"a range of staff competencies and system issues"

About: Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh at Little France / Renal Medicine

(as the patient),

I was admitted for a day case procedure - kidney biopsy - at 9am. I was early, and had a look around the waiting area, where I found a very confusing flowchart about what I was to expect from the day. I also found visiting times for the day, so informed my husband and parents, as they were both close by and wanted to visit. I had been informed that I would need to stay in for 6 hours after the procedure, so arriving at 8. 30 for a 9 admission I expected to be ready to go home around 5.

The nurse who brought me through to the ward hardly spoke a word and was rather distracted. Then the day and procedure was explained to me by a senior nurse. Here I learnt that I was due to have the biopsy at 12 - so 3 hours of sitting next to a bed waiting unnecessarily, and starting to worry about how to get the baby (who was in nursery) to me for a milk feed at his bed time (7pm - about when I would be ready to leave). The nurse on the ward (Amy) was lovely and whilst doing bloods and tests and getting me ready I discovered visiting times were not strict, so I re-informed my husband and parents about visiting and the options for helping with the baby.

The journey to the ultrasound area (where the biopsy would be performed under ultrasound and local anaesthetic) was smooth and straight forward. Here I then waited alone in a room for a doctor for some time. The doctor appeared chewing gum, which I thought rather unprofessional. She explained the procedure and then carried it out. The last bit of the process was slightly outside where the anaesthetic was, so hurt. I was immediately wheeled out and left alone in mild shock and pain in a waiting area. The surprise left me a little teary.

Soon the nurse from the day case ward came to pick me up, and I had great care for the rest of the day. I observed the ward in general (my job is healthcare improvement, so I was interested in how things work) and I could see a range of staff competencies and system issues. The next personal encounter was at discharge. I had two factors that were trigger points, so the nurse could not discharge me without say so from a doctor. The house officer and registrar referred to the judgement of each other, going round in circles for a while. Eventually I was seen by a doctor who said I could go after some precautionary tests.

A throat swab seemed problematic due to none being available on the ward. This resulted in a wait of a hour (shift change and only one nurse for the ward meaning other priorities) once I was dressed and ready to go with my husband walking the baby up and down the corridor.

As we had expected to go imminently he had stayed past the baby's bed time to drive me home. Had we known this would take an hour he would have taken the baby to bed and I would have found alternative ways home. This seems like a minor complaint of an hour, however that's quite a long time for a small baby, and the result was a long evening of trying to settle the baby after a procedure, which I could have done without.

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Response from Customer Relations and Feedback Team, NHS Lothian

Dear Alsion

Thank you for taking the time to post your experience. I am so sorry that this day was not as straight forward as you had hoped and you had the additional distress of worrying about your baby's care.

If you would like to contact the Customer Relations and Feedback Team with your concerns and some further information we can arrange for your to be provided with a written response. I would have passed your comments on to the Clinical Management Team for their information but unfortunately you have not mentioned the hospital concerned.

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Update posted by alsion (the patient)

I do not require a written response. I shared to input to improvement not to add additional burden. The hospital is tagged at the top - Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.