"My son's bad hospital experience"

About: Lincoln County Hospital / General medicine

(as a relative),

In December my son was suddenly taken ill, so bad that his mates took him to Lincoln Hospital, this unfortunately being on a Saturday.

He was admitted and diagnosed as having severe asthma and admitted to an intensive care ward, kitted out with oxygen and a nebuliser.

The nebuliser eased his symptoms somewhat but he was in dire straits as the nebuliser started to run out. He buzzed for assistance to get the nebuliser recharged. In spite of buzzing no one came to his aid. Getting desperate after about 20 minutes he tried to get out of bed to go to the nursing station himself but could only get so far out before collapsing half in and half out of the bed. Still no one answered his buzzer.

After about 30 minutes his wife and my daughter entered the ward and found him in dire straits, dangling from the bed. On informing the nurses what was happening they sorted him out and recharged the nebuliser. They had heard the buzzer but on looking down the ward and seeing no light on above any beds they just let the buzzer keep on, this instead of checking down the ward to see what the problem was. My son had been drowning in his own bodily fluids and on thinking he was about to die he made peace with himself and world and awaited his demise, this in his own words.

Eventually on the Monday he was seen by someone who knew what they were doing and was deemed to instead be suffering from pneumonia and treatment was commenced for that. Samples were taken and sent to the lab.

Having been bedridden for a couple of days he was then prescribed injections to aleviate DVT. He received his injection, so far so good. An hour later at 1500 a nurse entered the room (by this time he was in an isolation room, having picked up a vomiting bug) and proceded to prepare another injection.

When he told her that he had already had it she checked the documentation and apparently the first injection had not been noted on his docs. This being a blood thinning injection I would assume that another additional jab so soon after the first would have caused some sort of complication.

It was now decided, probably the lab results were back, that he would need another kind of antibiotic and so received the first treatment of this. When a nurse later gave him his routine dosages she was about to leave the room and he asked about his new medication she checked and realised she had missed it out, having not checked his docs in the first place.

I drove across from the other side of the country, 2 and a half hours drive, to see him. Rang the hospital and checked that it was ok to visit our of hours and was given an affirmative. On entering the ward I was quizzed by what I could only take to be a cleaner as to what I was doing visiting out of hours. The nurses stood around listening to this and did not interject.

Whilst I was in the room there was a pile of dirty linen on top of the waste disposal containers, this had been brought in from outside the "Isolation Room" by a nurse and obviously forgotten about and left there. What was the "Isolation Room" all about, where we as visitors had to gown up and scrub?

This sad episode leads me to think that Lincoln Hospital had 3 goes, 4 if you count the 2 days misdiagnosing his illness, at bringing about his demise.

On discharge, after a 10 day sojourn, he brought these occurrences to the attention of the "Charge Nurse" and was told that these could not have happened.

I am reporting this because it still rankles and if anyone from that Hospital does die from neglect and I hear about it I am quite willing to give this sorry tale as evidence of poor medical practices. I also feel better about getting it off my chest because it still rankles that they could have taken my son away from me.

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Response from Jennie Negus, Deputy Director of Patient Services, United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust

picture of Jennie Negus

I am so sorry that your son, and you, have had such a difficult and worrying time and whilst you have said you feel better for 'getting it off your chest' it may help to talk through this some more and allow us to investigate the concerns you have raised. If so please contact us at patient.involvement@ulh.nhs.uk

In the meantime I am very extremely for your experience; your feedback is valuable to us and I have passed this onto the relevant staff.

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Update posted by Scousepie (a relative)

Now that Lincolnshire Hospital Trust is in the limelight I am going to further publicise this incident, as I said I would.