"Care following my stroke."

About: Aberdeen Royal Infirmary / General Internal Medicine Balfour Hospital / General Medicine

(as the patient),

The care received when I was first diagnosed in Orkney was fine but I couldn't get a scan here. Aberdeen staff thought I could have had the scan here.

There was difficulty with organising the flights - the nurses were taken away from their other duties to sort my flights out. When I did get a flight there was no one to fly with me as the nurses were short staffed. My partner only had 25 minutes after being notified to get to the airport. This was all happening when I was in a state of confusion anyway. I can't imagine how an elderly person could have managed this.

The doctor her told me it was urgent I get to Aberdeen. I saw a specialist within an hour of getting to Aberdeen. There was no bed in the hospital. I had to wait several hours after the first flight to get my brain scan which confirmed I had had a stroke. It was confirmed within 15 minutes that I'd had a clot on the brain.

We then sat and waited for a few more hours to which point my partner had to go and ask what was happening to be told I had to have a different kind of scan (ultrasound of my neck). Another specialist was unaware I would be back on a flight that night as there were no beds so then everything was rushed to get this scan done. We were basically given the results as we were walking to the bus to get the plane home.

A follow up appointment with my GP was organised for the next day and the GP was unhappy with the whole situation. There was a mix up with my medication and my GP had to contact Aberdeen direct and discuss my results and medication.

It was nearly 5 months since my stroke when I saw the Occupational Therapist. The doctor had offered me an appointment with Occupational Therapist but I didn't understand what it was. I feel I should have been referred automatically and services should have fallen into place. I feel my rehab could be much further on than it is.

This has been the same for my physio which has meant that I feel this is taking more sessions of physio to sort this out which obviously has cost implications and is taking a lot longer time for me to get back to work.

The Neuropsychologist can only see me in January 2016 and the referral went in early August.

There has been little support for myself and my partner until June and I had my stroke in February 2015. I am worried that this gap in time will have affected my full recovery.

I am concerned about my own health and others

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Response from Linda Oldroyd, Nurse Consultant Patient Safety and Experience, NHS Grampian

Dear patient

Thank you for taking the time to post your feedback. It sounds as if you have had a very difficult and upsetting time. I think it would be helpful to map your journey of care so that it becomes easier to identify responsibilities for things like making referrals and travelling to and from Aberdeen. This might help us make improvements for people in the future who have to go through a similar process. If you would like to help us with this then please get in touch. I can be contacted by telephone on 01224 567900 or by email at loldroyd@nhs.net

In the meantime I hope your recovery is back on track and that you are making progress every day. Thank you again for your post.

Wishing you well,

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Response from Lynne Kalman, Volunteer and Involvement Coordinator, The Stroke Association

Dear Friend

I was very sorry to hear you have had such a difficult time. We thought that now there was a scanner in Orkney things would be much easier for people who had a stroke.

Please feel free to contact our helpline or vistit our website www.stroke.org.uk for further support. We also have a group in Kirkwall that you might like to join.

Take Care

Lynne Kalman - Stroke Association

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Response from Julie Tait, Patient Experience Officer, NHS Orkney

Dear Panther

Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences with us. I am very sorry to hear that your care here in Orkney after your stroke has not been as good as you would have expected.

As Patient Experience Officer for NHS Orkney, I would very much like to discuss this further with you if you would like to contact me directly on julietait@nhs.net

I note that you are concerned about your recovery and would urge you to speak to both the Physiotherapist and the Occupational Therapist so that they can help with any queries and worries you have.

In the meantime, until I hear from you further, I wish you well with your recovery.

Kind regards


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