"Doncaster Royal - good head injury care from ENT and Neurologists"

About: Doncaster Royal Infirmary / Ear, Nose and Throat

(as the patient),

My husband had an accident whilst working on a motorway. He fell 25 feet, fractured his skull, had a brain bleed, shattered his shoulder, 9 broken ribs on his left side and had a spinal fluid leak. He was admitted to Chertsey Hospital at first and then was discharrged direct home from there.

When he was arrived home he was not well and the next day I spoke to Doncaster by phone. Doncaster told me to get my husband in asap, saying he should have been transferred to DRI and not sent home.

After Chertsey he came home for only 1 day, then had a relapse, his conscious level had really dropped, couldn’t talk, pupils were increasing and decreasing in size.

I phoned a direct number and they fetched him. We went up to the ENT ward directly which was really good, no messing in A&E etc. I noticed he had a leak of spinal fluid from his ear. At this time he had already been in Chertsey for a month. At DRI he was seen straight away. After that he was on neurological watch, which means he is observed every 15minutes, then once more stable up to every hour. Neurological watch also entails blood pressure checks, eyes checked, temp, questioning – asking him things that he should know. Just getting him to talk was really good. I was also allowed to be with him, no restrictions at all – great. Staff always made me feel at ease, everywhere was so clean. I was always offered tea, extra food for my husband as he did weights and was careful about what he ate, so they had no problems in catering for a special diet – could have anything off the menu – the kitchen would cook anything for him.

The staff provided me with lots of info.

The ENT consultant on duty was very good. Once seen by him he was then sent to Dr Crapper who was a top lady. She insisted he had an MRI scan due to his brain bleed and to check everything was all in order and he didn’t have any other problems. Whilst he was in Chertsey he had been in a coma, and DRI wanted to check everything was ok again just to get a baseline.

I thought all the nurses and staff were great. Especially Joey Johnson his physiotherapist and Dr Gibson – Neurologist who he saw. He was on the ward for 3 days, Dr Crapper said there was no more bleeding and this could be assessed from the MRI scan.

Whilst at Chertsey at one point they only gave him paracetamol, as a mistake had been made where they dropped his drug prescription down from really strong painkillers. I insisted he was put back on liquid morphine, as he was in real pain.

The doctor said that the reason for this relapse was because of the 300 mile journey from Chertsey Hospital.

The aftercare is currently being carried out by the Neurological Outreach Team (NOT). But it hasn’t been very good, it has actually been a little sparse. The staff don’t seem to be with it. I must see my doctor at the Kingthorne practice to get things moving, he is great. But it seems we have to push for everything. They just don’t return my calls. They are supposed to organise physiotherapy and arrange for him to do cognitive tasks, this isn’t done. In my view the physiotherapy within NOT is not as good as it was in DRI.

All in all DRI was very good - at Chertsey I was frightened about what was happening.

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