"Never seen anything like it"

About: St Mary's Hospital (London)

Anything else?

I was admitted to A&E with what turned out to be a chest/lung infection, and transferred to the Acute Medical Unit after 4-5 hours.

I am a transplant patient and have to take immunosuppressants to stop my kidney being rejected. When I was in A&E I was started on a variety of antibiotic that interacts with one of my immunosuppressant drugs - a ridiculously basic error. I was not even told this until just before Ieft, and only because I queried the change.

While on the ward, I was not given my full dose of immunosuppressants, despite repeatedly requesting them and telling the staff how important the drugs are to my health.

Shortly after arrival on the ward a new patient was put in the bed next to me. I discovered later that day that he was suspected of having norovirus. The last place you should put a highly infectious patient is next to an immunosuppressed patient. The staff all knew about this, as they went around whispering about the patient to make sure none of the other patients overheard his condition.

The norovirus patient used the shared bathroom many times and this was not cleaned at all. Many patients, some of them elderly, used the same bathroom after him, which is extremely high risk.

After the norovirus patient was transferred off the ward that evening, his bed was just made as normal (not deep cleaned) and another patient admitted to the same bed.

Staff were told to maintain my fluid balance throughout the day. This was totally ignored and there was no record of what I was drinking. By the end of the day there were around 8 bottles of urine sitting on my table because no one was prepared to take them away to be measured.

In the morning the doctors decided to transfer me to another hospital. I waited all day for transport, and discovered that this had not even been requested until dinner time. The other hospital was holding a bed for me and I was occupying a bed all day in St Mary's, so 2 beds in total. And the NHS complains that they don't have enough beds available - this may partly explain it.

In the end I decided to discharge myself, spend the night at home and contact the other hospital in the morning. The doctor refused to give me my antibiotics as I was leaving against their medical advice. When I pressed her to tell me what exactly her medical advice was, she said that they wanted to "monitor my renal function". This is pure lies, as I had been in hospital for 24 hours and they had not checked my renal function once, other than when I was first admitted to A&E the night before. In the end I had to get the antibiotics from my GP in the morning.

An absolutely disgusting service. The next time I need to go to A&E I will take a taxi to another hospital.

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Response from St Mary's Hospital

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust is very concerned to read your comments with regard to your experience in A & E at St Mary's. You raise some very significant issues and it would be important to be able to investigate this situation to ensure that the issues are addressed. To enable us to do this we would appreciate it if you could contact the PALS service pals@imperial.nhs.uk. Christine Cornell , the PALS Manager will be happy to contact you if you would like to provide details. We hope to hear from you.

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