"Nursing Staff Were Consistently Uncaring and..."

About: Chelsea & Westminster Hospital

After 'routine' gallbladder surgery I told nurses, doctors and anyone within earshot that I had a low resting temp so that they would consider this to assess post operative infection. Was routinely dismissed and repeated this every conversation to no avail. My resting temp is 35.9. Post surgical fever when considering baseline temp was consistently indicative of infection. Constantly told all professionalis that I had a constant headache. Wounds were checked very infrequently (twice?). Medication was constantly late and I was never told what the medication schedule was in spite of asking. Asked for anti clot socks was told nurse would be right back -- 1.5 hours later had to ring bell and carry on numerous times to get nurse and then had to remind her to give me the anti clot stockings. (13 Hours after surgery). Surgeon who performed operation never visited me once -- appaling. Medication constantly late and required my multiple asking and having to raise my voice (just after surgery). Was constantly told -- things like -- there are other patients, we are very busy etc. Was told that upon discharge I couldn't get transport (though I lived one hour away) because "you have to be over 60 and blind to qualify". Next day asked a nurse when next medication would arrive. Was told 2:00. Rang bell at 2:45 and said, "you said to me that the medication (and ora morph for pain) would be at 2:00". She then shouted at me, "you are a liar, I don't have to take this' and stormed off." I was very upset-crying and said, 'I don't want her caring for me any more'. I called PALS. They sent a Staff nurse to attend to me. I explained what had happened and asked to make a complaint. I said I couldn't write at the moment and she refused to take notes for me. Another nurse, a kind nurse but obviously more junior tried to comfort me. As if nothing had happened, two hours later the first nurse came with an injection ready to put in me. I refused and then had to wait 45 minutes for a substitute nurse to do this (the second staff nurse). Three days later -- I called GP -- still fever -- escalated and had to go by ambulance to Royal London. They had to cut a 5 inch incision of the infected wound and keep me three days with antibiotics to stabilise the infection of a fever that rose to 40. This complication was completely preventable if nursing staff at C and W had monitored me and had communicated with Drs. Amazingly, I called Surgeons secretary (as hadn't heard biopsy of GB) told her a brief synopsis of the above and to my shock I was offered an appointment to meet with a registrar with full hospital transport arranged for next Friday. When I was discharged I asked both drs and nurses how to get home or even for them to call a taxi for me, which they said wasn't possible. My impression of C and W is that it operates only based on fear, lacks kindness and terrible communication across professions. I am horrified at how badly I was treated by so many.

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Response from Chelsea & Westminster Hospital

Hello, We are sorry to hear about your experience. If you wish for the hospital to investigate your concerns, please contact the Complaints Team at complaints.team@chelwest.nhs.uk or pals@chelwest.nhs.uk Kind regards, Patient Advice and Liaison Team

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