I am writing to you today to express my absolute disgust with the treatment and conduct of some of your nurses today.
My husband Marc was booked in today to have a epidural under general anaesthetic. Normally this isn't done, but my husband is Autistic and has a huge phobia of needles so it was agreed before hand that this would be the procedure to stop any UN-necessary stress.
We arrived at Ward 7 on time for around 7.20am, as he was told to be there by 7.30 for a morning admission. We were shown to a area where there was a very uncomfortable looking chair, and two visitors chairs. We sat and waited for someone to come and see us, and the nurse came and was very belittling to my husband about the reasons why he doesn't take his prescribed medication. My husband explained that the medication makes him sick, and doesn't have any affect on his pain so he doesn't take it, and hasn't taken it for some time. She made the remark that 'your not a doctor' which I found very inappropriate and quite rude. We waited again and my husband started to become very uncomfortable in the chair, and he had tried various positions to try and get some comfort. When I asked one of the nurses to come and see to him as he was getting very upset her response was 'well you aren't sitting in a very practical position'. Which again was unwarranted and rude.
My husband suffers from a degenerative spinal condition, coupled with bulging spinal discs and so finds it very hard to find a comfortable position at the best of times anyway, so her snide remarks were not appreciated and only further upset my husband.
They did however sort this out quickly as it was obvious was in discomfort and we appreciate the effort to put him in a bed at the end of the ward so it was quite. He waiting until around 10-10.30am for the doctor to come and see him. Mr .... came and saw him with an anaesthesiologist and Mr .... didn't stay for longer than two minutes even though we have been trying to get in contact with him for about 6 months. The anaesthesiologist then decided that he was going to change everything that was planned apart from the epidural. We had, had no previous assessments and had not spoken to anyone about these changes. They we're basically forced upon him as myself his carer and wife was not present so he feels that he was badgered into it, without having any choice. H signed the consent forms begrudgingly. Also while being examined and in a fairly exposed manner a women who appeared to be a nurse, opened a main outside door (fire exit) which had curtains around it, she opened these and let a friend through the door who was in fact another nurse, this is breach of privacy as my husband was on show, and there were no apologises. ......., Mr ..... secretary said she would speak to the matron about this breach but no one came and spoke to us about it, so I am unsure if the message was even passed on.
We then had to wait until around 1pm for them to come and collect him, we had seen no one since the doctors had been.
The next part is during the epidural which I wasn't present for which occurred an hour later than it should, this is an account given verbally by my husband.
First of all when they were taking me to the operating room, they were jolting me every which way, so I could not get any purchase on the bed. The arm rails were raised, so I could not hold which i'm sure is a health and safety hazard. When they got me there they insisted that I wasn't to have a general and they gave me small locals instead which were not sufficient, he first gave me something to help with nausea but I wasn't nauseas, and he didn't give me any pain relief as fair as i'm aware. They also asked me to grab my knees and pull them up so was curved, but I cannot do that due to my spinal condition and the tiny width of the bed. I had my exposed for a vast majority of my stay there with only a small clear plastic sheet covering my dignity. One of the nurses kept coming into the OR without being scrubbed up, no alcohol or a mask. And preceded to chat happily with every one except me. I kept pleading to be knocked out as it was excruciating and distressing for me. But they wouldn't comply.
Once finished they left me in recovery for an hour and a half the porters didn't know where I was, the nurse on shift whose name was .... made 4 separate phone calls to get me taken back to my original ward. The number of this ward changed 3 times (7,1,7). Then they finally took me back up to Ward 7 where no one told me where my wife was, even though I had been asking since recovery where she was. I was on ward 7 for about 10-20minutes before they realised they had taken me to the wrong ward, even though this was where my wife was with my belongings. I then got taken to Ward 1, where the nurses we're very sweet and wished to finish my final checks before discharge. They said all I had to do was drink some water and go to the toilet, I did both. But I still had to discharge myself (although this has nothing to do with the staff at Ward 1). My wife finally arrived as I was getting highly distressed. We then asked the Matron on the ward for PALS number so we could send them an email, and they apologised for the appalling behaviour of the other Ward and they didn't understand why we were there in the first place as Ward 1 is the spinal Ward not Ward 7.
That was my husbands account of what happened, I now need to fill you in on my side of the story. Once they had taken my husband to the theatre, I waited in the original Ward (7), only going to get some lunch twice, otherwise I didn't leave the ward. No one came and spoke to me the entire time I was on the ward. So I had no idea what was happening with my husband who had been gone for almost 3 hours, so understandably I was getting very anxious as I thought something had gone wrong. I had been pacing the ward continuously for 3 hours, yet not one single nurse told me what had happened to my husband, or asked me what I was doing or if I was ok. I had to find out the status of my husband from a patient who was situated next to him when he appeared on the ward for 10 minutes. I clarified this with the staff and they told me where he was and had been for a quite a while. Notably I was very frustrated and angry at being kept in the dark so long and so lashed out verbally on the Ward, which I apologise for but you have to understand my side of the story.
I finally found my husband in the process of being quite distressed and wanting a cannula to be removed because it hurt. I then went on a hunt for the PALS office but by the time I found it, it was closed. So when I got back to the ward to matron had got the information for me. I must commend the staff on Ward 1 for being so understanding and patient towards my husband myself as we were both distressed. The matron then gave us your information and apologised again for the other ward behaviour.
This may not be as serious as some of your cases that you may be currently dealing with I just ask you to appreciate the circumstances I.e my husband being Autistic and very distressed. And also the conduct of certain members of staff.
I look forward to any reply, or queries you may have, and please feel free to contact either myself or my husband.
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so goddam angry right now