"Care received"

About: Aberdeen Royal Infirmary

(as the patient),

Admitted with long standing back pain after having a sudden acute onset of back pain enabling me to walk/sit/stand. Observations were taken with no introduction by nursing staff or asking if they could carry out procedures. Left without pain relief for a substantial time. They were going to put a catheter in but I wasn't 100% sure on this so doc said they would check hourly - no checks were made at all & I was next spoken to early morning after last seeing the doc at midnight. Was told I needed a cannula in for going for a MRI on docs round, no one came. When porter came to collect me to go for the MRI the doc rushed around putting a cannula in, eventually getting it in on the 2nd try. Went for MRI which I nearly missed due to cannula being put in. When in MRI suite they told me a cannula was not needed. Doc informed me MRI was fine, told to go home & live with the back pain, because if everybody came in with back pain, the hospital would be full. At this point I was still in agony, unable to walk properly & still having issues with going to the toilet. Cannula was removed - unused. Discharged home & still in agony & experiencing difficulties with toileting today. I felt that I received unacceptable care.

On a positive note, the nursing staff that were on during the day were fantastic to myself & to other ladies receiving more intense care than myself - caring, considerate & hard working.

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

Dear patient

I was very sorry to read of the problems you experienced as a patient in one of our hospitals. It sounds as if the care you received was not of the standard we would expect. Firstly, all staff should introduce themselves and seek consent for anything that they do with a patient. Secondly, pain relief should be a priority of care in any hospital situation. Thirdly, there has clearly been a breakdown in communication between nursing and medical staff with the doctor suggesting hourly checks which were never carried out. Fourthly, preparation for an MRI scan should be well understood by all staff and the insertion of a cannula was unnecessary and wasteful.

I am very sorry that you had this experience and also for the attitude of the staff member who told you to go home and live with your pain. That must have made you feel that you were wasting staff time and hospital resources. The fact that you were admitted to hospital clearly means that someone was concerned for your health so even if no treatment was required it is unacceptable that you were dismissed in this manner.

If you are experiencing ongoing problems with your bladder or bowel I would urge you to see your GP as soon as possible.

We are grateful for your feedback and hope that staff reading this will understand the impact of flippant remarks and poor communication and information. We are also grateful for your kind comments about our nursing staff.

I would like to invite you to contact me directly if you would like to share your story in more detail. We could then increase our opportunities to learn from your experience. You can do this by calling me on 01343 567900 or by email at loldroyd@nhs.net

In the meantime, please do get in touch with your GP if your symptoms have not resolved.

Kind regards

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