"The Worst 6 Days Of My Wife's Life"

About: Royal Blackburn Hospital

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My wife was admitted to A&E at Royal Blackburn Hospital with uncontrolled fits and diarrhea with blood. The scene i witnessed was like a 3rd world country. Patients on trolleys lining corridors and others everywhere. After initial triage, she was moved into the corridor, but "luckily" because of the fits, she was allocated a cubicle. Within an hour she had more diarrhea with lots more blood. Within another hour she went into uncontrolled fits, ending up in Resus seconds away from full general anaesthetic. She was hooked up to an infusion pump and blood pressure/pulse ox machine. The alarms on the machines were not attended to and only my asking for someone to check gave any response.

Eventually she was moved to the MAU, where she had another fit with the doctor present. He informed me they are concentrating on the fits and will sort out the diarrhea later. Her "treatment" on the MAU was abysmal. She had numerous fits with no one witnessing them, with the staff saying keep the door open so that may catch one if they went past at the time. I had to get a nurse to help during a seizure. They didn't respond to the nurse buzzer so i had to go and get someone when my wife had severe abdominal pain. The only advantage of this unit was my son and i were able to monitor my wife for 6 hours-at least someone did as she was left alone by the staff.

Eventually moved to a ward into a side room with barrier nursing. We were able to enter the room without anybody telling us about the protocol for that room. My wife was left for long periods without any interaction with staff. She was moved onto the ward on Thursday. No bed was available so she was left sitting in a chair. Whilst there she had a fit witnessed by the patients, staff nurse and doctor. I was told later by the staff nurse, that my wife had faked the fit! She hates this hospital and would not stay 1 second longer than she had to. On Friday she was to be discharged so i asked for a commode to be arranged, as we don't have a downstairs toilet, after she had fell down the last 2 steps of our stairs whilst having a fit during the transfer by the paramedics. I was told that there was no occupational therapist until Tuesday. I was able to arrange one in 4 hours via the District nurses in Burnley, why couldn't they? They didn't even know that was possible, why? Unfortunately she started with bloody diarrhea again, meaning a further 2 days in hospital. Eventually she was discharged on Easter Sunday. Still with diarrhea but at least the major fits have subsided. I could go on with more on hygiene, bedding not changed after blood split on it from the diarrhea, drugs not being given at all, also locked in the bedside cabinet so my wife couldn't access them. We cannot believe the lack of care at this hospital, and my wife never wants to be anywhere near this place again. The lack of staff to cope with the situation was appalling and needs addressing urgently.

Story from NHS Choices

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