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"Lengthy, painful, and very distressing experience"

About: Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Glasgow / Accident & Emergency Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Glasgow / Orthopaedics

(as a service user),

I have to feedback with positive and unfortunately some very unacceptable aspects and instances I’ve experienced recently within Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.

Some involve A&E and are probably more serious because they imply risk to life.

I’m currently in ward 10 under the care of a Spinal surgeon who fortunately for me, is doing an on-call week in the NHS this week.

The surgeon cleared me to leave this morning and will follow up with me in a small number of weeks

The physio and the doctor also cleared me to return home which after spending Christmas in hospital is very welcome.

I’ve met some very empathetic and knowledgeable consultants and doctors as I’ve gone from an unnecessarily lengthy, painful, and very distressing A&E experience to the ward.

Regarding A & E:

My GP sent me here after I had collapsed on a walk that morning and been rescued by a member of the public. I was examined by a junior orthopaedics Doctor who seemed concerned by the amount of pain I was in and the length of time I’d been asking for help, as a normally fit and healthy person. They said they wanted to get me admitted for an MRI and went through the pre MRI check questions regarding me working with metal or having any metal in my body etc.

Hopes raised that finally after months of pain I was going to get help, perhaps a diagnosis, treatment even….

However, they left the room then returned saying they’d consulted with a more senior colleague who had directed them to send me home with co codamol and wrote up an out patient urgent MRI request.

This was despite me being unable to walk more than about 10 yards without buckling and crying in pain. I had to cross a road then negotiate a low wall outside A & E and almost crawled across the car park, crying with pain and having to support myself on parked cars until I got to my car and fell inside it.

I then had to negotiate the M8 in the dark in agony in my right leg.

Also, I live alone. I feel this action directed by a senior colleague (who didn’t even bother to set eyes on me) was very unsafe and very inhumane and undoubtedly a failure in the NHS duty of care to both myself and the wider public and caused me unnecessary severe pain and suffering over many hours.

Another GP then sent an ambulance for me because I was having to crawl on the floor having now completely lost the use of the right leg, suffering pins and needles in that leg as well as horrific constant pain which was making me cry out continually. I was wheeled into the waiting area at A&E at QEUH.

After a short wait a door opened and my name was called by a member of staff, they may have introduced themselves but I don’t recall.

As I was unable to walk without aggravating whatever my unknown condition was (at this stage I’m fearing MND/vaccine side effects etc) and causing further severe pain and distress I motioned towards the wheelchair sitting next to me and asked them if they would mind wheeling me through.

To my astonishment, they refused this and continued to stand holding the door open for me at which point I explained I’d been wheeled in by the paramedics.

Again they refused to help me saying they needed to see me walk. What I should have done at that point was crawl across the floor on my hands and knees to them and ask if they’d seen enough because that was how I was “walking“ at home.

What I actually did out of some misguided sense of obligation to comply, was explain that trying to walk would cause me severe unnecessary pain and I then hobbled/hopped the 15 feet or so to where they stood and then along a corridor to an examination room.

Then during our time together I found their attitude to be completely lacking in empathy, rude and to a degree badgering.

At one point I mentioned that it was 20 years since I last was off work sick. I’d assumed this would indicate I’m not a person to ask for help often or if I don’t really need help. However, they interrupted to ask why that was relevant.

I found that quite an astonishing question. I had already explained that I’m a self employed person and therefore not someone to be off work or asking for help or draw on resources if I don’t definitely need help. I totally understand that demand for resources often outstrips supply, especially at the moment.

I had explained that I’d actually tried from Aug to Nov to manage a developing problem with pain in my lower back/hip then leg before realising I needed medical help in early November.

It may be unconscious by this member of staff but I was made to feel as though I almost had a nerve (pardon the pun) coming back after being here the day before, when in reality I should have received an apology for being sent home the previous day to endure an agonising and dangerous return home and overnight .

I think they then said it was irrelevant when I’d last been off work sick and that the NHS is there to provide help when it’s needed - which I heartily agreed with of course.

They then, quite aggressively and explicitly I felt, told me they'd manage my expectations now, that I wouldn't be admitted, nor scanned, but may be given some pain medication and sent home.

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Response from Nicole McInally, Patient Experience and Public Involvement Project Manager, PEPI, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde 3 weeks ago
Nicole McInally
Patient Experience and Public Involvement Project Manager, PEPI,
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
Submitted on 06/01/2022 at 12:03
Published on Care Opinion at 12:03

picture of Nicole McInally

Dear Crciketek35

Thank you for getting in touch via Care Opinion. I am very sorry to read about your distressing experience at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital and that you have been left feeling very disappointed and let down.

I understand that you have raised this through our Complaints Process and our Complaints Team are currently investigating this. The Complaints Team will contact you directly with an update.

Kind Regards


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