"Experience at Rotherham hospital"

About: Rotherham Hospital / General surgery

(as the patient),

I was recently admitted to Rotherham hospital via a&e for a suspected appendicitis. My experience of a&e was good who saw me quickly apart from the health care assistant clumsily trying to gain iv access which would later become infected. I was transferred to the surgical assessment ward on Saturday afternoon b5. This is where my experience completely changed.

I had been given painkillers at two thirty that afternoon by a&e staff and had to wait seven hours on b5 for painkillers. This was despite being so unwell that the lady in the bed next to me actually was so concerned she asked a member of staff for me. She was told only one member of staff could give me the drugs and she was too busy she would get to me. At this time I was also (what would later be revealed) running a forty degree temperature shivering in bed which the nurses completely ignored. When the nurse eventually came to give me my painkillers she said she would get the doctors to prescribe me some antibiotics. It took him a further two hours to do this even though I had a temp of forty degrees. I was left suffering for nine hours on this ward.

A doctor came to review me on Sunday morning and told me to go home if I felt well enough. However I then started with a further temperature which the nurse completely ignored. This was despite me shivering and shaking on the bed until she asked me if I was ok to go home. I was then finally given iv paracetamol The decision was then made to transfer me to b11 as there were no beds on the surgical wards.

I have to say this turned out to be a brilliant thing for me. The staff are brilliantly observant so when I became unwell again they came to me first. They treated me with the medication I needed on time and with care. They also fought tooth and nail for me when a doctor from the surgical team came to review my scan and decided to not review me that day as they were too busy. The night nurse also took on another doctor to get them to come and see me as I had an infection in my catheter who agreed to come but never turned up. You see despite having three forty degree temps between Sunday night and Monday night I didn't see a doctor till Tuesday morning.

The antibiotics were not working and the nurse identified this to the doctor on Monday and was told to keep going on with them till Tuesday when they had time to see me. When he did turn up, he didn't know any of my test results and told me I had flu (despite it saying in my notes they had identified a uti). Things then improved from there despite for my last night they moved me off b11 to b4 which was a shame as they had looked after me so well.

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Response from Grace Oldfield, Patient Involvement Manager, Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Steph88, thank you for taking the time to post your experience at our hospital and thank you for positive comments in relation to our A & E department.

I will however ask the Matron for A&E to look into re-assessing competence of our Healthcare Assistants and apologise that the Healthcare Assistant that tried to gain IV access did so in such a clumsy manner. Thank you also for your praise of Ward B11 and I will ensure that the Ward Manager is made aware of you positive comments to share with her staff.

However, I am most concerned to hear of your experience whilst being cared for on our Surgical Assessment Unit on Ward B5, as this is certainly not the care and treatment that we would expect you to receive from our nursing and medical staff.

Being left in pain is completely unacceptable and please accept my sincere apologies that staff were not as attentive and responsive as they should have been, particularly too in relation to not recognising that you were running a high temperature and being prescribed and administered antibiotics in a timely manner. Please accept my apologies too for the manner in which you appear to have been spoken to as this is absolutely not the attitude we expect of any of our staff.

As this posting is anonymous, I would be very grateful if you would please contact our Patient Services department at complaints@rothgen.nhs.uk or telephone 01709 424461, who will be more than happy to discuss your care with you.

I hope you are feeling better now and please accept my sincere apologies once again.

With best wishes,


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Update posted by Steph88 (the patient)

Grace thank you for your comprehensive response. I appreciate your comments and the sincere apologies offered. Thank you for your comments regarding speaking with the matron on A&E I feel the real issue is around there ability to gain access easily to individuals with difficult veins. Since my post I have actually been contacted by the matron on the surgical assessment ward by phone who has asked me for a week to investigate and then had invited me in to discuss the matter. Whilst I am not sure given you said my post is anoymonous how they knew I had posted on here but I do really appreciate the speed and manner at which my concerns have been addressed. If I do not hear back from the matron in question I will not hesitate to contact patient services as you requested. Regards

Response from Ben Pathe, Business Development Officer, Patient Opinion

picture of Ben Pathe

Hi Steph88,

I saw your response and I'd like to confirm that your story on Patient Opinion is definitely anonymous.

Stories on Patient Opinion are moderated by a small number of people in our team, each of whom takes your confidentiality very seriously.

The only information we hold which could identify you is your email address, and your post code. We never, ever, share this information with anyone outside Patient Opinion without your explicit consent, and we never will.

Sometimes, though, we do hear of cases where staff read a story on Patient Opinion and try to guess who the author is. Sometimes, the guess is right, and sometimes wrong. Of course, the more unusual the experience you describe, the bigger the chance someone will know about it and guess right.

We can't do anything about people trying to guess the identity of authors - but we do spend a lot of time with health service staff, focusing always on "what can we do better?" and not on "who wrote this about us?"

I hope that reassures you - but do feel free to respond if you still have concerns about this.

Best wishes,


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Update posted by Steph88 (the patient)

Ben thanks for your response. Just for clarity I am fine with the hospital knowing who I am. The point I was trying to make was that I thought it was excellent that the matron actually picked up the phone to me and is dealing with my concerns without having to write a letter. In my opinion we all make mistakes it is how we deal with them which is a real test of an organisation. So well done Rotherham general for dealing with the issue