"I am sick to the back teeth of complaining"

About: Dumfries & Galloway Royal Infirmary / General Medicine General practices in Dumfries and Galloway Thomas Hope Hospital

(as a carer),

My husband was discharged from Langham Cottage hospital recently. It was postponed twice as I wasn't very well and when I went in the day before he was discharged, the last thing the staff did before I left, was the staff said they would phone me and let me know that he was coming home.

The first I knew of him coming home was when an ambulance member was peering in through my window. He asked me if I was expecting him, I said no, he said what if you'd nipped our to the shop, or to the hairdressers? With my own health being bad recently, I could easily have been at the GP or been at the chemist to pick up my prescription. a hundred scenarios why I might have been out ran through my head. He said, if you'd been our we'd have been outside your house with a vulnerable patient for how long?

Every other time he has been discharged from hospital, Moffat will ring home and make sure I'm there, Dumfries will ring and make sure I'm there. When I rang them they said they said he will be home tomorrow, I asked when it would be, at least morning or afternoon or whenever, they just said no idea, anytime, but we will call you first.  He was discharged that same day.

I am sick  to the back teeth of complaining about Dumfries and Galloway, I've been through Care Opinion, I've been through PALS, I have questions: no answers, I want to see a doctor: no doctor, I need help: no luck.

There are so many things wrong that just don't need to be. Like I said in my last story, at Dumfries, you can't be on a vegetarian diet and a modified diet. The Ipad just won't allow for it. There is a button for vegetarian food, and a button for pureed food. No option to actually treat him as an individual and respect his wishes- he has been a vegetarian for 35 years. He has trouble with his throat so he can't communicate very well, and if I am not there to speak for him, he gets fed beef stew or something, and his sense of taste is not so good so he doesn't know. That is just not treating him fairly. Its feels like a lack of respect to me.

I mean, even though Langham didn't communicate the patient transport, I can't fault the meals. He always got his potato and two veg, and they made sure he was hydrated. Especially if there was a student nurse - they would always make sure he had his water.

But at Dumfries, I watched a doctor get right up in his face and shout at him that he needs to drink more water - he has neuropathy in both his hands from the diabetes, he has no dexterity to drink the water himself - well sorry doctor but if he isn't drinking enough water, thats up to the staff. When I am there, I can make sure he drinks, but if I have to go - like I have to go down and see my mum in another hospital, I ask the nurses to make sure that he gets enough to drink the next day, but I can see by his charts; when I've been there his saturation levels are 1200-1300, but when I'm not there it can go down to 350-400. What kind of care is it where no one bothers to keep his basic hydration levels up?

On the whole, Langham was reasonably good, I can't say it was bad bad bad,.  If I had any choice I would definitely not go to Dumfries. 

And I'm not having any better luck with my own practice in Lockerbie. Regarding my medication, I had to have a word with a doctor about how ill I was feeling, I told him I take immunosuppressants, he just denied it. said its not on my records, nothing to suggest that could be true. I told him I do take it! I inject it once a month! He just sent me off and said come back if I don't fight off the infection on my own. When I go back to the department that prescribed me the drugs, the letters, times, dates, details, they are all there. 

Why should this doctor not have access to them? Its not even consistent, I saw a different doctor 3 days prior, who could see all my notes, and was happy to change my antibiotics based on it.

We are just up against it, all the time. My husband's consultant said when I've done caring, I could write a book about all the ways Dumfries and Galloway have failed us.  The consultant knows what we have been through and has seen what we have had to fight just to get to where we are now.


Response from Joan Pollard, Associate Director of Allied Health Professions, NHS Dumfries and Galloway

Dear Vexed,

I am sorry to hear that you have been having such difficulties and poor experiences and would like to investigate this further. In order to undertake the investigation I will need further information. I would be very grateful if you would make contact via email Patientsevices@nhs.net or jpollard@nhs.net via phone on 01387244146

Best wishes


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