"Health records and medical history"

About: Whiston Hospital / Gastroenterology

(as the patient),

I've needed to attend outpatients and have been an inpatient at Whiston Hospital several times since 2010. I've also had numerous A & E visits because I suffer from Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria/Angioedema/Anaphylaxis for which the medics have yet to find the cause. I am also diabetic, asthmatic and I have had chronic gastritis and gastric pain for several years.

I recently visited Gastrology Outpatients because I've been in pain for several years now. On my first visit I was not seen by the doctor named on my appointment letter but by a nurse who took a detailed history and referred me for a CT Scan. I took unpaid time off work to attend this outpatient appointment. I work as a temp and I don't get paid when I take time off, I lose pay.

The appointment arrived very quickly and so today I went for the CT Scan. I fasted from 10pm the night before. Again I took unpaid leave to attend. I arrived a good half an hour before my appointment, I was called about 15 minutes after my appointed time and was taken to a changing room to change into a gown. Then I waited a further 20 minutes or so before being brought 3 cups of water to drink. I then waited another 10 minutes before being taken in to the CT Scanner where I lay down on the bed. At that point I was asked about any other medical conditions I have and I advised the nurse of all of the above conditions mentioned. She didn't know what Anaphylaxis was, which I found quite shocking considering it's a condition that could be fatal. She called a gentleman in who asked me further questions and it was decided at the end of all this, that I could not have the CT Scan because I could not have the contrast injection due to my tendency to Anaphylaxis. I was sent for an ultrasound instead.

My point is this - Why have I been asked on the numerous occasions I've been at A & E, Outpatients, Inpatients to provide a detailed history of all my medical conditions, if that information is not being conveyed? I asked the nurse today had she not looked in my case notes or on the Electronic Health Record and found Anaphylaxis flagged up? She told me they don't have access to case notes and that it wasn't flagged up on the system. When I was at the ultrasound and my name was put into the system, I was asked if I'd seen a particular doctor at my Gastrology appointment. I said I hadn't even heard of this doctor and that I was supposed to be seeing a doctor named in my appointment letter but was, in fact, seen by a nurse for my first visit. So communication seems poor all round at Whiston Hospital.

I'm extremely annoyed about this because it's not the first time I've had to give my life story at various departments at Whiston Hospital and I'd like to know why life threatening medical conditions are not flagged up on the system or in case notes, as this has happened before, and why isn't vital information available to all departments. I'm sure a CT Scan costs a lot of money and I don't even like to think of the wasted time for all concerned today, when a simple and efficient communication system could have prevented all that. I've also come across numerous nurses in Whiston who don't know what Anaphylaxis is, which is a bit unsettling.

I'm a Medical Secretary myself but I'm also a patient, and it's as a patient I feel the need to convey this experience in the hope that health recording both in case notes and electronic records and communication between departments will be improved. I felt today was a ridiculous waste of my time and my money and also of the NHS funding.

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Response from Whiston Hospital

Thank you for raising your concerns, I am very sorry to hear of your poor experience and dissatisfaction. We would like an opportunity to explore this further so that we can find out what happened and so try to ensure that a situation like this does not happen in the future. If you would kindly contact the Patient Experience Team on 0151 430 1376 we would be happy to discuss this with you.

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