"Wasted drive thru pennine blizzard for..."

About: Bradford Royal Infirmary

Patient: my 76 yr old spouse with recent (Oct 2015) post-fall admission to nearby local hospital. This 7-day admission aged him by 20 yrs. Since then, he has been re-admitted 4 times for labile INR, sepsis etc. He came out of original admission with untypical intolerance to previously well-tolerated medication for co-morbidities, multiple infections, weakness, weight loss & hepatomegaly.

Changes in cognitive function & physical weakness have required a lot of care; bright young junior docs complaining about their long shifts could consider that my last (unpaid) one was 72 hrs, with only 3 half-hour naps. A scan (done privately) showed liver changes, so we requested an NHS follow-up.

The registrar we saw was polite enough, but got off to a poor start by (offensively) mispronouncing our surname. It’s a common Scottish surname , 6 easily-read letters; the only people who get it wrong are clinicians. Must be some sort of in-joke, but sorry, I just don’t get it (and don’t expect it from supposedly highly-educated professionals).

Consultation started by doc affirming that blood tests (they hadn’t done any, but that’s possibly a minor detail) don’t show anything, so there is definitely nothing wrong. (There was an interesting item mentioning LFT’s on Inside Health the previous evening; would recommend this clinician i-play it.

Having decided there was nothing wrong, the registrar then proposed an examination, which of course found ‘nothing to worry about’ (possibly not the same as ‘nothing wrong’.) They then suggested gastroscopy , which my husband definitely doesn’t want (or probably need), & then a contrast CT.

The referral slip was given to me to hand in at reception, along with another piece of paper ticked ‘no further action’. So my tired, weak husband would need to undergo another invasive process (and yes, BRI prides itself on having a fast, non-invasive fibroscanner on site) to confirm what this doctor (all-for-one, etc especially where there are suspected medication errors) has already decided.

I’ve been through this process myself, 20 years ago, when I was overdosed on IV antibiotics. My LFT’s were abnormal for 8 years after, but I only found that out when I eventually broke through the nigh-impenetrable process of seeing my medical records. It’s always possible that –despite all the very compelling evidence to the contrary - my spouse’s condition really has nothing to do with his original hospital admission. We would be so much more convinced of that if this registrar had at least pretended to approach the consultation with an open mind. Recommend them to friends & family? Don’t think so.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Bradford Royal Infirmary

I am very sorry to hear this feedback, this is a poor experience, please accept my apologies on behalf of the Trust.

The patient experience manager is happy to discuss your comments with you.

The number to contact is 01274 364810. Thank you.

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