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"Our 30 week pregnant patient was ..."

About: Queen Elizabeth I I Hospital (Welwyn Garden City)

What could be improved

Our 30 week pregnant patient was admitted to the Maternity Ward in the early hours of Monday morning with chronic thoracic pain and was given oral antibiotics and paracetamol and later morphine and discharged on Tuesday . She was re-admitted on Wednesday with a recurrence of symptoms and given more Morphine, Paracetamol, and Codeine for the pain and put on intravenous antibiotics. Several tests were run but the true source of the infection/pain was not found. On Friday evening she was moved into the delivery suite for better observation. On Sun and Mon she was missed on any doctors' rounds and the iv antibiotics were not given for 13 hours. On our arrival at 19:00 on the Monday we raised our concerns that she had not had any medication since 08:45 and the importance of keeping up the antibiotic treatment as resistant strains could form and make the situation worse. We were told they could not administer any antibiotics as it was not on their schedule and she would have to wait for a doctor to become available. We pressed on several further occasions until we had to leave at 20:00. We received a call at 22:00 to learn another syringe of antibiotics had been administered some 13 hours after the last dose. The doctor told our patient they were unhappy with her being left so long without any antibiotic treatment. We appreciate the doctors were busy and have urgent cases to deal with but there has to be doctors available for routine assessment to prevent it spiraling out of control.

We do sympathies with too little staff having too much to do, however it is not good enough to make excuses, action must be taken by the hospital administrators and NHS Trust to ensure there are enough qualified clinical staff for everyday running of the hospital. On this occasion there were empty beds and they were still unable to cope.

We understand the situation at Lister Hospital is the same or worse. As patients were preferentially choosing QEII

Anything else?

We fully support a local hospital with full accident and emergency. Running sevices down too early is detrimental to the local community. logo
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Response from Queen Elizabeth I I Hospital 12 years ago
Queen Elizabeth I I Hospital
Submitted on 22/06/2010 at 14:09
Published on on 25/07/2010 at 20:38

You clearly are unhapyy with the support and care that your patient received at the QEII recently, although we would like to stress that the longer-term changes planned for our hospitals has no bearing on this case. That said, you have raised serious issues that desreve to be investigated. We can only do that if you are prepared to make a formal complaint since the level of detail above is not sufficient. We are very happy to help you to take this forward - please just contact us by e-mail (

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