"Abysmal aftercare"

About: New Cross Hospital

Anything else?

I was recently hospitalised via A and E for a heart problem. I have only praise and respect for the treatment received in the cardiology ward I was on. After 12 days I underwent an ablation procedure and was subsequently discharged the next day. This is where I am absolutely appalled. I have had zero follow up to my procedure. I went home not knowing what I should expect in terms of recovery, starting exercise again, things that I may experience...post op pain, bleeding, discomfort....I was very frightened as I was still having chest pain and breathlessness. I visited my GP 2 days later who sent me back to the ward for a wound check which was cleared. However I have still got problems with chest pain. I rang my consultant who said go to A and E if your concerned!!!! this is the man who had instruments in my heart 4 days previously....this message was passed via his secretary. I presumed with my discharge papers there would be a do and don't list for the next few days and also what to do if I had any immediate concerns. The absence of this I find disgraceful.

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Response from Jamie Emery, Patient Experience Lead, The Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust

Dear patient

Thank you for taking the time to tell us about recent experiences of New Cross Hospital and for your kind words about the team on the cardiology ward. We were however really sorry to read about how you found the aftercare.

I have been in touch with our lead consultant for the ablation procedure here at New Cross Hospital who has explained what happens usually with patients undergoing this procedure. We strive to give patients a service of the highest quality, both before and after the procedure. Our usual practice is to provide quality information to patients before they undergo ablation, covering the post procedure aspects as well.

Patients are reviewed post procedure and results given to them. At times, if they are still recovering from the effects of sedation, and there is uncertainty whether they have taken information on board, a second or third discussion is had with them. All patients undergo monitoring in the form of heart rhythm checks (ECG), blood pressure, oxygen levels, access site checks and scans of the heart, if needed. Patients are discharged only if they are up and about and when the team is happy that it is safe enough to do so. Information about the procedure is conveyed to the GP via e-discharges and a procedure report and all patients are reviewed in the outpatient clinic after 6-8 weeks. If there is a cause for concern, patients are advised to either ring the cardiology ward, the consultant's secretary, to see the GP, or attend A&E, depending on the problem.

Nonetheless we accept that your experience of the service was not what we hope to provide and we are disappointed that this is the case.

In normal circumstances you should have an appointment to be seen in the outpatient clinic and our consultant would be very happy to see you sooner if you wish.

We would welcome the opportunity to discuss this further with you and if you would like to, please do not hesitate to contact me directly on 01902 695363 or via email to jameemery@nhs.net.

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