"Poor care for my husband"

About: Weston General Hospital / Accident and emergency

(as a relative),

After being brought in via ambulance on an emergency for severe abdominal pain, my husband was placed in Accident and Emergency. He was in extreme pain, enough to make him scream and sob uncontrollably. I had given the ambulance crew details of his recent medical history and current medication as he had a hip replacement operation 3 week prior.

When I was finally allowed to join him at his bedside in A&E, I helped answer some of the doctors questions as to his symptoms, when they started, what he was doing before they started etc. also mentioning that he had had a hip replacement 3 weeks ago.

The doctor wrote this down and prescribed morphine via cannula and requested blood tests. This was done by a nurse not long after but as my husband has been on a form of morphine for two years for his hip condition, this didn’t actually do anything for his pain, just briefly made him stop screaming, I explained this to the nurse. He was then topped up with morphine every hour when his agony got too bad.

At one time, the nurse came in with gavescon and a stomach lining drug that he had already taken at home, the stomach lining drug states only one per day. We told her that he had already had that drug so she took it away. An hour later, when he again begged for something to stop the pain, a different nurse said that his notes stated that he had refused medication. I tried to explain that he didn’t refuse it, but had told the previous nurse that he had already taken that medication that day and didn’t want to overdose on it.

This all went on with him being given morphine every hour for six hours, with an xray fitted in during this time. A consultant came to see him as his blood count was so low and asked if he had had any operation recently, I again mentioned that he had had a hip replacement three weeks prior, and that he’s lost four pints of blood. The consultant said ‘ah that explains it’ and went away.

When he was again begging them to stop the pain, I heard a nurse outside of his cubicle say, ‘can’t you give him more morphine to shut him up? he’s upsetting the other patients’ I was horrified how uncaring someone in the medical profession could be. I had been watching the doctor in charge of him sat at his desk, swinging in his chair, chatting up the nurses for the last hour, and he didn’t even look around.

My husband was then given a very high dose of morphine and put on a monitor as the nurse told me that it was such a high dose, it could stop his heart so they had to keep an eye on him. My husband finally slept and this nurse said as it was past midnight, I should go home as they would keep him sedated overnight and do more tests in the morning.

When I called in the morning, I was told he had been moved to a ward and that I wouldn’t be allowed to see him until afternoon visiting hours.

We have private medical insurance so I called them and asked if he was entitled to be moved to the private wing of the hospital. They emailed the forms to be completed and given to the ward sister to send back with my husbands Treatment Plan and prognosis, and said as soon as they received it, would get him moved down to the Waterside Suite. I called the ward and asked if I could bring the forms in and they said no, I should bring them with me at 2: 30 visiting hours.

At 2: 30pm I gave these to the nurse in charge to start the process and she assured me they would be passed to the correct person. Meanwhile, I visited with my husband, who again was in extreme pain but they had changed his medication to anti-biotics and tramadol as the morphine wasn’t working.

When I returned for evening visiting, the nurse informed me he was being transferred to the Waterside Suite, (so I assumed our private medical insurance had been actioned). We went down at 8: 30pm and he was settled in a private room.

The following morning, my husband phoned me in great distress asking me to come in quick. I rushed to the hospital only to be told by the receptionist that visiting hours are 2: 30pm as he is NHS but would have been 11am if he was private. I was confused as I thought we were now using our private medical insurance, so asked if I could pop in and see him as he’d phoned me in distress.

The ward manager came to see me and told me that as there wasn’t a consultant available as one was on holiday and the other was off for the weekend (it was Friday morning) our medical insurance couldn’t be actioned so he was there as a NHS patient and would be treated as such. She did allow me to pop in and see him though as he was so distressed. When I saw him, he said that the ward manager had come in that morning and very rudely stated that our insurance wasn’t valid and he shouldn’t be there. She didn’t explain that it was because the forms hadn’t been passed to the right person in time, therefore had not been actioned.

From that moment on his care changed, the doctor rudely demanded to know what right my husband had to use private medical insurance and that it was wrong to use it and try and jump the queue. This was not the case at all, we took it out for other reasons, not to jump any queue, my husband was there because of an emergency, not by choice.

Eventually, gall bladder infection and inflammation, and gall stones were discovered and he has to have an operation in eight weeks to remove the gall bladder. They continued to give him tramadol and anti-biotics until the third day when they said he can come home and continue his care under our own doctor.

I hope we never have to use this hospital again, I cannot fault one nurse in A&E and the two nurses on the ward that helped my husband but the laid back attitude and uncaring management and doctors really need to be brought to attention.

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Responses

Response from Weston Area Health NHS Trust

Hello,

Many thanks for your comments. We are extremely concerned to hear that you did not have a good experience with us, and we hope you will accept our sincere apologies.

We have passed your comments on to the Heads of the relevant departments and asked them to look into your concerns, but in the meantime can we ask that you contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service ( PALS) with some further details so we can discuss this further with you?

You are welcome to either call them on 01934 647216 or email wnt-tr.pals@nhs.net, and please do mention that you are contacting them in connection with the above review as they have already been made aware of your concerns.

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Response from Weston General Hospital

Hello,

Many thanks for your comments. We are extremely concerned to hear that you did not have a good experience with us, and we hope you will accept our sincere apologies.

We have passed your comments on to the Heads of the relevant departments and asked them to look into your concerns, but in the meantime can we ask that you contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service ( PALS) with some further details so we can discuss this further with you?

You are welcome to either call them on 01934 647216 or email wnt-tr.pals@nhs.net, and they will be pleased to have the opportunity to look into this.

  • {{helpful}} of {{total()}} people think this response is helpful