"Unhappy with treatment at Watford General"

About: Watford General Hospital / General medicine

(as a relative),

I took my husband to A&E at Watford Hospital as we thought he was having a heart attack. He was in so much pain he couldn't breathe.

On our arrival the receptionist didn't acknowledge us until I tapped the window. At this point my husband was already sitting on the floor with both hands on his chest and sweating profusely and the receptionist told us she could log on to her system to enter his details. I then told her I was taking him to the treatment room anyway as he couldn't breathe.

He was taken to the triage room where the nurses were laughing and chatting away and one of them even commented on a patients body odour! When one of them came to put a cannula on my husband's arm she made a huge mess. There was blood everywhere. They took him to resus and gave him two lots of morphine and the pain wouldn't stop. They said he couldn't have any more pain relief and although the morphine took the edge of the pain he was still struggling to breath as it would hurt.

They tried to take more blood samples and it took three different people to finally manage to find his vein. Another hour passed and he was transferred to another ward. It was almost 1am and I kept asking them about the results of his blood test and no one could give me an answer. I had to go home as I had a friend looking after my 4 year old daughter.

The following day I went back to hospital just to learn that they needed to take another blood sample as they LOST the one taken on the night before. Three days have passed and they "suspected" that my husband actually had pulmonary embolism and pneumonia but no scans were done just a X-Ray from which they said it wasn't very clear but they still wouldn't send him to have a more detailed scan. Without a certain diagnosis they were giving him blood thinners and antibiotics.

4th day now and I wanted him to be discharged from that dirty hospital but after all day waiting to see a doctor we learned that two morning doctors missed him! How? He only got out of his bed to go to the toilet once.

At 4pm a GP was the only doctor available and he told us he was not a respiratory doctor (but was the only doctor in the respiratory ward) and he was not confident to discharge my husband on that basis..

Day 5 today, they still can't give us a accurate diagnosis. Absolutely pathetic! I will never take a family member again to Watford Hospital. A total disgrace.

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Response from Watford General Hospital

We are sorry to learn that your experience of our hospital was not as expected.

If you would like us to investigate this matter further on your behalf, please contact our colleagues in the Complaints Department on 01923 217866.

We have passed on your feedback to the relevant team as we want to avoid recurrences of bad patient experience.

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