"I feel that my Dad was seriously let down by Hairmyers"

About: Hairmyres Hospital / Emergency department

(as a relative),

I was appalled and horrified at the way my father was treated at the accident and emergency department at Hairmyres hospital. My dad who always kept very well through all his years sadly passed away on the 24th March 2009 and I feel that I do not have anything to thank Hairmyres for. During 2006 between the months of April to August my dad was complaining of severe pain in his abdomen and a severely distended stomach. My mother and I took my father to the A&E department at Hairmyres where they did routine blood tests and x rays, nothing showed up therefore they discharged my father saying they could find anything wrong with him. This happened on at least 6 different occasions as over the following few months my father became worse, his back was agony and could barley walk some days. On each visit to A&E, not once was my father admitted to try and find out what was wrong with him.

My dads stomach was very badly distended and I knew something serious was wrong, we kept getting told that was normal and apparently nothing was visible in the x-ray so my dad was a "mystery" and could have "unexplained pain" - have you ever heard anything like this! My father was getting fed up going to hospital as he felt he was being made to feel a nuisance by the doctors. We asked why they would not admit him, they said no need yet. Drunks and drug addicts are admitted for help and people who have been in fights receive treatment, in my opinion the system is all wrong. My dad was in absolute agony over the months and we were getting nowhere, no one was helping us - it felt like banging your head off a brick wall. One doctor even told my father ‘It’s not cancer, if that’s what you are thinking’. Well months later after diagnosing my father myself, not being a doctor, my dad was diagnosed with lymphoma cancer.

I will never forgive the A&E department for their treatment towards my father. If my dad had been admitted and given a scan this would most likely have been picked up at least 10 months earlier, instead of being told he was just a mystery and to go home; no investigations were ever done. Our own doctor eventually got my father admitted and again he had x-rays and blood tests, nothing showed up. The doctor said there was no need for a scan as everything was normal. My poor father went through hell.

Eventually the mass became so big it snapped a disc in his spine. He was crawling on the floor in pain from back and stomach. The doctor who saw my father sent him home again and arranged for barium meal for 3 months time! Within a few weeks of my dad leaving the hospital he had lost a stone and a half. My mum called the doctors secretary, she was hysterical and pleading with her to bring my dads appointment forward. The doctor saw him on the Friday and as quick as that my dad had the CT scan on the Monday - why did this take numerous months and the begging of my mother to get this done?

In the end, it was too late. I wish now that I had put a complaint to Hairmyres about the A&E department but after my dad was diagnosed, all our energies went into the 2 and a half years of looking after him. I will never get over losing my dad and every day I think of how things could have been different if even one of the 7 doctors that saw my Dad had been more thorough. In my opinion, not one of them did their job properly. I only hope no one else has to go through this. I feel that the hospital did not treat my dad seriously enough, I am not a doctor yet I knew my Dad had lymphoma with his symptoms. I only wish it was not too late to put my complaint forward as I strongly believe that my Dad suffered serious neglect at Hairmyres.

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Response from Rosemary Lyness, Executive Clinical Director, NHS Lanarkshire

picture of Rosemary Lyness

Dear nathan,

I'm sorry to hear of your loss.

Thank you for telling us about your experience, I am sorry to hear that it was a negative one.

NHS Lanarkshire joined Patient Opinion in May 2013 and we have been responding to submissions since then.

I would like to acknowledge your submission which was posted before we became a member. I would be happy to hear from you again through Patient Opinion or you can go to the “Contact Us” section of the NHS Lanarkshire website to see the other ways to get in touch www.nhslanarkshire.org.uk

I hope any subsequent experiences with NHS Lanarkshire have been more positive.

Kind regards

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