"Someone at RCH needs to get a grip."

About: Royal Cornwall Hospital (Treliske)

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As a former county councillor I was contacted by the distraught partner of someone who had been admitted to RCH with severe abdominal pain, kept overnight and dischaged with painkillers the next day. A day later, in agony, the person was readmitted and, later, underwent surgery. Due to what I can only describe as 'criminal neglect' the patient was in constant pain (despite the morphine) due to a failure to carry out what any reasonable person would regard as basic post-operative care. This experience re his father is not unique. I had a mobile phone call one evening and actually heard this patient screaming in pain and it made me feel sick. God knows what effect if was having on the patient's partner and other patients.

A failure to change 'bags' or clear blocked tubing was causing these problems yet the staff seemed immune to the suffering. I was asked for advice and put together a letter to the chief executive and other departments. As a result of this and constant complaint by the partner, the patiend was eventually given the attention they should have had from day one.

Subsequently the pain eased and the patient quickly became well enough to leave. Two weeks of quite unecessary suffering with costs to the NHS as well as the patient. Clearly, if the patient had been given the right level of care immediately their stay would have been far shorter, saving bed space etc etc.

I offered to make a formal complaint following the patient's discharge but the couple were so traumatised by their experience they asked me not to. Someone in authority at RCH needs to get a grip on the basics of nursing. In a second letter I wrote to the chief executive (but not forwarded to him) I expressed the opinion that had this patient been thirty years older they would not have survived the quite disgraceful regime they had been exposed to.ComplaintsPainkillersSurgeryPatient careTelephoneAttentive

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