"My mother's wait in pain"

About: Queen's Hospital, Burton Upon Trent / Accident and emergency

(as a relative),

My Mother, 77 years old, was rushed into Queen's Hospital in Burton Upon Trent by ambulance in March with excruciating pain, possibly from kidney stones. My Dad followed in his car and stayed with her at the A & E.

It was exceptionally quiet that night. A man on duty asked my Mother why she was there. She explained that she had excruciating pain in her lower back and sides. He told her he would get some pain killers. He disappeared and wasn't seen again for a long time. In the meantime, a nurse had come to check my Mother's oxygen levels in her blood by pricking her finger twice.

Half an hour later, my Dad went to find someone else to get some pain killers as they couldn't believe they had had to wait so long for painkillers. (The man had obviously forgotten! ). They eventually gave my Mum 2 Cocodamol tablets. Later on, someone came to ask my Mother if she had received her blood test results yet. She was confused, and thought that the blood sugar test was the blood test, and said she was waiting for them to come. He told her it would take another half hour or so to get the result.

In constant pain, she waited and eventually someone came to tell her that she actually hadn't had a blood test done, only a blood sugar test! Someone then took her blood and she had to wait another hour to get the result back! ! They were eventually sent home at 5 am in the morning with no prescription for pain at all.

I can understand that sometimes things can be chaotic in a hospital where there are a lot of people in the A & E waiting to be treated. There is no excuse for this type of disorganisation and chaos when the A & E was so quiet.

At 9 am after being in extreme pain all night she went to her doctor's practice and was prescribed morphine. Why wasn't she given this straight away? My Mother's response was, that if the doctor in the A & E had had the same pain as she, (worse than childbirth), then he would have prescribed himself with morphine immediately.

Apparently a letter has been written by this doctor in A & E asking for a referral for my Mother to get examined to see if it is kidney stones that she has. Once again, it is up to her to find out if the letter has even been written. We have no trace of the doctor's name, but I am sure there must be a record of who was on duty that night.

It seems cruel to me that when a patient is in so much pain, they have to wait for a letter to be sent off BY POST, and chase it up themselves to find out if it has arrived at the destination or not. I would be pleasantly surprised if the doctor on duty has even remembered to write the referral letter, as he seemed to have difficulty that night even remembering to get my Mother pain killers! To add to this unbelievable situation. My Mother has Addison's disease and so is a patient that needs special care treatment.

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Response from Pals Team, Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Reviewer

We are very sorry to read your concerns following your mother’s attendance to the Emergency Department at Queen’s Hospital Burton. The experience you describe is certainly not the patient experience we would wish for any of our patients.

We would very much welcome the opportunity to look into this attendance and offer any help regarding your mother’s onward referral for further investigations for possible kidney stone.

In the first instance please contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service on 01283 593110 and we can gather further information. In order to protect patient confidentiality, we will need to seek your mother’s consent to share any information with you but PALS staff can explain the issues around confidentiality in more detail when you contact them.

Thank you for taking the time to post your comments

Kind regards

PALS team

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Response from Pals Team, Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Reviewer

We are sorry to read of your mother’s patient experience in the Accident & Emergency Department at Queen’s Hospital, Burton. We will require more detailed information if you would like us to investigate this further. Please contact the Patient advice & Liaison Service (PALS) on 01283 593110 to provide this information, we are available between the hours of 9.00am-4.30pm, Monday-Friday.

Many thanks

PALS Office

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