"Emergency valve replacement & root repair."

About: St Bartholomew's Hospital

I was admitted to St Barts on 9/03/15 for emergency heart surgery. Whilst in ICU & HDU I could not fault the care I received by all the staff I would rate this as excellent. The problems started when I was transferred to Vicary Ward on 12/3/15. I was told on three occasions that I could go home only for the doctors to change their minds with no explanation. On Monday 16/3/15 I was told I could go home. It was 5.30 in the evening my parents had driven up and we were waiting for my discharge papers when one of the nurses took my temp which had gone up to 38 the nurse then went to get another thermometer which read 37.4 the nurse then laughed and took great pleasure in telling me they were going to record the high temp and that I wouldn't be going home. In no way did the nurse show any empathy. During my stay after that they persisted in mocking my footwear (I have size 13 feet so slippers are impossible to find) the nurse insisted in calling me a mummies boy which caused me a lot of anxiety. I am 6' 7 and was having great difficulty sleeping as the bed was far too small. I had made this clear to all the staff repeatedly saying I couldn't sleep and my body was cramping up and I was very uncomfortable and my joint were in considerable pain all falling on deaf ears. Then on 19/3/15, over a week and half after bring admitted, a very nice person came to take some blood, I mentioned to them how difficult I finding it to sleep, they then just took off the bottom panel if the bed allowing me to actually stretch out the first time in 11 days!!!! I got very very upset asking why no one did this for me before it just seemed that it was acceptable for me to suffer unnecessarily. I feel that I have been discriminated against because of my height and my recovery was not helped at all my anyone trying to make me comfortable. Because I was so distressed I was moved to a room on my own too little too late. The next day a doctor came into my room and completely out of the blue told me in a matter if fact way that because I was having night sweats they were going to test me for HIV. How can a doctor just drop this bombshell and then just leave? I then again got very upset, stressed and anxious, I was then left completely on my own for 5 hours!!!! None if the doctors treated me with any respect and never had the decency to explain anything to me. They kept saying I could go home if a) my temp stayed stable for 24hrs b) my bloods came back ok c) I was off abx for 24hrs, it seemed after all these came and went the goal posts were moved again with no explanation. I really don't see how the way I was treated on Vicary ward could have aided my recovery in any way. I felt more upset, angry, stressed and anxious than I have ever experienced in my entire life. I would just like to add on a positive note that with the exception of one nurse all the nurses and the sister were very kind and caring and tried to help me where they could. David Sweeney

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Response from St Bartholomew's Hospital

Dear David We are very sorry to read of your experience at what must have been a difficult time. We really value your feedback and take all patient feedback very seriously. You have raised many concerns here that we would like to have the opportunity to discuss with you directly in more detail. Please contact Paula Merrell, Service Delivery Manager through the Trust switchboard on 020 7377 7000 to discuss more information. Kind regards Barts Health NHS Trust

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