"My upsetting experience in the Scoping Unit"

About: Good Hope Hospital / Gastroenterology

(as the patient),

Recently I had to have a combined Gastroscopy and Colonoscopy at my local hospital. All my previous visits to Gastroenterology and pre admission appointment had gone well and the staff I met were kind and helpful.

However when my day in the treatment room of the scoping unit came around this already petrified patient was met with an indifferent staff who seemed amazed as to why I was so nervous and the doctor completely ignoring me sitting at a desk on the phone with his back to me and didn't come over to me until the nurses had me ready and he was going to start. The very least this doctor could have done was to have turned around and said hello as I entered the room (he was not my consultant as mine had transferred me to this one) as he didn't I felt like I was just another body on the conveyor belt.

I was to have sedation, painkiller and throat spray. I got all the meds in one go and the throat spray consisted of 2 careless sprays on my tongue that did nothing to numb my throat. Consequently I woke during the procedure to find the scope tubing digging into the left side of my throat making me gag - the very thing I dreaded.

I was awake for all of the colonoscopy and found myself in excruciating pain (one of the nurses even held me down) and no communication from the staff except to "concentrate on your breathing" - very helpful I don't think. No one talked to me through the procedure or explained anything except say 'that'a pocket' and 6mm polyp.

But when the doctor came to take the poly out it was lost and so I have to have another procedure and polypectomy later on in the year. That's if I have the courage to go back.

I was told proudly by a scoping unit staff member that they perform 60 procedures a day. Well looks like getting that amount in has resulted in patients being hurried through with no compassion, care or consideration. A few kind words during these traumatic procedures might have made a big difference to my ordeal and I might have looked upon this hospital in a better light.

I have a feeling it is hoped patients will, due to the sedatives, not remember the pain they have been through. Please all medical staff remember we the patients are human being and not a piece of meat on a trolley.

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Response from Patient Engagement Office and Project Manager, Heart Of England NHS Foundation Trust We are preparing to make a change

Dear Helen

Thank you for taking the time to share your comprehensive feedback with us and I apologise on behalf of the Trust for the lack of care and dignity you were shown during your procedure at Good Hope. This is not the standard of care we would expect our patients to be given.

I will ensure your feedback is shared with our Trust's General Manager for Gastroenterology so action can be taken to ensure this does not happen to any other patient again and adequate pain relief/sedation is given where appropriate.

If you would like to discuss any of the issues you have raised further in order for us to investigate, please contact our Patient Services Department on 0121 424 0808 anytime between 9.00 am and 5.00 pm Monday to Friday.

Kind regards

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

Update posted by Catlady (the patient)

Dear Heart Of England Trust,Thankyou for responding to my Gastro experience comments and I am really pleased that things will improve in the future.While waiting to be called into the treatment room in the ladies waiting room I read some of the other patients comments in a book,all gave glowing reports of their experience so it was a shock when mine (as far as I was concerned) was not up to expected standards.I am a little reassured that my next visit will see me treated in a dignified manner and given adequate pain relief and sedation,I have thought very seriously of refusing to attend for the next procedure and of course this could seriously jeopardize my health.If I do attend I will post my comments again on 'Patient Opinion'.Thankyou again.Regards.