"Absolutely No back-up help for CPAP users from..."

About: Whipps Cross University Hospital

The problems started with getting a suitable mask that was comfortable. My husband was initially issued the large face mask. He then asked to be given a slightly smaller one which was available. He was fobbed off with the cost etc etc, despite the fact that the smaller mask was actually cheaper than the larger one. The member of staff clearly did not want to be bothered, but eventually consented.

My husband persisted with the small mask and underwent nasal surgery and now asked to be given the much smaller mask,

I think referred to as the pillow mask. The Technician had promised to order it, this was not done. Weeks later my husband was told that they were having problems ordering it. Quite what these "problems" were have never been clear. It was promised to be ordered at end of April. My husband was told to contact the member of staff in 4-6 weeks but they do tend to go quickly. Why this should be the case when you have specifically ordered it that it should go to someone else is a mystery. What this does do is fob you off for 4-6 weeks.

To date this has not been ordered. Despite contacting the department on numerous occasions the member of staff has never come back to us with a response. I work in the NHS and I know that this is absolutely unacceptable. Considering you have to inform the DVLA that you are using the CPAP machine it is beyond belief that a smaller mask could be withheld. My husband in the meantime has had reconstruction work on his nose which has been totally compromised by these larger masks, and it has therefore altered the clinical outcome of his operative procedure. I could not bring myself to give even one star for this aspect of the back up help.

As regards the cost as both my husband and I have paid into the NHS for over 40 years, I find this insulting. When it comes to our health why should we compromise.

The reason I am writing this review and not him is that after at least 20 telephone calls to the department he has somewhat lost heart. I am in no such mood to let this happen.

I would say that having spoken to the Chest Clinic secretary last week who was extremely helpful and the Technician said they would order the mask one day that week. When I said they only have Thursday and Friday to do so, they felt they would. I did ask the member of staff to call to confirm this, but clearly no phone call so it is extremely unlikely this has been done. I have also spoken to other people within the department who have send e.mails and the member of staff has still not responded.

A very poor show and my husband has still not got the mask he really needs.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Whipps Cross University Hospital

We are very sorry and saddened to read your feedback regarding your husband’s treatment at Whipps Cross. We would really like to discuss this with you further– to do this please can you provide us with further information so that we can look into this for you. Please contact our PALS Team directly on 020 3594 2040 or by email pals@bartshealth.nhs.uk so that we can help you.

Kind regards

Barts Health NHS Trust

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