"Pain medication"

About: Royal Alexandra Hospital / General Surgery

(as the patient),

I was an emergency referral by my GP to RAH in March 2016. I was admitted to ward 20 surgical referral for review of my condition.

I was extremely upset when I was advised there was no access to pain relief via pethidine either in tablet or injection form, the latter being the best to alleviate my acute pain. This was also the case in 2014 when admitted over 4 month period with same condition/ pain. Eventually during this period pethidine by injection was given to me, thankfully.

However yet again in 2016 I'm advised when presenting with acute pain I would need to take my own in tablet form therefore could probably go home. Too ill to go into my 2014 experience I just managed by taking more tablets contrary to as prescribed frequency/ hourly rate by the doctor's advice. The only alternative on offer again was morphine which makes my condition and pain worse.

Surely I can't be the only patient attending the RAH who can't take morphine? I am so concerned now home I intend to take matters further as I dread and fear being ill again. I now have a chronic condition so this is very likely. Also this hospital has a maternity unit and pethidine is widely used in maternity services.

I will discuss my concerns with the consultant when I see her next but in the meantime felt raising this issue was important in this forum.

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Response from Lorna Gray, Patient Experience, Public Involvement Project Manager, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

Dear CeeBee,

You have done the right thing by raising this issue, particularly with your consultant who will be best placed to advise on how best your pain can be managed for any future admissions you may have, taking into account your personal circumstances as described here.

While this will be the best way forward for you personally, I will also highlight this to the senior management team for surgical services at the RAH. You are right when you say that you will not be the only patient for whom morphine is not the best option, therefore we may need to consider if there is another way we need to manage this. I will send on to the team (and may come back to you for more information if they feel it would help, if that's ok) but will come back to you with some further information as soon as we have it.

Best Wishes,


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Response from Lorna Gray, Patient Experience, Public Involvement Project Manager, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde We have made a change

Dear CeeBee,

Thank you for sharing your feedback on Patient Opinion. We shared your experience round our Senior Management Team and at our Clinical Governance Group. As a result, we will now keep a stock of pethidine in the Surgical Assessment Unit in the Royal Alexandra Hospital so that this can be accessed at any time as an alternative method of pain control for patients who need it.

I hope that this, along with any discussions you had with your Consultant will help to alleviate any concerns or issues you may have in any future admissions to the Royal Alexandra Hospital.

Kind Regards,

Jacki Smart,

General Manager, Surgery

Royal Alexandra Hospital

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