"Serious condition undetected"

About: South Tyneside District Hospital

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I was admitted with right lung pneumothorax with pleural effusion as a result of pneumonia in November 2011. Despite attempting to alert medical staff to my long-standing rare disease it was disregarded as were the developing symptoms of a potentially fatal condition. The pneumonia was treated successfully but as a result of what I believe were less than effective clinical decisions I quickly developed nephrotic syndrome. Immediately after discharge my worsening symptoms caused my GP to request urgent investigation and they subsequently contacted the ward. Receiving no satisfaction my GP referred me as an emergency to the RVI where my primary consultant, who should have been contacted when I was first admitted to District General, admitted me immediately. A simple urine test would have given cause for concern. Also the fact that I was gaining weight (due to acute fluid retention) despite the fact that I had eaten almost nothing for more than a month. I made a formal complaint to the hospital which was investigated by their own personnel. I was then asked to attend a meeting where I was assured that similar situations would not be allowed to arise again. This did nothing to instil enough confidence in the clinical care to persuade me to use their services again. I have been a patient of the Newcastle Regional Hospitals for more than 40 years and have never had cause to complain. The care at the RVI and Freeman hospitals has been truly excellent. Not so at South Tyneside Disctrict General.

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Response from South Tyneside District Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to post your experience of our services on the NHS Choices website. I am truly sorry the quality of care you received in 2011 was not of our usual high standard. I note from your comments you raised a complaint regarding the quality of care and attended a subsequent meeting. I am sorry we did not provide you with sufficient assurances that would encourage you to use our services again. I would like to assure you we pride ourselves in the high quality of clinical care delivered to our patients and every now and again there are occasions where this quality dips. However, we do fully investigate complaints and learn from our patients’ experiences to continually improve the services we deliver. I would be happy for you to inform me as to which aspects of our services it is that cause you to lack the confidence in accessing in order that I can explore your concerns further. I can be contacted in writing at South Tyneside District Hospital, Harton lane, South Shields NE34 0PL or by email at lorraine.lambert@stft.nhs.uk Kind regards Lorraine B Lambert Chief Executive

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