"Inpatient and surgery"

About: Tameside General Hospital / General surgery

(as the patient),

I was recently admitted to Tameside General Hospital with suspected appendicitis and when I got there I was taken for certain tests which did not include an internal scan to see how bad my apendix was. Then had to wait hours for a bed, but in the meantime was not given any pain relief, I was just left in a corner in pain. When I finally got a bed on the Surgical Unit I was told that I'd hear from the doctors whether my operation was going to be today or tomorrow and you'll hear from us by 8pm. Needless to say I didn't hear from anyone at all and was not fed or given anything to eat all day, so I had to go find someone and ask for a snack to which the reply was "oh we forgot you was hear" when I eventually bedded down for the night the room was so hot that I had a pounding headache I had no water to drink and I was awake all night due to this and the discourteous staff at the hospital making as much noise as possible banging cupboards etc.

The following morning the surgeons came to see me around 8: 30/9: 00am and said my surgery will be today but we don't know a time yet it depends how busy we are (slightly concerning as no one had done a scan to see how bad my appendix was and could of burst any moment but was quite happy to leave me for hours on end).

11am arrived and a staff member on the ward came in and said I won't be having surgery today as the surgeons don't think it's my appendix that is the problem as all my tests came back clear, which I thought was a mistake as I was told myself that my test came back irregular which means my appendix is inflamed. I was told I will be taken downstairs at 3pm for a scan and then they'll follow in from there, so in the meantime here's some food and juice, after me telling them I have a nil by mouth rule, which was ignored.

So I ate and drank. 30mins later the surgeon came up saying I'll be taken for my operation in an hours time. So I explained what has happened and he wasn't pleased at all and said there is no scan booked in for 3pm you were always having an operation. But we can't do anything now as you've eaten and drank. So again I had to wait but they had no choice but to take me down to theatre for 12: 30 as it was getting busy and I'd have to possibly wait another day. So I was taken down and was brought back up to my room afterwards and my pain was managed fine afterwards until the following day when it was very poorly managed. I was given paracetamol every 6hours. Even though it wore off after 4hrs and I was in agony the ward sister wouldn't give me more. So I had to wait for my next round. I pressed my call button and no one came to my room for at least mins even after walking past my room and hearing it beep and seeing the light they walked past laughing and joking with each other ignoring my call.

Further on down the line when I was told I could be discharged as there's a shortage of staff so I'd be better going home, which I thought was a disgusting reason to discharge anyone. The doctor came round and said he'd write up my discharge notes now to save time as not many doctors are in over the weekend so off he went to do that and never seen him again. Following day came when I was being discharged and I asked the sister what time I was going and she said as far as she's aware I'm no, no paperwork had been written and I can't leave without it which made me feel worse. So she went off to find info and came back and said I've spoke to X person and they're happy to discharge you and they'll post your papers to your house. I was not given any paperwork to sign to say I've been discharged and the most shocking bit about it was that I was given Zero after care instructions on how to clean my wounds, how long it'll take to heal, when I can drive my car and when I can drink alcohol. I was just given my meds and she left.

Oh and not to mention the health care assistant who took my blood pressure and didn't know what she was doing and was giggling to her colleague asking her how she does it again and her colleague replied saying no idea, he looks fine so just put any number there "you're alert aren't you? Do you feel well? "

So in overall I was appalled with my care.

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Response from Helen Howard, Head of Patient Experience, Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust

We on the surgical unit, deeply apologise for your experience. When it had been ascertained that you were not going to theatre this should have been communicated to yourself and appropriate nutrition sought.

It is not acceptable behaviour that the night staff should keep you awake and although some noise cannot be avoided due to the unit environment, staff should seek to minimise all noise at night.

We apologise for poor pain control. Staff should follow hospital procedure assessing your pain and administer prescribed medication, liaising with the doctors if prescribed analgesia is not effective.

Staff should always ensure that the patient is fully informed of any procedures or change in treatment as well as offered a rational as to why this change was to be considered.

We apologise for your experience around your discharge. The comments that you state were made about shortage of staff and that you would be better off at home, is unprofessional, and will be addressed with the Surgical unit staff.

There are occasions when the discharge summary is not completed at the point of discharge. However a completed copy would be sent via the post to your G.P and yourself.

We apologise for the lack of post operation instruction given to you on discharge from the Surgical Unit. A referral should have been made to the district nurse to care for your post-operative wounds.

We additionally apologise for the unprofessional actions of the Health Care Assistant who stated she did not know what she was doing taking a blood pressure. A training programme has been adopted within the trust for Health Care Assistants in order to equip them to deliver the standards of care expected.

If you would like to contact us to discuss this any further please contact Matron Liz Penny on 0161 922 5356 or email liz.penny@tgh.nhs.uk

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