"Patients' feelings and concerns should be taken into consideration"

About: Borders General Hospital / General Surgery (Ward 7)

(as a service user),

Was admitted in 2016 after spending 3 weeks at home with a fast developing open wound which was being treated by the district nursing team in the local area. It was finally decided that we should contact the GP for further advice and it was their decision that I was to be admitted to the Surgical unit of Borders General Hospital. This is where the story begins.

I arrived on Ward 7 about 6pm. I had been at home for 2.5 weeks beforehand lying on an air flotation mattress being turned at regular intervals. I began the same routine on the ward but was on the wrong type of mattress. I did say several times to the staff on duty that I was not on the correct bedding but they just kept saying that all the mattresses that they had were pressure relieving and would be ok.

I was then to begin my treatment. I started the first of many trips to theatre to have my wounds cleaned and the dead tissue cut away. I was fitted with a pump and was told that this was the latest way of clearing up deep wounds by sucking out all the dead tissue thus aiding the healing process. After being in bed in ward 7 for 3 weeks things started to escalate and I had the doctors in one day and they said that I should be mobile and asked how I got around at home as they knew I had a disability and was unable to get around. I said that I used a motorised wheelchair for this purpose. They then said that I should arrange to have it brought in.

Before the chair was brought in I was up sitting in an ordinary armchair and was left for up to 7 hours on the chair in the same position propped up by pillows. This was very uncomfortable and tiring. This carried on for about 10 days.

I developed even more pressure problems and my body was so weak that I was eventually put back on permanent bedrest while I was in the ward. I was on different mattresses and beds including a clinitrone (sand crystals and air flotation bed. This caused even more problems although I was on a weightless surface it caused more damage. 

After 4 months things seemed to be finally improving and I was getting somewhere. I suffered a minor heart attack and also just a month before had a twisted bowel and had surgery to correct that. I was in intensive care for around 5 days and slowly recovered. I was sat up again and that is where I feel yet more errors in my care were made.

My sister by this time had contacted a senior member of nursing staff who was now in charge of my case and it was under their instructions that the staff and doctors on the wards had to go by, also by this time the spinal specialist team from the Southern General in Glasgow came on board who I had been dealing with for a number of years. Their instructions along with a senior member of nursing staff and a Clinical nurse manager were excellent in their handling of the situation. They both liaised with me, the ward staff and the community nurses and Glasgow.

I finally left the BGH ten months later as the District Nurse Claire felt that I would gain better care at home with the local team and I was away from the hospital and infection free areas. I have continued to heal well apart from one small area of which is improving. 

I hope to be back to full fitness soon.

I feel that lessons in patient care need to be learnt from this and that patients' feelings and concerns should be taken into consideration.

I feel that there should be a dedicated skin specialist and spinal team within the NHS borders especially within the Borders General Hospital.

I feel that patients with bed sores should be kept in bed until all areas are healed and progression is made in sitting up for short periods until all areas are clear. 

I feel that the hygiene in some areas has to be more strict.

Responses

Response from Stuart Grant, Clinical Nurse Manager, Planned Care, NHS Borders

Thank you for sharing your story with us again. I recognise the story and believe we met a few times during your stay in an attempt to resolve your concerns.

I’d be happy to meet with you to discuss this further and explain, in more depth, the developments we have made to services we provide. Please contact me on stuart.grant@borders.scot.nhs.uk

Regards

Stuart

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