"No patient should be made to feel they are a burden"

About: Crosshouse Hospital / Accident & Emergency

(as a relative),

My brother was recently taken to A&E at Crosshouse Hospital. The staff in A&E were very good and explained that it appeared to be the flu, however as he had previously suffered a heart attack and his heart rate was still very high, he would be kept in hospital.

My brother was moved to the CDU unit. The following morning my sister-in-law called to ask how he was and was told that the doctor was with him and it looked like he had a chest infection. My sister-in-law received a call around midday to say that my brother was to be discharged. She was told he still had a high temperature but it was “just the flu” She questioned whether he should be coming home as he was still very ill but was told that they “had a queue of people waiting for the bed”. My brother was sent to the discharge unit where they arranged for him to be taken home by ambulance. At home he was no better and if anything was getting worse. He kept saying he didn’t want to go back to that ward (CDU) as the staff were not nice and he had overhearing them discussing him saying “he is just in with the flu”.

Unfortunately he continued to deteriorate and by the afternoon he was very unwell. His GP visited him at home and immediately arranged for another ambulance to take him back to Crosshouse Hospital. He was very upset at the thought of being taken back to the CDU unit and kept asking us to make sure he wasn’t left there. On his arrival at A&E he was placed on a drip due to severe dehydration. He was taken to Ward 3E where the staff were very helpful and made sure he was comfortable. After a night of being on a drip he was discharged the following day. He is continuing to recover at home.

I am disappointed with his treatment by the staff in CDU. A decision was made to discharge him when he was still very ill because they needed the bed. Unfortunately he was not ready to be discharged and then had to be re-admitted 24 hours later. His experience at Crosshouse hospital did not meet the hospital values of caring, safe and respectful. My brother was discharged when he was not ready to go home and he was certainly not treated with respect in the CDU ward when his case was openly discussed by staff for all to hear. I find this kind of behaviour by staff unacceptable as he is entitled to his privacy, dignity and respect the same as all patients are. If he could overhear them discussing his case then who else could hear it! No patient should be made to feel they are a burden to the staff and more so be afraid to go to the hospital because of staff.

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Response from Kate MacDonald, Business Manager, Nurse Directorate, NHS Ayrshire and Arran, NHS Ayrshire and Arran

picture of Kate MacDonald

Dear Angry and upset relative

I was sorry to hear of your brother's experience and would like to learn more about this.

If you feel able, could you please contact my colleague Lesley Arthur, in our Customer Care Team on 01292 513003 or email Lesley.Arthur@aapct.scot.nhs.uk?

Many thanks and kind regards

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