About: Caithness General Hospital / General Surgery Caithness General Hospital General Surgery KW1 5NS
Posted by Sithean (as ),
My husband is 82 and suffering from advanced Parkinson’s disease. I am 75 and sole carer.
In January I attended a Parkinson’s clinic on behalf of my husband who was unfit to be taken.
The consultant read the summary of medical events since the last review and said that he should be admitted that afternoon to Caithness General Hospital in Wick (20 miles from Thurso) for a few days, for Parkinson’ assessment. I was to arrange ambulance transport and attend the admission procedure.
After numerous phone calls, he was taken by ambulance to Wick. In very poor road conditions, a friend and I followed the ambulance for the admission, content in the knowledge that I would have ‘a few days’ respite and advice on future care needs.
A day later at 1. 30pm I had a telephone call from the Rosebank Wing of Caithness General to tell me that my husband was being discharged that afternoon and ‘when could I collect him? ’I couldn’t due to adverse road conditions and the problem of getting assistance with him at such short notice.
Innumerable telephone calls later he was returned at approximately 5. 30pm in a singly manned ambulance. Fortunately a passing neighbour offered help and he was taken inside.
My husband had no idea whether or not he had, had his afternoon medication or a meal before leaving hospital. The bag of medications was on top of his bag and discharge notes gave no indication so I phoned the Rosebank Wing again; to be told that his Madopar (essential Parkinson medication) had been left on the medicine trolley and would I be able to collect it? I couldn’t collect it from Wick or from the Dunbar hospital in Thurso since my husband could not be left alone.
This time the phone calls were interspersed with getting a meal for and seeing to his personal needs and explaining to him that I couldn’t give him relief medication for his back pain because I had no idea how much he had had that day. The Madopar was delivered by hospital porter at approximately 8. 30pm.
This experience was very stressful for my husband and traumatic for me. I am not making a formal complaint to NHS Highland because it would be investigated internally and possibly add fuel to evaluation of the sustainability of NHS services in Caithness. I do though share this experience in the hope that other people will receive a higher quality service in the future.