"My partner's care could have been a lot better"

About: Good Hope Hospital / Accident & emergency Good Hope Hospital / General surgery

(as other),

Basically my partner had a pilonidal sinus which was causing him a lot of stress and pain, he could not sit or stand and could only lie on his belly. He went to his doctors where they gave him antibiotics but stated if it had not cleared in 2 days to go to A&E.

He was still feeling very poorly on Tuesday evening so I called A&E reception, just to ask if they were busy that evening as I did not want to take him in if he was going to be waiting long as he could not sit or stand. The response I got was "Well is he in pain? Just bring him in" then they hung up. I don't feel that this was very helpful or caring at all and didn't even answer my question I called about.

He stuck through the pain Tuesday night but was feeling a lot worse on Wednesday where he had a temperature of 39 so was very poorly.

Once again I called A&E to ask if they were busy as by this time he could not sit down at all and was crying in pain. Once again I feel I got a very rude and unhelpful receptionist. I told them the situation and all they could suggest was “can't you take him to your GP to sort him out” even though I stated at the start of the call that the GP told him to come here if the pain got worse.

I took him that evening at 6pm where the receptionist told us that we had to wait in minors. We waited and an hour and half passed, and we wasn’t called in and people who had came in after us had all gone in and were seen. My partner went to the reception to ask what was going on and they informed him we were in the wrong place and had to go to major, so we went down to only find out they had been looking for him all that time.

A&E I have to admit were amazing that night. The doctor he saw was prompt and spoke to him like an adult and told him what the problem was straight away and then got him a nice bed to lie on and gave him all the antibiotics he needed and made him comfortable.

The nurse we had in A&E was also very nice and a good help. The surgeon came to him a few hours later and said he could go home for the night as his temperature was down but he had to come back the following morning for an operation. So he signed all the consent forms and we went home.

The following morning I took him to the hospital and they took him up to the day case unit, they had no idea what he was in for and that he had already signed the paperwork to consent for the operation, they were completely and utterly unaware of everything, I feel this was shocking.

Anyway I was sitting with him, then one of the nurses came in and said that I had to leave as I was not allowed on the ward which I thought was the biggest load of rubbish I had ever heard, my partner has a phobia of needles and hospitals and was petrified and wanted me there, but no, I had to leave.

I left and paced the corridor for 3 hours straight without stopping, in the end I burst into tears as I felt frustrated that I wasn’t told what was going on or anything, how could I just go home and leave him there all on his own to go through this. I told them that I suffer from very severe anxiety and that I was getting very frustrated and stressed and it was making me ill. In the end they spoke to someone and he said that I could sit with him this time, but made me feel like rubbish when he said “but I warn you that if you are around when he comes around from the anaesthetic then I will have you removed by security”.

I was stressed as it was, and hearing this just made me feel like I was useless and couldn’t even be there for my own fiancé. I wouldn’t have been so worked up and annoyed and upset in the first place if I was allowed to be with him.

The staff I met in the ward showed no sympathy and just made me feel like I was in the way. I felt so bad that I just felt sick. They treated and talked to my partner like he was a five year old as well which really annoys me.

The worst thing was that I walked into the ward to go and be with him but as soon as I walked in I could smell something disgusting, I thought nothing of it and went over to the bed my partner was in and sat with him but after a few minutes I could not take the smell. He was still fully clothed so I checked for him and could see the abscess had burst and there was pus everywhere, he said he felt like it for a while, so why had no one come to get me to change him or at least give him something to clean himself with, surely they would have been able to smell that smell? You could smell it soon as you went into the ward, they left him there to lie in his own filth for god knows how long as I was waiting like a lemon outside in the corridor so how the hell would I have known what was going on.

After waiting a full day it came to 4pm in the afternoon and finally he got the surgery, but I had to leave as “security” probably would have been called if I stuck around, I had to go home shaking and to wait 3 hours without hearing anything. I had panic attacks at home as my anxiety got very bad. In the end they called at 7pm to say he could go home, but I was already back at the hospital waiting, my partner did say to the staff to call me to tell me how he is was after the operation but they didn’t call.

My partner finally got home tired with pus stinking trousers and a bloody tshirt where they got blood over him putting a needle in his hand.

Overall after the experience over the last few days I would not rate Good Hope hospital at all, why do they even call it Good Hope more like bad hope or no hope.

I felt that some of the staff we came into contact with were rude and lazy, no wonder people die from neglect in hospitals. I am now very stressed and frustrated from the time I had to spend with my partner there and it makes me very angry to think that not even one of them could apologise. My partner didn’t even get given a pillow in the day case unit, the only time they noticed he didn’t have one was when he went to surgery so he went from 10am-4pm uncomfortable.

I am now considering to take up private health care even though we cannot really afford it. I think it would be so much better than having to put up with what we had to put up with.

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Response from Susan Moore, Executive Lead Director, Good Hope Hospital

picture of Susan Moore

Dear Bjasmin

Please can I firstly apologise.

I will talk to the team on the A and E Reception and on the Day Case Unit. It sounds like you and your partner had a terrible time.

Let me speak with team and I'll come back to you as soon as I have some answers.

Kind Regards

Sue Moore

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Response from Susan Moore, Executive Lead Director, Good Hope Hospital

picture of Susan Moore

Dear Bjasmin-

I asked my colleague Sue Hyland to help me look into your concerns-

We have now been able to talk to the teams.

We have emphasised that we need to be polite - even if the phone hasn't stopped all day.

From the point you were told to come to the Daycase Unit the following morning; we failed to communicate this to the admissions team. The system does work but on this occasion, in error, your partners details were omitted from the admissions list and so the Daycase Team were not notified. This was a mistake and we are genuinely sorry; this made an already difficult situation even more stressful.

We do ask patient relatives to leave the unit at certain times and this is because we are trying to minimise the number of visitors in the unit at any one time but also to minimise the risk of infection to our other patients. We also have to consider privacy and dignity issues and we adhere to a strict single sex policy in the unit. This should have been explained to both you and your partner, we have emphasised to staff that they need to provide supportive information when asking patients relatives to leave the unit.

We also talked to the Matron in charge of the unit who has assured me we have sufficient gowns, pillows etc so I am afraid I can't see any reason why your partner would not have had access to the bathroom, a clean gown or a pillow.

We hope we have been able to answer some of the issues you have raised and that importantly your partner is recovering at home.

Sue Moore Managing Director

Sue Hyland Chief Nurse

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Update posted by Bjasmin (other)


Does not really make us feel any better to be honest, especially me having a severe anxiety problem this whole situation has made me feel awful and will take me a while to get over this.

Thank you for looking into this for us but I knew it would of been pointless, and you would of talked your way out of it.

Lets hope my partner does get better and doesn't have to have this again. So we have to come back, but then again we are seriously thinking about going private after this, or taking a bit longer journey and going to Burton as the care my father and nan got there were a lot better then they both had at Good Hope also so might be better off.

thanks anyway.