"Glad of care, but felt the doctors lost sight of patient experience"

About: Epsom Hospital / Accident and emergency St George's Hospital (Tooting) / Neurosurgery St Helier Hospital / Neurology

(as the patient),

I suffered a subarachnoid bleed (a bleed in the skull). Referred from Epsom following CT scan, waited for bed and was admitted to St Helier in the small hours of day 2 to wait. Poor communication whilst waiting at Sutton - no one on the ward seemed to know how/when transfer to St Georges would occur or the details of my case.

Teatime day 2: transferred by ambulance to St Georges. All very frightening to be on way to neuro ward having attended A&E at Epsom initially with dizziness and headaches. Definitely found St Helier staff to be unsupportive and contributed to fears with haphazard care of myself and others on that ward. Ambulance drivers very good - calming and quick.

Initial contact at St Georges good, on call doctor quickly explained that another scan was needed and would now be day 3. They kept me laid flat for the first time in my admission and medications were changed.

I found that all occasions of doctors rounds, morning and afternoon, left me feeling like a file rather than a person. If one doctor spoke directly to me it felt like an afterthought, rather than their primary concern. It was a very frightening experience and I was never given the name of 'my' doctor, just various doctors came at each round and often spoke over each other, sometimes disagreeing about my treatment.

On being given the clear following second scan, at tea time doctors round I was told I would just need two more days of obs and remaining flat. I was relieved and told family. An hour later a different doctor came round and said I could go home then - to the rolling eyes of the nurse with him, who cautioned him and me that perhaps the next day more realistic.

The next morning on rounds I was told doctors were still waiting for second opinion on my scan. Contradictory. I concluded I could go home, and liaised with nurses to have catheter removed and sort meds out. I was discharged mid-afternoon on day 4, but never saw another doctor or had advice on aftercare etc. The nurses were all very good but I have had to come home and research my condition to understand it.

I am grateful to be ok, but felt the doctors had lost sight of patient experience.

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