"Undiagnosed gallstones and colonoscopy with no sedation"

About: Tameside General Hospital / General surgery

(as a staff member),

This story has been posted by Healthwatch Tameside on behalf of a member of the public who asked not to have their name published. They said…

Lady had classic signs of gallstones but was diagnosed as having bowel cancer (after no scan or investigation) by a consultant at Tameside Hospital. Diagnosis then changed to constipation. Several other doctors believed she had gallstones but did not want to challenge the diagnosis. She was left in severe pain for some time until at last getting a correct diagnosis and surgery. One of the unnecessary and distressing procedures ordered by the consultant was a colonoscopy. The sedation she was assured she would be given was not given and after 10 minutes of agonising discomfort she was screaming in pain and begged the nurse to stop the procedure. She had to undergo another colonoscopy a month later and in the meantime suffered post traumatic stress. The procedure was later found to have been unnecessary as she had gallstones. Her husband was advised to contact PALS but feels it would be a waste of time.

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Response from Lindsay Stewart, Deputy Director of Nursing, Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust

You can be assured we take all these issues very seriously. Following discussion with Jacky Bergin Endoscopy Unit manager the usual practice is sedation is administered once the patient is in the procedure room along with pain relief if required. This is a standard procedure and due to the procedure being uncomfortable, the nurses actively encourage patients to have sedation to ensure the procedure can be carried out with minimal discomfort. I am sorry that your experience during your visit was not satisfactory. This is certainly not the standard of care we expect for our patients. Please can I ask that you contact the complaints department on 0161 922 4466, or email Pals@tgh.nhs.uk so that we can address this issue

Kind regards,

John Goodenough

Director of Nursing

‘’Would you like to help the hospital to improve its services further? We are currently looking for patients and carers to become involved in a development called “Patient Stories”. We want to know more about our services from the point of view of those who received them – what was good, bad, what could be improved, what should be changed. Want to know more about what’s involved? Please contact John Goodenough, Director of Nursing at


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