"We feel our valid complaints were ignored"

About: Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust Peterborough City Hospital / General surgery

(as a relative),

My grandfather (an ex-nurse) noticed melaena and took himself to his GP, who after waiting all morning to be seen was advised (correctly) to go straight to the local A&E. Luckily my father drove him as upon entry to triage promptly vomited over a litre of fresh blood. According to my father the triage nurse was amazing, unfazed and reassuring. She quickly took my grandfather through to Resus. However it's at this point things appear to become substandard in his care.

The doctor struggled to believe the amount of haematemesis despite reiteration by the nurse.

By the time I arrived, he had been moved to the short stay medical unit. I found my grandfather not attached to the monitor despite continued tachycardia, with one one small cannula (20 gauge) attached to an empty bag of IV fluid and not a member of staff in sight and believe me when I say I searched (after I had attached him to the monitoring)!

The next day we arrived to find the staff informing us they were sending him home as he hadn't had any further vomiting, until I questioned when he was going to have his urinary catheter removed and what were his pre- and post-transfusion haemoglobin results (turns out his Hb had dropped despite 2units of blood over night)? They had also forgotten to prescribe the antibiotics he had been on for recent pyelonephritis.

He was only kept in hospital for tests because I argued his discharge.

One year later my grandfather required a pacemaker. He was given lots of ambiguous information regarding different types and asked to make a choice. We spent along time researching which would be best for him and in the end his choice came down to one that would still allow him to drive as this was an important part of his life. Paperwork was sent through with the wrong pacemaker listed on the operation details, so my father contacted the consultant's secretary who reassured him that it would all be changed. Needless to say my grandfather had his consent checked whilst his hearing aids had been removed and he had the wrong pacemaker fitted. He has never received an apology and when my father wrote our complaints to the PALS team he was told that they wouldn't accept them as my grandfather hadn't written the letter. He feels grateful to still be alive and is currently battling bladder cancer. I cannot abide by our valid complaints being ignored.

The haemotemesis was at Peterborough A&E and the Pacemaker was completed at Papworth but by the Peterborough Consultant.

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Response from Lesley Crosby, Deputy Chief Nurse, Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

I am sorry that your Grandfather has had such a bad experience and that you feel your complaints have been ignored. PALS are correct in stating that we would need your Grandfathers permission to discuss his care with your father as otherwise we could be seen to be breaching confidentiality. It does however appear that this was not explained to your father and for this I would like to apologise.

We would be happy to follow up your concerns and can I suggest that if you wish to do this you contact Cathy Thornhill, our PALS manager, who will be happy to chat with you. Her email is cathy.thornhill@pbh-tr.nhs.uk.

Once again my apologies for the problems your Grandfather has experienced but we are keen to address these issues and would urge you to contact Cathy.

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Response from Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

We are sorry to hear that your grandfather had a negative experience at Papworth Hospital. We are very keen for you to get in touch with our Patient Advice and Liaison team so that we can discuss the complaints procedure with you.

Please note that we will require the written consent of your grandfather (the patient) before we can investigate the issues you raise.

We would therefore be most grateful if you could get in touch by viewpoint@papworth.nhs.uk or by calling 01480 364896.

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