"Mother should have been treated earlier"

About: Heartlands Hospital / Accident and emergency Heartlands Hospital / General surgery Solihull Care Trust

(as a relative),

I would like to bring it to your attention that at the beginning of June 2010 my brother made a phone call requesting a home visit as our mother was unwell and could not visit the surgery in person. He spoke to the Doctor who told him they would write a prescription for antibiotics for him to collect. No explanation was given as to why they were being prescribed so my mother phoned from her bed and spoke to the Doctor who told her she would need to take herself to casualty as it sounds like blood poisoning.

They telephoned me and when I arrived I immediately rang an ambulance as my mother was clearly unwell. The ambulance personnel were informed of both conversations with the Doctor and could not believe no house visit was made. Her breathing was erratic, clammy skin, sickness, severe abdominal pain, diarrhoea, sweating and many other complaints which were relayed to the Doctor previously.

On arrival at Heartlands accident and emergency department she was treated for gastro-enteritis and sent home with the following medication;

• Gaviscon – to be taken 4 times a day

• Tramadol – to be taken 3 times a day

• Lansaparasole – to be taken 1 time a day

Unfortunately she was sent home due to no beds being available for Gastric patients. When arriving at home I rang the surgery to hopefully speak to the Doctor and was told they was busy and to ring back in 10 minutes which I did and was then informed that they were in a meeting and would not be available. To this date I have not had any response to my request of a phone call from either the doctor or the surgery regarding this matter.

My mother was poorly for a further 3 days as this was the indicated days for the medication to take effect. With no improvement I was telephoned the early hours of the morning a couple of days later to find my mother in a state of incontinence, sweating, clammy, severe abdominal pain, sickness, erratic breathing and high temperature which then lead to being recovered on the floor by myself and another ambulance being called for advice given to me whilst waiting for them to arrive.

On arrival my mother was in the recovery position in severe agonising abdominal pain, sweating profusely, erratic heart rate, gasping for breath, dizziness and many more. We arrived at Heartlands yet again where she was treated in the accident and emergency resuscitation area for nearly three hours. Under the care of doctors and nurses chest x-rays were taken, fluid given, painkillers and abdominal x-rays. We were taken to the Surgical Ward and my mother is now awaiting major surgery on a severely infected bowel and gall bladder. After receiving IV antibiotics for a number of days during her stay and plenty of fluids, my mother was then taken for surgery to remove her gallbladder which contained over 60 stones, of which some were in excess of 9mm in diameter. This was causing her the amount of considerable pain she was in and we were told that if she had been examined properly on first admittance to Accident and Emergency her treatment would not have been prolonged.

When discharged from the Surgical ward she was advised to go to her GP for the staples to be removed. We did this and they removed 37 in total, however, the area where the drain was inserted is infected and she is also awaiting an appointment with gynecology for an investigation into a mass around her ovaries and womb. Unfortunately this is now causing my mother much distress as she is worried in case of further operations and the outcome of recovery from any surgery which maybe undertaken when necessary in the near future. Due to her age this does not bode well as she suffers greatly from arthritis of the spine and other areas of her body and mobility is sufficiently reduced which could bear effects on her recovery also.

I feel it is necessary to bring all this to your attention because if my mother had gotten the care and attention which she is entitled to we would not be in this predicament now. At the age of 61 years I feel it very fortunate it is only now she is receiving the care she should have had before. If this care and attention had been given at the start then I believe it is possible the infection would not have to be dealt with by strong antibiotics through Intra venous drip but orally and she would not have to wait 3 possibly 4 days to reduce the infection enough to be prepared for major surgery.

I hope by reading this you will deal with it appropriately and inform me of the outcome. I have not yet decided which course of action as to the complaints procedure we are going to take at the moment and I hope nothing else is discovered regarding this illness.

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