Queen Alexandra Hospital

** WARNING - this post contains a graphic image towards the end which some readers may find disturbing and may not be suitable for those under the age of 18. Reader discretion is advised **

Where to begin... Do I start with the most recent issues I've had with this hospital, or do I go back to 2011 when it really all began? Although I have multiple reasons to be sitting down writing this, all concern 4 different individuals; people who I know, have loved and are/were important to me. People who should ALL have been (should be) treated better... Wherever I start this will be a loooooong post, so grab a cup of something, kick back and try to keep up... 

Before I get really going please be aware I absolutely love our NHS and for the most part the people who work in it are incredible. They do an horrendous job at times under the worst of circumstances. Sadly, what once used to be a service revered around the world, has slowly (and in my opinion deliberately) been run into the ground by people who haven't got a clue. There are too many people on whacking salaries sitting in offices pushing paper around and not enough staff on the wards doing the actual work which needs to be done. When I was younger in my area we had 5 hospitals - one of those military but they would treat everyday patients as well. These hospitals were places you went to get better. The staff were kind, caring and extremely adept at their job (for the most part - you always got the odd one-or-two who weren't up to the tasks). The wards were kept spotlessly clean, the beds were made every day with proper cotton sheets and great folds on the corners; MRSA was unheard of. Patients were allowed flowers next to their beds, something which can bring a smile to a sick persons face. If you were unable to get out of bed you were given a bed bath, and turn regularly to avoid bed sores. Hospitals were somewhere you didn't want to go but knew that by doing so you would receive the best care and be sent back home all mended (where possible). Then funding got cut; budgets that were unrealistic were drawn up and areas were divided with trusts taking over the running of different hospitals. Trusts run by people drawing huge salaries yet doing very little to warrant them. The staff pool got smaller, the care became shoddier and one-by-one the hospitals closed down. We've gone from having our 5 with a small population to just 1 with a population 10 times greater than it was. Any fool, and I mean any fool, can see those figures just don't work. Things are so bad at QA that people I know have begged to be taken elsewhere, and as you will find out if you continue reading, those people have very good reasons not to want to be admitted there. I've told my family/friends if anything happens to me to please send me to one of our other hospitals; I know they have their issues too (customers tell me horror stories all the time) but I've not experienced any with them and have had way-too-many with QA. As you will see from the responses I've received to my registering of issues with the hospital, the people in charge really couldn't give a shit. Melaney Poole, the woman at the helm of the PHU NHS Trust is about as much use as a chocolate fireguard. I will share the letter I received from her in response to a multitude of complaints I made. From it you will see she's not even bothered to bring herself up-to-date with the issues I contacted her about, and is very blasé full-stop in regards to my bringing the issues to her attention. She might just as well have replied to me with "Fuck you" because at-the-end-of-the-day that's really all her few lines are actually saying. I'd love to know how much she earns because I could tell people to "Fuck off" for a lot less!

Here I go...

Friday 27th May 2022

My Grandfather is currently in hospital; he's at the Queen Alexandra hospital in Portsmouth. He was admitted just after midnight on Wednesday 11th/Thursday 12th May. As of this time of writing - 08:46 on Friday 27th May, they are still unable to tell us what is actually wrong with him.

We see him every Wednesday; he's comes over at 1pm, leaves around 9/10pm. We also call him on a Saturday and Sunday as he lives alone since my Nan died and his circle of friends has diminished as he's got older due to them being elderly too and passing away. He led us to believe we were the only people he really saw, although I have learned this week my cousin has been popping in to see him every Thursday evening; he'd mentioned before she "sometimes" stopped by when she was passing!

He spent the day with us on Wednesday 27th April (as usual) and we arranged to call him on Sunday 1st May. He beat us to that call by ringing us quite early (around 7am) to say he'd called 111 the previous evening and they'd sent out 3 paramedics. Turns out he had some kind of sickness/tummy troubles since the Thursday evening and had called them because he wasn't able to get through to a doctor - do we even have emergency doctors at surgeries any more? They told him it was "nothing to worry about" and suggested he take some fibrogel to help with the tummy issues. We told him off for wasting the paramedics time and said if he had been worried he should have called us and we could have taken him to one of the walk-in centres.

