"Inconsistencies with standards between departments"

About: Cumberland Infirmary

I have to say how disappointed I was with the standard of care shown in several departments. I was sent straight from my GP to A&E. The receptionist in Carlisle A&E was cold and abrupt. The triage nurse was much more pleasant and professional & quickly arranged for a room to be made available while I waited for a member of the gyno team to check on my baby (30wks pregnant). Nurse from gyno was brilliant & very reassuring. Was then transferred to Ambulatory Care where nurses were again cold & seemed uninterested. I was told I needed an X-ray to which I said I was concerned as I was pregnant so I`d rather avoid exposing the baby. It seemed a real inconveinence when I asked if my blood tests to be re-checked to confirm if X-ray was critical as they were borderline. I`d had an ECG & still had the sticky pads visible on my neck. The nurse at the desk thought it was appropriate in a room full of people all waiting to say "why are you still wearing those pads? You can take them off you know" if this had been said in jest then I wouldnt have felt so embarrassed, but it was said in a very sarcastic manner. I still had the pads on as the nurse had left them on me after the ECG. I felt as though the nurse was trying to make me look stupid, when I was already concerned about my health & worried about scans I may need that could harm my unborn baby. Blood tests confirmed so I agreed to an X-ray. X-ray department staff were great & very understanding, helping me to wear appropriate lead shielding. Was then transferred back to Ambilatory Care to wait for results. I was informed I needed a VQ scan which involves inhaling & being injected with radioactive isotopes. I was obviously concerned with this result (I am a Nuclear Analyst & I understand the implications of this procedure) I was assured the process would pose minimum risks, however when I began asking specific questions the consultant was unable to answer or at least point me in the right direction of where I could find the answers. This was concerning as this was the professional that was attempting to reassure me& encourage me to go ahead. The Gamma Camera is currently broken in Carlisle so I would need to travel to Whitehaven for the procedure, which I didn`t mind. I then returned to the waiting room where I was handed a box containing syringes & told "these must be for you". I had been told briefly by the consultant that I would need to inject myself twice a day, but I hadn`t been told how to do it or any other information. I asked this nurse if they could show me before I left. The nurse was a bit patronising and told me to pinch my arm, push it in & press. They did one for me & it was really painful & burned. Later that night I had a satsuma sized white lump on my arm that was really painful. I rang my own GP the next day to make appointment with the nurse so she could go over how to inject with me. The nurse was shocked & angry after I told her what had happened.

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Response from Cumberland Infirmary

Thank you for this full account of your recent experience. I am sorry that you had such a difficult time. I will ensure that this information is drawn to the attention of the teams in order that they can reflect and learn from this. If you wish to make a more formal complaint you may wish to contact our PALS team in the first instance. They can be contacted on 01228 814008 between 8.30am and 4.30pm Monday to Friday, or by sending an email to PALSCIC@ncuh.nhs.uk. With best wishes Alison Patient Experience

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