"Confusion over sedation"

About: Tameside General Hospital / Trauma and orthopaedics

(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 had an appointment for a steroid injection in my hip, in early July 2016. I had one last year - no problems. Near the end of June, the hospital phoned to say that I had to go in urgently for a pre-op "as I was having sedation" - news to me, which didn't really register. I went for the pre-op at the end of June, had an ECG and other checks with a nurse who first of all said she didn't know pre-ops were necessary for sedation, and then had to see another nurse. She said quite casually that of course I did realise I needed to be accompanied and have someone with me overnight. I do not have these, and had signed a consent for local anaesthetic only. She said she'd have to book me a bed overnight. I was unable to make arrangements for this at such short notice, and was then put in touch with the booking clerk, who said my consultant was unwilling to do hip injections without sedation, but other consultants did, so she would try to switch me to someone else if I was willing to have it done a day earlier, and would ring me to confirm. At that point the nurse consulted her manager to ask if the pre-op should continue if I was only having local anaesthetic, and was told certainly not! I pointed out that while I didn't mind what they did or didn't do, they'd already done the ECG, etc. After all of that, the clerk rang me at home the next day to say she'd spoken to my consultant, who was perfectly willing to do the procedure without sedation. I had it, entirely satisfactorily, as planned. My consultant said he offered sedation because some people reacted badly. He couldn't see why I found being told about it at the last minute a problem, until I told him that I couldn't meet the requirement to be accompanied overnight or stay in hospital - at which he seemed astounded, saying he now "understood". I don't know whether he didn't realise Tameside Hospital required these safeguards - or if it didn't occur to him that anyone might be alone at home. So - a storm in a teacup. There was communication failure between sections. It made me feel awkward.

N. B. Actual treatment on the day fine, with very caring ward staff.

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Response from Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust

We are really sorry Healthwatch have had cause to post these comments regarding confusion over sedation.

We take patient feedback very seriously and we can only improve if we know what is going wrong from a patient’s perspective.

Your comments have been shared with the department managers & consultants in order for them to address the issues you raised. Please be assured you’re feedback will be shared at the divisional meetings to enable learning for all staff.