My Mum called him on the Monday to see how he was feeling and he said he was still very bloated but ok and had managed to get a doctors appointment for later that day. Upon getting there it transpired he had a chest infection for which he was given antibiotics, and told his tummy issue was "probably a stomach bug" as there was one "doing-the-rounds". We called him on the Wednesday (4th May) and he said he wouldn't be over that day as he didn't want to risk passing on a bug to us, or have to worry if he needed the loo. 

By Friday 6th he was no better so again called 111 because he'd been unable to go to the toilet. They sent paramedics out later in the day who again told him to keep taking the fibrogel which would eventually help him go to the loo (it transpired he'd not been able to go since the Monday - I know I didn't need to share that but it is relevant to what's been going on).

By Wednesday 11th he was still not feeling right, and told us he'd been having intermittent spells of not being able go to loo, to being constantly on there. Again he tried to speak to a doctor and got nowhere. He didn't come over and told us not to go down to him as he was still worried about passing on a bug. He said his chest was much better though and he sounded in good spirits. We said we'd call him Saturday unless he needed us beforehand and he agreed to call if he did. 

Fast forward to Friday and Mum tried to ring him in the afternoon about something and he didn't answer. This is not unusual for him as he's been known to unplug his phone in the past. When he'd still not answered by 8pm we considered taking a drive out to his place (an hours drive away) then figured he'd probably not be happy with us turning up at 9pm (he goes to bed early) so said if we'd not heard from him Saturday morning, we'd take a drive down when I finished work at 1pm. There was still no answer when Mum called Saturday morning, so on the off-chance she tried calling the hospital to see if he had been admitted. Whoever she spoke to was as much use as a chocolate fireguard and after calling them 4 times she was still no closer to knowing if he was there, or he wasn't. Instead she carried on with her day, went shopping and waited until I got home. When I did she told me about 12.45 she'd had a really random answerphone message left which she thought could be from him. When I listened I could just make out it was him telling us he was being moved to a different ward and he hoped we were going to finally make it up to visit him. It turned out he had been in hospital for 3 days, and nobody had bothered to let us know - my Mum is next-of-kin! He believed we had been informed once he was admitted. He believed wrongly. The reason they'd not shared anything when Mum had called to see if he was in hospital was because he'd been moved from one ward to another and then again to another and the phone operator didn't know where he was and didn't want to say anything because of this! 

For him to get there in the first place was not easy for him. Around 10pm on Wednesday evening he'd started to be sick and had diarrhoea to go with it, however, he was puking and pooping blood, lots of blood. Knowing this was not a good thing, and not wanting to disturb us he called 999 and was told it could take them 7 (that's SEVEN) hours before a paramedic could get to him. He then called 111 and by midnight a paramedic had him in a bay outside the hospital waiting to be admitted. What an absolute shambles this government has allowed our amazing NHS to become. Even more shocking though is that the people who work in just don't seem to be bothered any more. They're too busy trying to do too many things because there's not enough staff. I totally understand how hard they work but by the same token they should understand that their patients are people too, and those people have family who love them and worry about them.

Eventually we found out which ward he was on and made our way to the hospital. I'm sure you can imagine my shock when I arrive at his room to find my cousin and her daughter in with him. They'd known since the day before and were livid with me for not letting them know sooner he was in there, because like him, they believed my Mum would have been informed as soon as he was admitted. We'd been discussing calling my cousin on our way up to the hospital, making the decision to let her know he was in once we knew what was going on. She'd found out by finding him not at home on Friday so phoned the hospital and was told he was in and what ward he was on, so they told her, but not my Mum. Anyway, we got it sorted between us and all was well. If only I could say the same for the rest of it. 

