"Lack of care & treatment "

About: Crosshouse Hospital / Geriatric Assessment

(as the patient),

It saddens me greatly to be writing about what I see as the decline in standards of care & treatment at Crosshouse Hospital. I should be banging a drum for the excellent work done there & my dad should be a poster boy for all that is good within the NHS, instead he will be remembered by us for the mistakes and lack of care & treatment he received before he died.

30 years ago he was given about 2 weeks to live, after a major operation & to the surprise of his surgeon (Mr Sugden, a man that our family will forever be indebted to, a man that was a God in the eyes of my father) he fully recovered. After this my dad wouldn't let a bad word be said about the NHS.

A few years ago my father had a routine procedure, when he contracted something we were described as "a bug in his bloodstream". They couldn't get the infection under control & after almost 8 weeks they had to transfer him to The Southern General for 3 & 1/2 weeks then almost 3 weeks at Kirklandside Hospital. When he was discharged he needed 24 hour care & we were told he would never walk again. With the excellent care from the ISIS Team, his GP & physio we managed to get him walking about 30 steps unaided.

Following another minor procedure he was sent home from Crosshouse with Campylobacter.

He recovered from this only to be admitted to Crosshouse with a minor turn. For some reason his medication was withheld, his heart rate spiked at 228, they gave him his meds & his heart rate normalised.

He was due to be discharged when he had a fall, they said he could have a brain bleed but they didn't scan or X-ray him, his was in a virtual vegetative state for 9 days, he picked up again, they said "he might have an infection coming on". They sent him home with E-Coli & to make things worse they sent him home with E-Coli resistant antibiotics!

He was readmitted & I wouldn't know where to start documenting the care & treatment (or lack of it) They failed to get the infection under control and he died. The nightmare continues, they wanted to issue a death certificate from a doctor that knew nothing about my dad & had only started that morning. I called regarding his personal belongings only to be told "he didn't have anything & there's no documentation on his possessions."

It breaks my heart to think my dad previously held the NHS with such high regard that he passed away fully aware of the mistakes they were making.

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Response from Fiona McQueen, Nurse Director, Nurse Directorate, NHS Ayrshire and Arran

picture of Fiona McQueen

Dear Faith in the NHS

I found this an extremely difficult story to read. Please accept my condolences on the loss of your Dad.

This must be so difficult for you and your family to have to live with these feelings.

Your Dad sounds as if he was a strong man with a very strong will to live. I am very sorry that yourself and your family have experienced this and still are. All these troubles will make your bereavement a very difficult one.

There are so many issues here that we got wrong and I wonder if you would give us the opportunity to look into this thoroughly?

I understand it may seem daunting to go through an ‘official process’ but we can help you with it. I really hope you feel you can get in touch with us. We didn’t get it right for your Dad but you could help us to work towards getting it right for others.

Please let me say again how sorry we are.

I hope you get in touch with me by email on fiona.mcqueen@aapct.scot.nhs.uk or via my PA, Kate Macdonald on 01292 513607. You can also get in touch through our Patient Opinion Coordinator, Eunice Goodwin on eunice.goodwin@aapct.scot.nhs.uk or on 01563 826222.

Kind regards and sincere apologies,


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Update posted by Faith in the NHS (the patient)

Dear Fiona

Thank you for you kind messages of condolences.

If anything good could come out of this I would like to look into setting up some kind of communication hub for patients or relatives so that issues can be looked into while they are happening. This way issues could be addressed rather than accumulating into a complaint. Nurses on the ward already have a strenuous workload and in many cases patients are moved to different wards and any issues are not addressed or moved with them. If I can prevent one person from having the experience my father had then his death would not be in vain.

Response from Eunice Goodwin, Patient Feedback Manager for NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Quality Improvement and Governance Team, NHS Ayrshire and Arran We are preparing to make a change

picture of Eunice Goodwin

Dear Faith in the NHS,

The Patient Opinion Site is all about enabling us to listen to people’s stories and responding to them. Like you, we agree that having a way to address things before they escalate would be of great benefit to us all. We would very much like to take this on board. It is a great idea and it will help us to create the best service possible for all the people in Ayrshire and Arran (and that is our aim).

While it does not rub out the past, as you said, we can improve things and prevent it happening again.

We would be very grateful if you would contact us so we can start to take the communications hub forward with your help.

Please contact me, Eunice Goodwin on eunice.goodwin@aapct.scot.nhs.uk or 01563 826222, Fiona McQueen on fiona.mcqueen@aapct.scot.nhs.uk or Fiona's PA, Kate Macdonald on 01292 513607.

I would also like to add my sincerest apologies to you and your family for everything you and your family have experienced and your sad loss.

Kind regards


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