"Excellent clinicians but no beds for admission"

About: Doncaster Royal Infirmary / Dermatology

(as a relative),

My fiance was recently treated at Doncaster Royal Infirmary for a severe skin infection on his face. It had appeared the morning before as a slight rash that looked to be an allergic reaction but as soon as he came in from work that evening it was clear there was a significant problem. He was treated at the 8to8 centre by a great doctor who suggested he needed admission for IV antibiotics, but said we should try a night of oral antibiotics first.

The next day my fiance was much worse so we immediately went to A&E at DRI where we were told he would need to be admitted for IV antibiotics, and sent us to Dermatology. The staff there were very helpful and again confirmed he would need to be admitted. My fiance was reluctant about this but once the possible and serious complications of the condition had been explained he agreed. Unfortunately, it then became clear there weren't any beds available. While the consultant and junior doctors were very apologetic about this situation, all they could offer were very strong oral antibiotics and a review in a couple of days.

I do not wish this post to be viewed as a criticism of the clinicians - they treated us very well under difficult circumstances. However, I'm angry that a management decision to close the joint Dermatology/Rheumatology ward and limit the number of Dermatology beds meant my fiance didn't receive the standard of care he was told he needed. Because he wasn't admitted I then took responsibility for his care, which I found extremely intimidating considering the possible complications of his condition. He needed regular doses of medication and as all he wanted to do was sleep I had to take 3 days off work to ensure he complied. I'm not a clinician and while I cared for him willingly and to the best of my ability I also found the responsibility stressful.

When we returned to DRI for my fiance's review a couple of days later the clinicians explained that discussion had taken place around his lack of admission and again apologised.

This case is clearly a concern from a clinical governance point of view and I only hope the commissioners of the service are aware of the shortfall in care. It concerns me that some patients may not be so fortunate as to have a partner into whose care they can be discharged or who can take the time away from work to deliver care that really should have been provided by the hospital.

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Response from Doncaster Royal Infirmary

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