We are now on Day 16 of him being in hospital and they still don't know what is wrong with him. It took 14 days we learned he'd been given 2 litres of blood the day he was first admitted. My Mum has asked every day when she's been up there and all she kept getting told is that they are running more tests. My cousin has visited a couple of times and was told the same. Eventually on Wednesday my Mum was approached by a doctor who told her they were waiting on some results coming back to find out what is going on. In the meantime my grandad has gone from nil-by-mouth, to being given food which started him being sick again, to back to nil-by-mouth. He is on oxygen but they used the ones they stick up your nose and every time one of us has been to see him it's been over his head or under his chin and we've had to ask for it to be taped on to hold it in place. This is something the people looking after him should be doing. We shouldn't have to tell them. Last Saturday they came round with pills. He couldn't eat anything as he couldn't keep anything down and the nurse gave him some huge pills to swallow. I had to point out again he wasn't able to eat anything and so she said she would crush them up and put them in a drink for him. On Wednesday they did put him back on a drip, but it's an antibiotic one because (apparently) the infection he has (which we were not told about, unless it's the one from before he was admitted) wasn't clearing so they put him on a stronger dose. The doctor who spoke to my Mum gave the impression he could be moved to a convalescent home before being able to go back to his home, though most likely he would need to move into a residential home. We got a feeling of a little bit of hope for him although she was also asked to think about a DNR. I thought this odd; why give the impression he may make a good recovery but want to know about a DNR? He said he would discuss it further with her today when she visits. My cousin then went up Wednesday evening to find him much worse than he had been. When she asked for some answers to questions the nurses told her she would need to speak to a consultant and that one would be about at 9am yesterday morning, so she went and nabbed him at 9am where the information she was given was completely different to that which my Mum was given less than 15 hours before. It transpire that they believe the issue is caused by a cancerous mass in his stomach although they're not certain because they haven't had the results of his biopsy back - this was the first time a biopsy has ever been mentioned to any of us. My cousin was also told that they are more concerned right now by the infection as that could be potentially fatal if it can't be got under control, however, if he does beat the infection then they think it wouldn't be worth him having any treatment for the cancer, so they are basically keeping him alive just to then let him die a slow and painful death later down the line from the cancer. To me this is so cruel and if true - because we've still not been told definitively what is wrong with him - then I think keeping him alive just to let him die is bloody evil. My cousin did say the difference in him from when she left at 8pm on Wednesday until she saw him just after 9am yesterday was quite shocking and he was a lot weaker than he had been. 

Fast forward to this morning. I make my way downstairs at 05.45 to find an answerphone message was left at 05.27 from a doctor at the hospital wanting to speak to my Mum to give her an "update" on my Grandads condition. For 16 days they've not contacted her once or shared anything with her, yet choose to finally do so at the crack-of-dawn. This then sent us both into panic mode, wondering if we needed to get to the hospital as it was his final hours. For almost 2 hours I called his ward to find out what was going on and not once did the phone get answered (I allowed it to ring for 7 minutes once). I used both the extension numbers we have, and phoned the main switchboard to ask them to put me through. When the doctor eventually called us again it was to tell us he'd had a rough night but they'd got him under control and he was stable. All the panic and worry for something they could have told my Mum when she gets there later this morning. 

The lack of answers and the lax way he is being treated I genuinely find to be quite astounding. He's an 84 year old man; he deserves a little bit more respect/dignity than he is being given.

What's happened (is happening) with my grandad has just reaffirmed in my mind that I absolutely would not want to be sent there. I remember how rare it was to hear bad things said about hospitals, yet these days it's more rare to hear something good said about them. 

As for my grandad, had he been a pet we would have already been advised (or maybe not, the way they've not bothered to keep us in the loop regarding anything else - until this morning) to do the kind thing and put him out of his misery, yet because he is human the poor man is going through a living hell from which he may survive just to then have to go through a slow and agonising death. I hate the thought of him dying but my goodness if given the choice to let him go now, or watch him waste away slowly and painfully I'd choose the former; I think anyone with even the smallest amount of humanity and compassion would do the same. It would be so sad for us (his family) but so much kinder to him. 

Sunday 29th May 2022

At 6pm yesterday evening my Grandfather passed away. Last Saturday he was told he could go home Tuesday, and now he's dead. They did say yesterday they were worried by an infection he had and told us it could be touch-and-go over the weekend but they'd upped his antibiotics and he was on a nebuliser to help with his lungs (at this point we assumed he now had pneumonia) but there was still hope. Yesterday morning though we took a call to say he was going to moved to his own room later in the day and once there we'd be able to visit whenever we wanted and have as many people as we wanted; we already assumed this was the beginning of the end. This was a sign he was most likely not going to last out the week and so we were trying to coordinate everyone to make sure for his final days he had a family member with him at all times. 

