"Poor level of service"

About: Queen's Medical Centre

I was referred to ward C32 as an emergency by my GP with a ovarian cyst which was scanned on 6th August ast 10.5cm by 7.5cm. The service was poor, the liaison between staff was uncoordinated and the communication between staff on the team was equally poor, with none of them knowing what colleagues had already attended to during my visit. I was in extreme pain, with escalating symptoms and was treated as through I was making the symptoms up and didn't feel as I was taken seriously at all. As my GP had not previouly take blood samples these were take but were used as an excuse not to progress any treatment and I was left wiaitng for over an hour for an appointment for me to be made for a further scan and to see a consultant after my blood tests are back. I left without an appointment being told that they would fax the Treatment Centre with my details with a an appt wthin 2 to 3 weeks which was not what the Dr who had seen me had stated - the doctor had stated that the appointment would be after 3 days when the blood tests were back. I am still in agony and trying to stay at work, the pain is getting worse and I can no longer do my trousers up and as such believe that the cyst is continuing to enlarge as the symptoms continue to get worse. The ward and staff were scruffy and there was no professionalism amongst them - many of them seemed to stand around doing nothing and nothing was explained to me in terms of the process or order events that would take place. The first nurse I saw did advise me that I would not be left to go home in the pain that I was in but this was not true or accurate. In short I feel that it was appaling. Having spoken to the Treatment Centre Gynacology unit today I have been advised that this is how many patients feel after being dealt with on ward C32 - they said they would do their very best to get me in as clearly there was a risk that the cyst could burst if it is contining to grow and cause problems - Ward C32 advised me if the pain increased or any bleefing occured to go to A&E - this does not feel appropriate in terms of patient care and preventing what my GP was trying to do i.e. manage the issue in a controlled way without an admission to A&E.

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Response from Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust

We are saddened to learn of your recent poor experience on Ward C32. Regrettably, as we do not have your details we cannot provide a full response to your case, however we can of course respond in respect of our overall service provision.

We apologise that you felt communication between staff was poor. Staff always check what has been undertaken by other colleagues along with your understanding of your care. It appears that you felt this checking meant that staff appeared unclear, which is unfortunate. Uniform audits are regularly undertaken on the ward. We have had no specific issues identified in relation to the way in which staff adhere to our Trust uniform policy.

It is concerning to read that you felt staff were standing around doing nothing. C32 is an extremely busy emergency admissions ward and it is rare for staff not to be busy. We absolutely accept that there are environmental issues on the ward, which presents challenges for us. I would like to assure you we have plans to address these to make improvements. C32 is in the process of relocating to Ward A23 in November this year. A23 is currently being refurbished so that we can ensure it meet the needs of our patients/staff and service.

With regards to your appointment at the Treatment Centre, our processes are clear in as much as all referrals are faxed with urgent referrals being telephoned prior to faxing. If you wish to discuss the details of your specific case then please contact me directly at Benita.brear@nuh.nhs.uk

Benita Brear

Matron for Gynaecology