"Inhuman and Degrading Treatment at Whittington..."

About: The Whittington Hospital

I suffer from Intercostal Neuralgia (a type of neuropathic pain) which I must frequently phone an ambulance for. Its a condition that causes severe high intensity pain which must by managed by powerful medications I phoned 999 on the 28th of March seeking urgent medical help as my pain outstripped my resources to control. The ambulance arrived promptly and tried their very best to control my pain. I was taken to Whittington Hospital Accident and Emergency and I can only describe my treatment when I got there as ineffective, inhumane and cruel. It was pure torture right from the moment the ambulance crew handed me over. My gas and air and intravenous drugs were stopped immediately and then I was left to experience agony like a kind you cant imagine for hours. My cries for help went unanswered and eventually I was transferred to a ward where the situation only got worse. Rather than trying to treat my pain I was left alone for hours screaming in pain. There were no doctors available and repeated calls for the nurse elicited no response, my own painkillers were taken from me and locked in a cupboard and after a full 18 hours of this I tried to discharge myself. Initially the nurse refused to let me discharge myself and refused to hand me back my prescribed painkillers. Again repeated calls for a doctor or someone in charge fell on deaf ears. After threatening to call the police I was eventually given my painkillers back and I hobbled home in agony wearing nothing but a dressing gown in the pouring rain. During my stay, I was offered nothing stronger than paracetamol for what is a very very painful disorder that is well documented by my GP. I am currently in the process of getting a pain referral and I no longer feel I have any option for safe and effective emergency treatment. I felt like I was not treated with dignity and respect. The standard of care I experienced (none) was well below what I suspect is considered normal for the NHS.

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Response from The Whittington Hospital

Sorry to hear this. We would like to speak to you about your experience if possible, so that we can look into this further. If you're happy to do so, please could you contact our patient advice and liaison service on 020 7288 5551 or whh-tr.whitthealthPALS@nhs.net.

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