At 12.40 my Mum took a call from a nurse who said "are you coming up today?" 

Mum replied "I'm not today as I'm coming for the day tomorrow but my son and niece will be in later". 

The nurse then said "you need to come or you might miss something". 

I find that very strange wording; it was as if she thought we were going to miss out on something exciting. Mum asked her to explain but she just said we needed to be there, so Mum, myself and my brother rushed up there, as did my cousin from her part of the world and for 4 hours we sat in his room with him, chatting to him but really we were talking to just an empty shell. I found it very strange he had no drips in him. So much for the antibiotics we were told he had been given a stronger dose of. It was pretty obvious he wasn't for this earth much longer but his breathing was heavy and his heart was beating strong (from what we could see; he wasn't attached to any machines to clarify this). We agreed to leave to get something to eat and were going to work on a modified shift pattern so someone was with him at all times. We'd been indoors just 10 minutes when the phone went. We knew straight away what had happened but my goodness, what an abrupt woman they used to make the call. I know he's a nobody to her but after telling Mum he had died she then asked what time she would be arriving up the hospital. Mum asked when did they need her to be there - assuming she had to sign forms - but the woman was asking for no other reason than she thought Mum should see him. My Mum isn't that kind of person and said to her "thank you, but I have no wish to see his dead body" and before she got chance to say "but thank you for all you have done" the nurse huffed and hung the phone up on her!! I understand it may be customary in her culture to visit a deceased person, but it's not in ours and we'd already said our goodbyes when we left him just in case anything happened, as I know so often these things do. The shock of her being so rude has taken us all aback. 

Monday 31st May 2022

Today my Mum and brother went to the hospital to collect my Grandads personal belongings. They were handed over a bag that had all the bits he'd had sitting on top of his locker, and inside it but before leaving my brother made sure to check over everything and realised my Grandads keys (house and car) and wallet were missing. Things he never left the house without and we knew he had them on him as he'd told Mum and I they were locked in the secure part of his bedside cabinet and only the nurse had access to it. The bereavement lady Mum and Brother saw asked them to check with other family members first to make sure nobody else had taken them - we hadn't - and said if they were missing to let her know later. 

Tuesday1st June 2022

I called the bereavement team as I'd spoken to my Grandfather about his belongings and had also visited his home to check his wallet and keys were not there - just in case. They weren't so they had gone missing whilst he was in hospital. The lady I spoke to told me to raise the issue with the hospital PALS team and explain what had happened so they could investigate and let me know what was happening, or what had happened. She talked through everything and told me of some things I needed to say regarding my Grandads mental capacity when he was admitted. This is the email I wrote...

Good afternoon, Karen

Further to a telephone conversation I had with Tracey in Bereavement Services, I find myself contacting you with regards to some personal items of my Grandfathers that appear to have vanished into thin air. 

My grandfather's name is .............. and he was admitted sometime in the early hours of Thursday 12th May. Tracey informed me of a lady called Vicky who checked in with the paramedics who said my grandfather was ‘Compos Mentis’ upon arrival and was therefore admitted with his personal possessions. 

I believe after triage in A&E he was moved to D1, and possibly D2 at some point, from Thurs 12th -  Saturday 14th, but as my Mother (his next-of-kin) was never informed he had been admitted (she actually didn’t find out until Saturday 14th after making multiple phone calls when she was unable to get hold of him at home) I can’t be certain about that or where he was until we visited him in Room 5, Ward C5 on Saturday 14th May.

On that Saturday (14th) whilst visiting with him my cousin offered to leave him some money so he could buy himself a paper, or coffee; she was thanked but told he was ok as he had his wallet on him with £50 in it so could grab himself one if need be. 

Monday 16th - C5 Bed 5 - my Mother took him up a couple of books she had bought that morning. Straight away my grandfather offered her the money back for them because he told her he had his wallet in the bedside unit. She never took any money from him so didn’t see his wallet, however, as he was fully alert there is no doubt in either of any of our minds that if he said he had it, then he had it. Anyone who knew my Grandfather knew when it came to his money he could tell you exactly how much loose change he would have in his pocket. He’d also been into hospital a few times in the past year and would have made sure he was fully prepared for anything. 

