manner are not available over the weekend and would be available when I attend the TIA clinic on Monday, I might as well go. I requested her to at least look into my fundi. She used the available ophthalmoscope and examined my fundi and concluded that she saw no abnormality.

It is clear to me therefore, that at least an urgent TIA assessment is not available at the Tameside GH.

As an after thought I am still awaiting a clinical examination. I have received all the kindness welcome and attention that is possible from all those whom I saw since my arrival on the first Saturday [3 weeks ago]. I have received various tests-laboratory and radiological. “I am not allowed to look at the reports”. All tests have not yet completed. It is a story of someone in the profession who fell ill.

Certainly tests for TIA are not offered over the weekend at this hospital.

Certain staff and facilities are not available.

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Responses

Response from Helen Howard, Head of Patient Experience, Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust

We are sorry the level of care has fallen below the standard we expect. Please can I ask you to contact the PALS and Complaints Team for us to look at your concerns in more detail? Telephone 0161 922 4466 or email palsandcomplaints@tgh.nhs.uk

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