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"my son's recent emergency surgery"

About: Dumfries & Galloway Royal Infirmary / Accident & Emergency Dumfries & Galloway Royal Infirmary / General Surgery Dumfries & Galloway Royal Infirmary / Paediatrics

(as a parent/guardian),

My son was very poorly after a few visits to a GP we went to A and E at DGRI to see what was wrong. After days of my eight year old being sick and and in severe pain on the right hand side we went to hospital. Initial this was in A and E to be seen by a surgeon and for bloods to be taken. A and E was not a great experience for a child as its was very adult orientated both in terms of environment and  language the was used. It was scary for my son.

He was then moved to the children's ward without any communication to us and the children's ward didn't know why were were coming through.  The nurse practitioner and play assistants were very good and provided support for my son.

We were then moved to another room as the area we were in was shutting down. A nurse eventually came in and told us we were going for emergency surgery - no doctor came in to speak to us or let us know what was happening until the last minute and they wanted a form signed. It wasn't great.

My child was taken to surgery, again not a great experience - it was so adult oriented and took no recognition that they were dealing with a child.  The adults did not engage with him, he was terrified as he saw words like blade in the wall, the surgeon wasn't there so he was kept waiting and they did put him to sleep until he was in the actual theatre. The nurse did the check form over him while he was awake with questions like what can go wrong? what if he goes into cardiac arrest? It was awful. My wee boy was very brave dealing with all this.

We had to push to be with our boy when he got out, as we didn't want him waking up in a strange environment - we were aware from other parents that this had happened.

It was tough being back in the children's ward as there was an immediate push to get him discharged, even though the antibiotics were not working and he was being sick all the time, so the medication for pain was not being tolerated. His temp was sitting under 40c.  it felt like a constant battle to get things down to support the recovery of our child. We also struggled as we felt we were caught between Paeds and Surgery - it was very clear there was a divide between the two departments.

There were some outstanding nurses, who did care and helped as much as they could. The new hospital is lovely, the rooms and facilities were great and helped staying in the hospital for  period of time.

Discharge wasn't great either - no support or advice and eventually got a letter a week after. 


Response from Annette Finnigan, Senior Patient Experience & Safety Officer, Acute and Diagnostic Services Directorate, NHS Dumfries and Galloway

Dear Sandy RB,

Thank you for taking the time to share your story with us. I am sorry to hear that your experience was poor and as such I would like to work with my colleagues within the various departments to look into this in more detail.

If you would like to contact me directly on either 01387 241379 or I can take your details and discuss this with you further.

Kind Regards,


  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful