"My care after overdose and self harm"

About: King's College Hospital (Denmark Hill) / Accident and emergency

(as the patient),

I cut my wrists and arm took an overdose of prescription medication with the intent of harming myself.

WhIle the nursing staff were very good and caring, I have some concerns.

My wounds were not stitched. I was told by a doctor that this was because it was over 12 hours since the cut that I attended so bacteria had got into the wounds and would be trapped in there - but they were then sealed with steri-strips so surely the same applies. I said I was worried that they would scar badly and the doctor just said 'they might', seeming not to care. I am now worried I will have ugly scars.

I received no treatment for an overdose that I thought had made me possibly fit (I was semi-consciously aware of jerking) and pass out.

No blood tests were taken.

I just had an ECG and I wasn't given any treatment although I could see my blood preessure and heart rate were very high. I am concerned the overdose could have done damage to my organs and this wasn't discussed with me. I was very disoriented and felt unwell but got no help. I feel very worried I have done permanent damage to myself.

I was told I needed a tetanus injection but this wasn't given.

I was left alone a lot although very distressed. I feel I wasn't communicated with about my treatment and what the effects of the overdose might be. I feel I received lesser care as I had self-harmed and this is distressing.

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Response from Cathy Varley, PALS Manager, King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

I am very sorry to hear of your concerns following your recent attendnaces in the Emergency Department. It is particularly concerning that it created an impression that you received discrimination because of the nature of your attendnace. I would very much like to investigate your concenrs and see what action can be undertaken to improve the experience of patients in your position. If you would like to offer us the opportunity to do so please contact our PALS service kch-tr.pals@nhs.net or 0203 299 3601.

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