"Not given MRI Scan at time of Stroke which has impacted on recovery and quality of life"
About: Fairfield General Hospital / General medicine Fairfield General Hospital General medicine BL9 7TD
Posted by Margg5 (as ),
This story is being submitted by Healthwatch Oldham on behalf of someone who wishes to remain anonymous. Any response to this story will be communicated with the individual concerned.
On Saturday 2nd April my friend was taken to Royal Oldham hospital by ambulance as she was feeling unwell, the fingers on her right hand were not meeting properly and she suspected a possible stroke.
At the hospital she was given a brain scan of the back of head and told that she needed to have an MRI scan to ascertain the treatment she may need.
I visited her on Sunday 3rd April and was told by her daughter that she was still awaiting an MRI scan and would be transferred to Fairfield the specialist stroke unit for the area. I observed that she still had a firm grip in her right hand, she was a little unsteady on her feet and the left side of her mouth was slightly droopy
When I visited on Tuesday 5th April, she had been moved to F2 (which no longer exists). It became clear that she was still awaiting the MRI scan. This puzzled me, she was not receiving any treatment and her right hand was clearly getting worse. I asked a nurse to try to explain to me why she had not been given a scan as I understood, from the public awareness campaign on TV that time was of the essence with a stroke. She was still waiting to be transferred to Fairfield.
Later that day, she had the Scan, I received a phone call from a doctor attending her who informed me that my friend was very upset on learning that because the MRI Scan was not done immediately, it was too late to do anything, he told me that the situation was shambolic and that that there is no facility to treat Stroke victims in Oldham.
My friend was discharged the next day, she has lost the ability to use her fingers properly in her right hand and her speech is impaired. I feel that the treatment was totally inadequate and had she been given a scan immediately and transferred to the stroke unit, the outcome and recovery would have been much better.
I want to know:
Why the MRI scan was not carried out on the Saturday when she arrived at the hospital, not on the Tuesday?
Why she wasn't transferred to the specialist stroke unit at Fairfield, indeed, why she was not taken there directly, if a stroke was even suspected?
Why the shortage of beds is effecting the treatment of emergency cases?
Why the Royal Oldham Hospital is not equipped to deal with Stroke Patients?
Why the National Stroke Awareness campaign tells us that to treat a Stroke effectively, people need to get to hospital early, yet there are not facilities to treat you when you get there.