"Glasgow Royal Infirmary Ward 51"

About: Glasgow Royal Infirmary

(as a relative),

As an NHS worker I was disgusted to witness the treatment my mother and father received from a nurse in ward 51.

My father, who has terminal cancer was admitted after having a seizure at home, in A&E I can only praise the doctors and nurses who work there under pressure everyday. His A&E doctor was very compassionate and explained what should happen regarding a referral to Palliative care. As well as organising scans etc.

Upon arrival to the ward I began to feel a change in his care. He informed us at visiting last night that he was being discharged.

As no one had spoken to the family regarding my dads seizure or what had likely caused this my mother and father tried to find a nurse to find out what was the next step before we took him home.

My mother asked the nurse at the nurses station if they had come to any conclusion regarding the seizure (as understandably my mother was wary taking him home when we did not know what had caused this seizure). The nurse replied 'What seizure? ' my mother then stated he was brought into A&E after having a seizure. The nurse then responded ' well that's not what he's being treated for in here'. My mother also then asked about the referral to the palliative time that the A&E doctor had kindly discussed, as a family, with us. The nurse then responded with ' We don't do that its Marie Curie's job. The doctors in A&E don't know what they are talking about' ( I was absolutely disgusted with this remark, running other doctors down to patients is unacceptable in my opinion).

A discharge letter was then printed off for my dad to take home. As my mum read the letter she noticed the doctor had advised my father to stop taking a certain medication. My father was not on this medication so my mother questioned it. My mother and father then felt like they were causing a problem and felt uncomfortable. The nurse repeatedly told my mother that my father had to stop this medication, even after my mother stated numerous times he did not take this medication. The nurse then went to a doctor who stated again that my father was NOT on this medication and the discharge letter needed to be changed. Also some of the events on the discharge letter were not true to fact and I feel major diagnoses were missing. There was not even a mention of my fathers terminal cancer.

My mother has now spend all day phoning GPs, Marie Curie etc who have all stated that the A&E doctor was right, and the hospital should have arranged the palliative referral and also had a follow up brain scan regarding the seizure and weakness before my father was discharged last night

I have always had a lot of praise for the NHS but I feel like last night was totally unacceptable. I feel rather disheartened that due to my fathers condition he may have to be admitted to this ward again. With the time we have left with my father, I would hope the people who work in these posts would try to be compassionate and helpful but unfortunately it was the total opposite and very upsetting as a family, who were just looking for some help and advice during this very difficult time.

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Responses

Response from Lorna Gray, Patient Experience, Public Involvement Project Manager, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

Dear Fk4,

We are sorry to hear of you and your family’s experience in Ward 51 at Glasgow Royal Infirmary. Staff within the unit aim at all times to provide a high standard of care to all patients and their families and it is regrettable that this appears to have fallen short on this occasion. Please accept my apologies for this and my assurance that your comments have been provided to senior staff who will share with staff within the ward.

I would be happy to undertake a more detailed investigation of these events if your father wishes and can provide his details for us to confirm the specifics of his care. He can do so by contacting my colleague Lorna on Lorna.Gray@ggc.scot.nhs.uk.

Regards,

Russell Coulthard,

General Manager, Emergency Care & Medical Services

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