Saturday 16th - C5 - Bed 12 - My grandfather was convinced he was leaving on the following Tuesday (apparently one of the nurses had told him he would be leaving then, or possibly on the Monday) so I asked how he planned to get home if any of us were unable to get away from work and he told me he had his wallet so would grab a taxi if he had to. That same day he also asked me to go down to his home and start his car for him as it hadn’t been driven for a couple of weeks. He told me to grab his keys out of his coat pocket. When I told him they weren’t there he said “oh yeah, sorry, forgot the nurse put them with my wallet in the unit next to my bed”. It transpired I wasn’t able to access this as a nurse needed to do so due to security. When I said I’d track a nurse down he told me not to worry, and that he would do it on Tuesday when he was at home. His car key is on the same key fob as his home keys. Along with his wallet these are still unaccounted for. 

Upon arrival at his home later that day I found the door to be double-locked. Only he, and my Mum, have keys to the home so he had to have had them when he left home with the paramedics. 

He wasn’t sent home on the Tuesday, and sadly he passed away on Saturday 28th having been moved to another room (the number I didn’t take note of) 

On Sunday 29th we went to his home to secure any private/personal property and collect all paperwork his legal team needs. As a result we did go through all his drawers, jackets, cupboards and hidey holes; his keys and wallet were not anywhere on the property. 

Monday 30th, my mother and brother visited the bereavement service team where they picked up his belongings. Only the items kept on top of his locker had been sent down, and so my family had to ask where the rest of his stuff was - meaning keys, wallet etc. Someone came down from the ward with a bag that included only his clothes that had been in the unsecure section of his locker.  Both Tracey in Bereavement and my brother went through everything, including his coat pockets. No keys or wallet were found. We were asked to check for definite that they weren’t at his home and they were not. I also contacted his other visitors to see if they had taken away anything; this is how I know my cousin knew he had his wallet with him on the 14th and there was only her, us and one of his neighbours who visited. None of whom have, or have had, his belongings. 

I called Tracey this morning; she contacted the ward again who told her they had been through the Day Control Drug Cabinet and the patient drug cabinet. Apparently Vicky also called to check with other staff (she did mention a name but I was trying to write all the info so fast I couldn’t make out what I had written) and the paramedic team. She did explain the staff are exceptionally busy (which I fully understand and sympathise with) and no inventory was taken or signed off on when my Grandfather was admitted, or moved between wards. I’m not sure if this was an oversight because of how busy they were. 

I’m fully aware that the staff are dealing with hundreds of patients constantly, and things can get left behind, or lost, but I feel they still have to be somewhere. The wallet itself holds no sentimental value (although knowing he had money in it that he didn’t get to spend is slightly annoying - not that it will matter to him any more) but it did contain his driving licence which should be surrendered and all his cards (I have contacted the bank regarding his debit card but have no idea if he has any others in there or anything else of personal value). His car key missing is annoying to say the least as his car is so old there isn’t a spare but again isn’t really a major issue. It’s not like he will be able to drive it. I just find it concerning that someone’s personal items which he believed to have been secured have vanished, yet the phone and other bits he had sitting atop his cabinet where anyone could have picked them up and walked off with them, have been returned to us. 

Added to the fact I had to inform a nurse who was about to make him take some pain pills and antibiotics in tablet form that he was unable to swallow anything (something she should have known) and the very abrupt lady who called Saturday morning to tell us to get to the hospital (in case we missed anything - strange wording) and later that evening to inform us he had passed (again expecting us to go straight to the hospital, before just hanging up on my Mother without so much as a goodbye, when she said we wouldn't be going up that evening as he had already passed, and that until this very day we still didn’t know what was wrong with him (we were told the day before he died he had pneumonia) because for the first 14 days he was in (11 to us as we didn’t know he was there) we had to constantly keep asking for information and were only ever told they were “waiting on results” or need to run more tests, until a 5.30am phone call from one doctor on day 15 to give us an update, an update which could have waited until a more sensible hour, I’m sure you can appreciate the small amount of frustration we are now left feeling. 

