"Life threatening condition left sitting in the waiting room"

About: Queen Alexandra Hospital Royal Hampshire County Hospital / Trauma and orthopaedics

(as the patient),

Following a routing scope of knee joint last year, I was faced with a fearful and terrifying after effect - DVT and Pulmonary Embolis. From an active life filled with yoga, indoor hockey, badminton and walking every day, my life turned into immobile misery.

Knee pain put a stop to most activity, but worse still, the 'foot dragging' approach of our current NHS to finding a solution was embarrassingly painful.

Sent off to see an MSK specialist; a Physio posing as a Doctor. I found his response humiliating.  I declined the runabout up the corridor to 'make the pain happen'. He accepted that an MRI scan was the only option, but he claimed that he would have to say I forced him to give it to me, because it would use up all his budget.

This experience led me to research a knee specialist, book in for a private appointment and get a real over view of knee health. Hence the scope, to tidy up, remove the debris, revealing bare bone that had been worn over time. If only someone had listened in the first place it would not have taken almost 2 years to get this far!

Post scope, day 2, I had calf pain and problems breathing. My GP was with me in 10 minutes, we both knew what it looked like, he suggested that an Ambulance might be safer as they had oxygen, but agreed that they might not get there very quickly, so the 10 minute car ride would be the 'quick' option.

My GP said I wouldn't have to wait around, as the hospital were expecting me. I could go straight into the emergency area. However, there was no bed was waiting, no help available. I was unable to walk, and my husband could only search for a hospital chair to get me into the place. At which point he was asked to check me in as a routine walk in, and there it is, an hour and a half, feeling faint, seeing stars, sat amongst the walking wounded.

Triage did not appear worried, suggested that they would help me sooner if I collapsed, otherwise I was to wait my turn... Quite pleased I did not die out there with the sprains and bruises, but even as it worsened, not one member of staff appeared with reassurance, concern or consideration.

Once through the door, eventually, I was in CT within 10 mins, anti coagulated within 5 mins, then suddenly told quite gravely "You have multiple PE, we are going to have to keep a close eye on you" What a joke! 

Here to tell the tale, I remain saddened and disappointed. I did write to the trust but heard nothing back. It would not seem so bad if I were not a nurse, who had trained many years before in that very same hospital, when nursing care was really bloody good! Not one person apologised, not one person questioned good or bad care.

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Response from Debra Johns, Patient Experience Officer, Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust

Dear Boog

I am so sorry to learn of your experiences. I note that you say that you wrote to the Trust but heard nothing back, but unfortunately do not state when.

This is certainly not we would expect and we would welcome the opportunity to look into the concerns you have raised. If you would like this to take place, then please contact me on 023 92286000 Ext 3473 so that I can contact the appropriate team with your details and for action to be taken.

Kind regards.


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Update posted by Boog (the patient)

Hello Debbie

It all took place January 2015, resulting in a year smattered with disruption. I did write the story of it all shortly after it all went wrong at the end of January, all the departments and both Trusts were copied in. The worst chapter was in Winchester, however the day patient experience at Portsmouth was miserable. Made worse of course because I was so sick after the anaesthetic, the sequence of events were quite obvious, also I was informed that there is no anticoagulation for leg surgery, something that has baffled me since! Thank you for responding, I have given up with it all now and am just trying to get on and get some stamina back.

Out of interest, a Physio friend spoke to me shortly after surgery suggesting that they would have put me off having the op there had they known. I feel this is worth you knowing I guess.

Response from Debra Johns, Patient Experience Officer, Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust

Dear Boog

I am sorry for your experience of being so sick after the anaesthetic and for the subsequent events following your surgery. It is disappointing to read that a friend stated they would have put you off having your op with us, as this is certainly not what we want to hear.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you well for the future.

If you should have any concerns you would like to raise this us in the future please contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Services (PALS) who will be more than happy to look into your concerns, please contact them 02392 286 309 or if you’d prefer you can email them at PHT.PALS@porthosp.nhs.uk.



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Response from Royal Hampshire County Hospital

Thank you for your feedback on NHS Choices. I am sorry that your experience of our services is not of the high quality we aim to provide. I have shared your comments with the clinical leaders, however, if you wish to discuss your circumstances further, please do not hesitate to contact our customer care team on 01256 486766 or email customercare@hhft.nhs.uk

Mary Edwards, Chief Executive


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