"Hospital experience"

About: Ninewells Hospital / Acute Medical Unit (AMU)

(as a relative),

This is not a happy account of a visit to Ninewells hospital ,as ultimately my brother died.

However I feel it's important that my account is recorded on his behalf.

My brother had been unwell ,but became worse around midnight one December night, resulting in myself calling NHS 24 ,a locum doctor attending ,resulting in him being taken to AMU in Ninewells some hours later. Doctor suspected pneumonia (Symptoms - breathing difficulty,severe hot and cold sweats,pain,etc.)

On arrival it was Not a great start when we were told that they had one sheet,one blanket, and one pillow. Unfortunately one of his symptoms was excessive sweats,so the sheet etc. didn't last long! Thankfully we acquired some ourselves.

The doctor and nurses who attended him were extremely good and kept us updated,and he seemed to improve as the day went on.

Then early in the evening after returning ( needed to get home for a shower and food) I asked for an update from the day shift ,which just didn't come.

Unfortunately whilst waiting , my brother took a turn for the worse,and simply the symptoms he was admitted with returned . I called for assistance and the staff kicked into action.

After a short time myself and his partner were taken to a small room, to be informed that they could do nothing more for him,and death was imminent! However they would make him comfortable in the next "10-15 minutes with suitable pain relief".

This is news no one wants to hear ,but a number of things changed and my experience went from bad to terrible.

No working equipment! - eg. Syringe drivers! No connection (given) sets. Resulting in no suitable pain relief for nearly 2 hours. How we acquired them,you wouldn't believe.

Lack of support to junior nurses! - Unsure how to use equipment and more importantly , no one to help them.

Lack,sorry next to no communication, between staff and family! - Decisions being made with NO discussion with family! Remember he was dying!

As for the general care? Well I don't feel this is the forum for that.

Ultimately he died a "number"of days later! In the same side room he was admitted into, and this was something else that proved to be a problem. Anyway!

Chest sepsis was on the death certificate and you often wonder if he was one who slipped through the net........................

I'm writing this short account to make others aware that hospital staff shouldn't be put on pedestals and everyone should ask questions and not always blindly accept their decisions. Sometimes they really don't care, I'm sad to say, but that's what it felt like. My experience, more importantly my brothers experience,if it wasn't for family members,was a extremely poor one. This ward simply wasn't prepared for someone in with his symptoms!

Senior support to junior nursing staff was lacking.

The inability to get equipment working was appalling.

The lack of communications was appalling.

The quality of nursing and medical support, well that’s another issue.

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Response from Alison Moss, Feedback Manager, NHS Tayside

Dear "dakota"

I am extremely sorry to hear of your, and your brother’s, poor experience of our service. Please also accept my sincere condolences on the loss of your brother.

The experience you have described is certainly not the standard of care we aim to provide within NHS Tayside and I very much appreciate you taking the time to highlight this. I will ensure that the issues you have raised are fully investigated and action taken to improve our service. In order to do so, I would like to obtain some specific information regarding your brother’s stay and would be extremely grateful if you could contact me via the Complaints and Feedback Team on 0800 027 5507 (freephone) or via email to feedback.tayside@nhs.net

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards.

Alison Moss

  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful

Update posted by dakota (a relative)

I am more than happy to discuss this in more detail with yourself , and will plan to contact you, in order to help prevent this from happening again.