"Disgraceful medical ¨care¨"

About: Western Infirmary/Gartnavel General / General Surgery

(as the patient),

Last year I had my Gall Bladder removed using keyhole surgery - all appeared to go well, but two days later I was delivered by ambulance to Glasgow Western A&E.

I was admitted to a ward and many tests were done over the next day where it was found that bile was leaking into my stomach. Having found the problem swiftly the surgeon had me nil by mouth every night for a week on the promise that the next morning I was to be taken back to surgery to have the leak fixed - it never happened. On the morning round where I broke down in tears when the surgeon told me they wanted to ¨wait and see for another day¨. I felt the surgeon was extremely short with me and told me this was the way it was so keep taking the morphine.

I wish I could have kept taking the morphine, as this surgeon´s lack of bedside manner became wholly irrelevant when a new shift of nursing staff came on the ward. By this time, and with a stomach full of very painful acid, I could barely walk, it would take me two hours to hobble to the loo, you could ring the buzzer all day if you liked as no-one came - ever. When they made their rounds I would beg for the morphine only to be told that they were too busy to have two nurses running off to get the drugs for me and anyway I would become addicted then never get home.

Thank God for the night shift as they would come in and I would at last get some pain relief.

The lack of care I think can be summed up by the nurse who had to be brought to me by another patient (as answering buzzers did not happen- ever) when she saw that I had collapsed in the shower she was disgusted that I was lying naked, asked why I had not covered myself up (was unable to move) and threw a towel at me and left never to reappear. Thankfully two elderly patients realised she was not coming back and came to help me up.

Thankfully the story ends better as my surgeon went on holiday, the new one came round for the handover and was shocked that no-one had operated as waiting and seeing was only serving to have more acid pour into my stomach.

I was on his operating table a few hours later and sent over to Gartnaval Hospital the next morning where I received all pain relief, nurses were shocked that I had lost over a stone and a half in weight in a week and that no nurse from the Western had put in my notes that I had not eaten all week (remember the fasting every day? ).

This ended as a three week nightmare with a toddler and baby at home not knowing when Mummy was coming home. A

I am embarrassed by how I was treated as normally I would never allow this, but in so much pain you are at their mercy.

I could not fault the care of the nurses at Gartnaval, everyone from surgeon to cleaner had time to talk to you and help, however I would not leave a rat in the ¨care¨ of the staff I came into contact with at the Western and every other hospital in Scotland would have to be shut before I would allow myself or anyone in my care to be admitted there.

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Response from Paul Cannon, Head of Administration, Acute Services Division, Greater Glasgow & Clyde NHS

Thank you for taking the time and trouble to provide your feedback.

I am sorry that this posting was not acknowledged at the time, we had a break in our use of Patient Opinion, but we have now resumed doing so, and I thought it was still important to acknowledge your posting.

You raised a number of issues that are of concern and I have passed your comments on to the manager responsible for that service at the Western Infirmary in order to share your experience with local staff. I am sorry that this overshadowed an otherwise positive experience.


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