"Pulled from pillar to post"

About: Altnagelvin Area Hospital / Cardiology Dumfries & Galloway Royal Infirmary / Cardiac Rehabilitation Dumfries & Galloway Royal Infirmary / Cardiology Golden Jubilee National Hospital / Cardiac Surgery

(as the patient),

I have a history of heart problems. In 1996 I had my first stent and another 2 in 2001.

Last October, I had a heart attack whilst working in Northern Ireland and was admitted to Altnagelvin Hospital, Londonderry. The treatment was first class and they performed another Angioplasty. As a result I was told I urgently needed a triple by-pass.

A doctor made an urgent referral to Golden Jubilee Hospital and sent over my scans on CD-Rom. I was discharged from Altnagelvin on a few days later, on the proviso that my wife came to collect me and drove me back to Dumfries as I was restricted from flying. I was also instructed to notify Altnagelvin if I had not received an appointment or heard from the GJH within 7 days.

Two days later, I reported to my GP in Dumfries with my discharge letter and was informed that there was nothing I needed to do as the urgent referral had been made and I should get a date through soon.

7 days after being discharged I telephoned GJH as I had not heard from them. I was advised that they had received the discs from Northern Ireland but the doctor was now on holiday for another week and to call back the following week.

As instructed I notified Altnagelvin to notify my surgeon there. Eventually I spoke with a secretary who advised that the medical report had not been sent to GJH but would be with them later that day, which it was.

I then received a call from my GP practice who stated that I had to have a referral from my own GP before I could see someone at GJH, as my heart attack happened outside of UK! ! Being an ex-serviceman who served in NI I naturally corrected the medical staff.

Another week past and I was told that I had to see a specialist in Dumfries & Galloway hospital before I could be referred to GJH. So I phoned the hospital to ask when I would get an appointment. I was advised that the doctor I was to see was holiday for a week and another specialist would not see me.

Eventually, in mid November 2016, I got my appointment with Dumfries & Galloway hospital who said I was an urgent referral GJH, that I should not have had to wait so long and that they would email GJH as urgent case.

I was admitted to hospital a few days after this as the medication I was prescribed in Northern Ireland was having an adverse effect on my liver count. Whilst in Dumfries hospital I was put in a ward with 3 other patients who had a heart attack within the last week, had already attended GJH and were being kept in hospital until being called forward for their CABJ.

My experience in Dumfries was, 1. They spelt my name wrong and missed a blood test, 2. Lost my medication, despite being locked in a box belonging to my bed. 3. Told I was being discharged before they could complete the tests as they needed the bed, 4. Told I would be fitted with a heart monitor for 72 hours whilst at home and told to wait for an appointment but they did not know how long it would take.

Just before Christmas I received my pre-op appointment with at GJH. I was advised that they were prepared to take me as a patient on referral from Altnagelvin straight away but Dumfries refused it as they stated that as the heart attack happened outside UK! ! it would have to be referred by them first.

Eventually, in December 2016, I was admitted to GJH, almost nine weeks after suffering a damaging heart attack and had 2 CABG's.

I am now recovering well at home and have just started my Cardiac Rehab programe.

In short with the exception of my treatment by Altnagelvin NHS UK and GJH NHS UK, my treatment within Dumfries & Galloway was lacking in, knowledge of geography, procedure, urgency and understanding, especially not knowing if I was take another heart attack before being operated. There is only one NHS, so why did things go so wrong!

Responses

Response from Joan Pollard, Associate Director of Allied Health Professions, NHS Dumfries and Galloway 3 years ago
Joan Pollard
Associate Director of Allied Health Professions,
NHS Dumfries and Galloway

Professional Lead for Allied Health Professions

Submitted on 10/02/2017 at 21:45
Published on Care Opinion at 21:46


Dear Capricorn050156,

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us through Patient Opinion. I am sorry that you experienced difficulties whilst receiving care from NHS Dumfries and Galloway which left you disappointed and let down. It is clear from your story that you have not received the level of service and support you should expect and I sincerely apologise for that.

A number of services have been involved here and we appreciate you saying that cooperation could be improved. That’s certainly something we will look into with our NHS colleagues.

It would be really good to have the chance to speak with you so that we might look at the details of your situation more closely. We are really keen to learn from your experience and put any necessary improvement actions in place.

I can be contacted by email at Dumf.uhb.patientservices@nhs.net or by telephone on 01387 244146 / ext 34146

I hope that we get the opportunity to speak further soon. Meantime, I wish you well for your continued recovery.

Best wishes

Joan

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Response from Christine McGuinness, Communications Manager, Golden Jubilee National Hospital 3 years ago
Christine McGuinness
Communications Manager,
Golden Jubilee National Hospital
Submitted on 13/02/2017 at 11:30
Published on Care Opinion at 13:44


Dear Capricorn050156

We are sorry to hear about the difficulties you have experienced following your heart attack.

We are glad to hear that you have now had your treatment and are recovering well at home.

As my colleague in Dumfries has mentioned, it sounds like there were a lot of different services involved in your care.

As Patient Opinion is anonymous, we don't have any specific information about your case. To help us look into this, and determine if there is any learning for the future, I would be grateful if you could contact me directly with your details. I can be contacted by emailing Christine.McGuinness@gjnh.scot.nhs.uk or by telephoning 0141 951 5195.

Kind regards

Christine

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Response from Joan Pollard, Associate Director of Allied Health Professions, NHS Dumfries and Galloway 3 years ago
Joan Pollard
Associate Director of Allied Health Professions,
NHS Dumfries and Galloway

Professional Lead for Allied Health Professions

Submitted on 13/02/2017 at 14:10
Published on Care Opinion at 14:30


Dear Capricorn050156,

Thank you for getting in touch. I look forward to meeting you tomorrow in order to begin to understand what needs to happen in order to improve things.

See you tomorrow,

Best wishes

Joan

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