"My experience of cardiac & general care over the years"

About: Stepping Hill Hospital / Cardiology Tameside General Hospital / Cardiology Wythenshawe Hospital / Cardiology

(as the patient),

I collapsed in Turkey in Sept 2006. I was diagnosed by Xmas as having Angina and that I would have treatment within 4 weeks. Apt came for 6 weeks into the New Year. I was admitted by emergency in early Feb & stayed in a general ward (which has now been demolished) for 5 days.

It was filthy & I had to wash in the toilet wash basin with paper towels. For a shower, I was taken to a female ward. The patient next to me was unable to feed himself and food was just left on the tray for two days until I complained. There was a lot of noise on the ward one night & I investigated as it was disturbing all the patients. 8 - 10 nurses seemed to be having a party. A sister in the morning had been informed in the about the noise, but did not know it was from nurses. The ward was not cleaned in all that time. An injection file tip was left under the bed for the whole time I was there. I was transferred to the cardiac ward for 3 days, but discharged home as waiting time for angiogram was still 4 weeks.

I was emergency admitted again to the cardiac ward in March for 5 days & sent home, still 4 weeks. I was in a room with no heating during this time with sub zero temperatures & snow outside. I would go into the day room to keep warm.

I finally went to Wythenshawe in April for angiogram, but had to have 4 stents put in. The cardiologist from Tameside said I scared him to death when he saw what was required. I collapsed again at the end of August and was transferred to Wythenshawe & received a further 3 x 25mm stents.

After a few weeks I started to get palpitations and these grew slowly worse.

Thanks to Jeanene, the cardiac nurse, who is marvellous, I went to appointments with registrars & my consultant. They tried changing my drugs & gave me a 24 hour ecg, but the palpitations went to 24 hours a day and i was becoming exhausted & having angina attacks. I went to the clinic in 7th January 2007 and after a two hour wait, I saw a registrar who said," I know it's bad, but try to ignore it !" I said how can I and he replied to split my beta blocker in half & take it morning & evening and see him in 6 months. A written report was typed on Feb 8th & posted on March 7th.

I grew steadily worse & could not work. I paid to see a top consultant in Leeds in April and he admitted me for angiogram in Leeds General Infirmary in June. He found that my left artery was severely blocked and I need a bypass. They also found that I was severely anaemic and required 2 units of red blood cells before discharge. The palpitations stopped.

I was requested by the surgeon to have a GI tract investigation. I was told 8 weeks for appointment. After 7 weeks I found that someone, not my Doctor, had asked for an appointment with a cardiologist. My doctor faxed Tameside for an urgent appointment, but this went missing until after, through PALS, I had an appointment from Stepping Hill 10 days later.

They were marvelous, carrying out 3 different procedures in 4 months, giving written reports on the day and concluding that it was aspirin causing a bleed through a hiatus hernia. My thanks to Mr Agwunobi & staff.

The surgeon requested I see a haematologist before surgery. Again, after 6 weeks, I still did not have an appointment. I found that someone again from my Doctors had sent the request to Leeds Infirmary, which does not have a haematology department, it is at St James. Through PALS, I obtained an appointment at North Manchester General in 2 weeks, although put back a further week. The Doctor took blood & urine samples & said I would have the results in 2 weeks. After constant calls to his secretary & a fax from my Doctor, no results were forthcoming. Again PALS came to my aid and after an email to him, demanding the results or else, they came out 7 weeks & 1 Day after my consult & were all clear. I am scheduled for bypass in April at Leeds.

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Response from Tameside Hospital Foundation Trust

Following your admission to the emergency department you were transferred to the medical assessment unit which is an area in which admits both male and female patients. Obviously, it is difficult to predict the gender of patients admitted as an emergency so the unit has recognised the importance of gender segregation where possible and has been very proactive in promoting gender segregation. As you can appreciate, at times this may be difficult as a patient is first admitted but there are systems within the unit whereby gender segregation is assessed periodically. Gender segregation is a key feature of the Trust’s Dignity in care Strategy, and there have been considerable improvements within this area. The area also has designated male and female bathroom facilities and being directed to shower in a female area was therefore not acceptable and I would like to apologise.

In relation to observing another patient’s dietary needs not being maintained, this is not acceptable. I would like to assure you that the Trust introduced an Essence of care tool (E.O.C) which is where activities of daily living are audited in order to identify a baseline of performance and then compare nationally with other hospitals. The first benchmarking exercise performed by the trust was in relation to Nutrition to which new initiative were introduced trust wide such as, nutritional assessment on admission and the introduction of a red tray system to identify patients who required dietary assistance. In addition, there is a quarterly nutritional audit performed throughout the trust and the results and reviewed by the Director on Nursing.

With regard to the cleanliness of the environment, this area has a designated domestic service. Your concerns will be raised with the Domestic supervisor. The Trust developed a matron’s ward round monitoring tool. As part of this tool, the assessment of the environment is performed and any problems identified are discussed with the relevant clinical area.

The trust have also reviewed under the E.O.C benchmarking how noise can be reduced to promote an environment of rest for patients and assist with their sleep requirements. As you can appreciate in a busy area whereby activity is high due to the admission and discharge of emergency patients this can be difficult. However, your comments and observation will be directed to the unit manager in order to raise staff awareness again.

I hope the above demonstrates the Trust’s commitment in continuing to improve the standards and quality of care for patients.

Mrs Karan Shingler

Divisional Nurse Manager

Emergency Services & Critical Care Division

Update posted by John W (the patient)

Thanks to Tameside for their response. I did not comment on the MAU department, the staff are angels & I should have said so.

My initial comments were about Ward 41 which I stated had been demolished.

My main concern was the comment from the doctor, " I know it's bad, but try to ignore it."

April 6th, I had a double bypass at the Nuffield Hospital in Leeds. Thanks to all the staff and my surgeon Mr O'Regan. Continuing thanks to my cardiologist, Dr McLenachan at Leeds General Infirmary.