"Totally forgotten about"

About: University Hospital Monklands / Accident & Emergency

(as a relative),

My wife attended Monklands Emergency Department on four separate occasions over an eight day period, each time with worsening symptoms and increasing pain. Each visit, she was seen and examined by a doctor and told to come back if the symptoms worsened, each time the symptoms bringing her back were becoming more urgent and indicating something was going seriously wrong with her back. At the first visit, she was told she needed an MRI as an outpatient, likewise the second visit, the third visit was then an urgent MRI within 2 weeks and finally the fourth visit where medical staff sought advice from the neurosurgeons at the Southern General, with a view to transferring her care to them, but only after an MRI was carried out. Being a Sunday there was no MRI at Monklands, so the consultant in charge that day, informed us via a junior colleague that they would be “taking over her care”, would speak directly to the radiologist the following day to get the MRI done promptly and would call her directly to let her know the time to attend. 

Nobody called my wife, nor me, at any point since leaving Monklands. When my wife rang radiology to ask if there had been an MRI booked, she was told it was booked for two weeks time but that there had been no escalation request made.

I am deeply disappointed and very frustrated that if a doctor at consultant level makes a plan, makes assurances that they will take over the care of my wife and escalate an MRI then I expect a follow through on that assurance. I appreciate that Emergency Departments are by very definition very busy places, however no consultant should ever make such assurances if they cannot be upheld. A two minute phone call to at least reassure my wife she has not been forgotten about was all that, at the very least, was required to allay her increasing anxiety and fear that the next time she is forced to attend she may not actually be able to walk.

Responses

Response from Gavin Dolan, Senior Nurse, Emergency Care Directorate, University Hospital Monklands, NHS Lanarkshire 14 months ago
Gavin Dolan
Senior Nurse, Emergency Care Directorate, University Hospital Monklands,
NHS Lanarkshire
Submitted on 09/05/2019 at 15:34
Published on Care Opinion at 16:10


picture of Gavin Dolan

Dear Nimrod2,

Thank you for taking the time to leave feedback on the Care Opinion platform today. I very much appreciate you being so honest in your account.

Firstly, let me give you and your wife my sincere apologies on behalf of the Emergency Department and my colleagues involved in your wife's care. This sounds like a really poor experience you have received from us here at UHM and certainly not one that is person centred. From your account it appears that your wife has been let down by our hospital. I can completely understand why you are so disappointed, angry and frustrated - I must admit, I would be too if I felt that I had been forgotten as you describe. I am really also disappointed to learn that no call was made to your wife as promised as I personally know first hand how this feels and its not great at all.

I would very much like to investigate all the circumstances in their fullest and would like to be able to come back to you and your wife with the findings of my investigation. I would be obliged if you could make contact with our complaints manager, Melanie McLean on 01236 713065 where she will pass your details directly to me to take forwards.

I do hope your wife if doing well and certainly on the road to recovery and apologies once again for all the added stress that you have both had to endure through this.

Best wishes,

Gav

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