"9 hours in theatre recovery waiting for a bed"

About: Leicester General Hospital

I returned to hospital for a procedure I have routinely had 10 times previous within I so anticipated a procedure that usually takes up to an hour and a similar time in recovery with an overnight stay due to the effect of surgery and a general anaesthetic related to my Cauda Equina Syndrome. Six hours after the operation I am still on a theatre trolley waiting for a bed. At 7pm I was taken to Ward 26 who had confirmed a bed space at 5.30pm prior to its cleaning. When I arrived on the ward I was told they had no beds as still waiting for a team to do cleaning. I was taken back to theatre recovery, where I have to say 'provided an excellent level of professionalism with superb care' - the staff throughout my earlier stay could not have done more to try and find me a bed as I was so uncomfortable on a trolley - certainly not suitable for spinal injury patients! A dedicated staff member was able to organise a bed from the ward at least until the bay had been cleaned.

I was in lots of pain with severe spasms in my legs and pain in my back that the anaesthetist gave me some morphine. I spent a further 5 hours in theatre recovery until I was transferred to Ward 26 the following morning - altogether 9 hours in theatre recovery! Throughout the night, I suffered whilst waiting for a doctor. My buzzer had been ringing for 52 minutes on one occasion and 46 on another, which involved me ringing my husband at home and asking him to call the ward as nobody was responding. I even considered calling an ambulance!

I got to see a doctor 9 hours later (perhaps 9 hours is the waiting time) they suggested Diazapam. I was warey about taking this due to other medication I was on and recalled being told previously that it doesn't go well with a drug I'm on. They reassured me it was a small dose and would be fine! My m muscle spasms worsened to the point where they became cramps, I had pain rising through my body up my spine into my neck. At one point i recall screaming in pain with fear as my arms had become so heavy I could not lift them. Completely confused and disorientated I woke up (apparently 2 hours later) to people lifting my head as I came out of a machine - I was absolutely terrified! I had no idea about where I was or what had happened until I regained my awareness at about 4.30pm yesterday afternoon - where had those hours gone! My husband had not been told at all about what was going on, so when he arrived.with my Mum at 1.30 he heard me shouting and screaming in pain, he later described my behaviour as totally out of character - I was hallucinating, shouting, being aggressive and pulling my hair - my mum was horrified to see me like it! Later that afternoon my husband was told by doctors that I had been over sedated with morphine and I had had a reaction to diazapam. I had been rushed for a CT scan to find out why I was unconscious - thank goodness I came out of it. I had little sleep past night with the most horrific flashbacks, dark and in a box!

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Response from Leicester General Hospital

Dear Reviewer,

We are very sorry to hear about your recent experience at Leicester General Hospital at that it was not up to the same standard that you have previously received. We would like to investigate your case further so please could you send your details (name, address, date of birth and hospital number) to clair.riddell@uhl-tr.nhs.uk.

Kind regards,

Clair Riddell,


Leicester’s Hospitals

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