"Ward was cleaner than I remembered ..."

About: Wansbeck Hospital

(as the patient),

What I liked

Ward was cleaner than I remembered from prior admission and visits to family in hospital. Many members of staff were helpful but victims of the lack of communication that seem endemic in the hospital

What could be improved

(1) Communications with medical staff.

A phlebotomist took blood from me on 29 April around 9 AM. I asked them what tests would be performed on the blood. They mentioned a fasting blood test was one of them. I told them that it would be invalid as I had eaten breakfast at 8.15 am and it would show me as diabetic. They agreed patients having fasting bloods should have food delayed or the phlebotomist should come earlier but said it was hard to change things.

(2) I was told by my surgeon that I would be sent home with medication to soothe my GI tract. I was not, even though I asked for it, and I was sent home with pain medication I was told I would NOT be sent home with (to quote the surgeon, "if you need Tramadol you need to stay in hospital").

(2) Communication between nursing staff and patients

My first day in hospital was 27 April. I was given an anticoagulant injection without being weighed. I queried the injection, which the nurse expected to administer without my input, and was told I had to have it to prevent blood clots while in bed. I said I hadn't been weighed and I needed to be to get the dose right. I knew this from a prior admission where I was not weighed prior to such a shot and it caused a period hemorrhage and a haematoma at the injection site. I was not weighed for that shot, but was weighed the next day prior to injection of the anticoagulant.

Also, I asked for patient transport upon discharge. This was cancelled by a nurse who saw my husband arriving on the ward. She assumed he would drive me home and didn't ask if he drives. He doesn't. We were stuck waiting for a taxi and had to spend money on it.

Anything else?

On admission I was not weighed. This affected my anticoagulant injection not being proper dosage. The discharge procedure was a shambles, with medication not given that should have been and transport cancelled because I was not consulted. I spoke to the consultant's secretary the day after my release to try to get the medication I needed and they told me they couldn't get in touch with any of the doctors so I would have to wait 4 days through the May Day Bank Holiday weekend for relief. That was not acceptable- had my discharge been done properly I would not have been sent home without that medication. Communication with the surgeon was not easy. I told him I was scheduled for sinus surgery on 14 May and needed to know what to do about it and he just told me to call the surgeon and ask if he still wanted to do the procedure instead of suggesting he speak to my ENT surgeon himself. I feel very let down. I need further investigations to determine the cause of my pain and wish I could get them at one of the Newcastle hospitals instead as my confidence is undermined due to the problems I have detailed.

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Response from Wansbeck Hospital

The Trust was very sorry to hear of your experience at Wansbeck General Hospital.

We would welcome the opportunity to investigate the concerns you raised in your note above. If you would like to write to us with the details of your concerns we will investigate and write to you personally with the results of our findings. The address for your complaint is:

The Complaints Department

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Cobalt Business Park

Unit 7/8

Silver Fox Way

Newcastle upon Tyne

NE27 0QJ

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