"Narrow view of patient care"

About: Ayr Hospital / Medical Oncology

(as a relative),

I had been very impressed with Ayr hospital in various departments; there was good care and communication. But when my husband was admitted to Station 8, it was so different from my other experiences.

The problem for which he was admitted was an investigation about a possible respiratory problem.

But he has 2 major other problems, which were not taken into account.

One medication was halved by the ward doctor; the prescription was given by his cardiologist and as far as I'm aware no reference was made to him before changing the dose. As a result fluid began to build in his leg again. This happened on a Friday and I was told the consultant could not be contacted until Monday. Why could the change not have been delayed until Monday? The ward staff informed me the dose had been halved. When I complained, I was told it would have to stay like that at least until Monday because he was dry.

My husband needs several medications, all of which I took into the hospital. Over the weekend, he was not given the one needed for breaking down food. Therefore he was very uncomfortable and constipated. I asked why he was not being given it, as otherwise eating is a problem and was told he could be given all of them, except the one for breaking down his food. I explained that he needed it and was told he could have it if he asked for it. I really don't think that is looking after patient needs.

He has buzzed for it, but yesterday the nurse forgot, so he suffered again. She admitted she forgot, but now it has been turned around to say that they often have a crisis on the ward, so it was unavoidable. So treatment prescribed by his oncologist is ignored.

My husband and I know that he is dying and has less than a year to live. We are Christians and rather than have very risky surgery, we have opted to let the diseases from which he suffers end naturally, so all the medical interventions are of secondary importance to us. We have our view set on the coming glory and believe we were made for eternity. Our spiritual welfare is more important to us than the physical. But when our minister came into the ward to see my husband, he was quickly told to leave, as a doctor was to see the patient on the opposite side of the ward. Both my husband and the minister told me that he was told to leave, causing both distress. When I spoke to somebody on the ward on the phone, she said that could not happen - but it did!

And this has often been the response whenever we've tried to point out something to NHS staff. We've been told many time that 'It could never happen', but it has!

If only someone would listen to people's real experiences and act on them rather than denying the problems, it would help.

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Response from Craig White, Assistant Director, Nurse Directorate, NHS Ayrshire and Arran We are preparing to make a change

picture of Craig White

Dear bluebell

I am sorry that you did not receive a response when you submitted your feedback. This should have happened and I apologise that it did not. As part of work to ensure that all responses to Patient Opinion are given the due importance that they deserve, I have been reviewing these personally.

I also wanted to let you know that I intend to highlight your feedback at learning and improvement events that we hold for staff - ensuring that there is discussion on the importance of person centred and flexible approaches to providing compassionate care. I will also make sure that this is included in a report to our Person Centred Care Programme Board, to ensure that this influences the improvement work that is being taken forward.

I am aware that experiences such as the one that you have outlined can continue to have an impact several months and sometimes years afterwards - if there is anything at all that we can do to support or assist then please to not hesitate to contact me personally at craig.white@aapct.scot.nhs.uk.

Best wishes

Craig White

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