"A wasted admission to hospital, causing my wife distress and upset for no good reason"

About: Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital (Wonford) / Trauma and orthopaedics

(as a relative),

In early October, my wife's wrist and lower arm were swollen and painful. We went to see her local GP, but instead we saw a registrar who took bloods and sent them off.

I made an appointment to see my wife the following week but when I called on the Friday, they told me that they needed me to come down then and there. The doctor said that the blood tests had come back as inconclusive and as our GP wasn't there, they wanted to send my wife to A&E. The Doctor called A&E, explained the situation and wrote out a form for us to take with us. We arrived at midday. As we were booking in, the Receptionist took a phone call and we heard them say 'We're just booking her in now" so I pressume our GP surgery had called to check we had arrived.

Two hours later, we were asked to go into a cubicle (nothing had happened during these two hours). We had with us the forms that the doctor had asked us to bring. The person dealing with us said that my wife needed to see a senior Doctor. We were told the senior Doctor was doing their rounds, and that they would call in to see her as soon as they were finished. We were asked to sit in a different waiting room. As soon as we sat down, one of the members of staff walked up to us and very curtly asked us what we wanted them to do. We found this very adrupt. We were told that my wife's blood test results would be back within the hour, and that she may need a scan. At 3.40pm, which was almost two hours later, we spoke to a Doctor who said that the blood test should be 'back soon'. We were then shown into a room with another new Doctor, who we'd not seen yet. This new Doctor was, we think, the Registrar to the senior Doctor. They said that more blood tests would need to be done. Nothing more was said, and this Doctor then disappeared so we then met another new Nurse. This new Nurse said that my wife would need to be admitted to a ward. This shocked us both.

I was told to wait in the restaurant and that I would be called, so I went to sit there. Later that evening, which was now almost 6 hours since we arrived at A&E, I was concerned because I know that the park and ride closes at 7pm and we had no other way to get home. I decided that I would need to move my car, so I started to walk to the ward to let my wife and the medical staff know what I was doing and I got a phone call. I was told that my wife was in tears and when the phone was handed to her, she said that she'd be told she would have to be admitted overnight. When I arrived at the ward, the Nurse was comforting her, and explaining that they would give her a nightdress and make her comfortable. My wife was Dementia, and can become quite confused and anxious.

In the morning, I rung the ward and was told to ring back between 12-1pm. The Nurse told me that I could pick up my wife at 1pm, so when I arrived the Nurse brought her down to me. I asked my wife what had happened, and she said that people had come round at night, didn't do much. She said someone had come to see her in the morning and said that there was nothing more they could do. They suggested that should she have any more pain, she should see her GP.

All in all, this seems like a complete waste of time and a real inconvenience for my wife and I all because, in my opinion, the senior Doctor had finished their rounds and gone home, meaning that they had to keep my wife in rather than just diagnosing her and sending her home with pain relief.

We were not kept informed and I am frustrated that they knew my wife was being sent to see this senior Doctor and yet she never saw them.

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