It would be nice to know all avenues - drawers and cabinets - have been thoroughly investigated in the hope they may still turn up. 

With many thanks

Sarah


I received an immediate "Out of office" reply, which is fine; at least I knew it had been received, and so I waited...  and I waited... and I waited... and whilst I was waiting I found myself getting more-and-more pissed off about it all. 

Add to the mix my Mum. A quiet lady who goes out of her way to not upset or offend anyone. She's had some issues with her eyes (she has glaucoma) and has been under the eye department at QA hospital for a few years. The way she has been treated - specifically by one particular surgeon - has been disgusting but she sits back and says nothing because "he is a busy man". That he may be, but his lax way of treating my Mum has seen her slowly lose her eyesight and an operation he fucked up that was meant to be rectified in April 2021 still hasn't been dealt with. The longer PALS ignored me, the more I stewed on other issues... it appears to me there is a massive problem at QA so I decided to write him a letter; I also wrote one to PALS and then, because I figured they would just file it away in a shredder somewhere, I sent copies of the letters I wrote to Melaney Poole; the head of the PHU NHS trust; I wanted to bring to her attention the shoddy way my family have been dealt with. 

1st August 2022

Having heard from nobody I sent these 3 letters out today - I also sent an identical letter to Mr Kirwans to Mr Lockwood the other eye surgeon my Mum has had to deal with. 

Opthalmology Dept

Queen Alexandra Hospital 

Southwick Hill Road

Cosham

Hants

PO6 3LY

1st August 2022


Dear Mr Kirwan,

I’m not entirely sure when my Mother (obviously in the correct letter I included her name and details) was first referred to the Ophthalmology Department after having an eye test taken at Boots Chemist, but your records will show how long this has been going on for; it is many, many years now.

I find myself writing to both yourself, and Mr Lockwood, because I feel my Mother is not, and has not, received the level of care and professionalism I would expect from surgeons as prolific as yourselves. Don’t get me wrong, her first surgery for a trabeculectomy, performed by Mr Lockwood was a success so she found herself placing her trust in your department with regards to her future care; when she was told she would need another operation on her other eye, because of how well her first had gone, she was happy to proceed. This time however she was given a stent, and that appears to have been the beginning-of-the-end for her. She was informed it was a fairly new procedure but had “an incredible success rate” and it would “be ideal” for her. It wasn’t a success and has been far from ideal. 

When it was agreed that the stent wasn’t doing what it should and she would need it sorted, she was told that first she would have to have her cataract removed, before the stent could either be removed/replaced, or a trabeculectomy performed in its place. The cataract surgery was completed in January 2021.

Before having the cataract surgery she had an appointment for measurements to be taken regarding the replacement lens that is inserted. Her exact words to me after that appointment when discussing the lady who saw her were “well, she didn’t instil much faith in me”. My Mother got the impression the lady didn’t really have much of a clue as to what she was doing. Because of the issues she’s had since having the cataract operation I am very sure my Mother was correct and her lack of faith in the lady was totally justified. It didn’t help either that when she arrived for the appointment a quite rude lady asked what she was doing sitting in the waiting room. When she told her she was there for her 1pm appointment, some 45 minutes prior to the lady asking why she was there, she was told there was no record of her having an appointment, even though she had the letter on her person telling her she did. A man was then approached by the rude lady and he too said there was no record of her having an appointment; this is when the lady who took her measurements stepped in and said she could deal with it. As you will see if you continue reading, this was not the first, nor the last time that my Mum was forgotten/overlooked. 

She was told she would need 3 months for the cataract surgery to heal so should expect an appointment sometime in April/May 2021 to have the stent sorted. It is now August 2022 and still nothing has been done to correct it. A quick check-up in August 2021 ensued where she was told there was/is nothing wrong with the lens inserted during the cataract operation - even though a boots optician when she went for an eye test to organise new glasses as her sight has changed, had told her it wasn’t worth him running the test as she obviously didn’t have the correct lens. My Mother told me she brought this up at her August appointment and was told that was “not possible”. The lens was correct. Scarring on her eyes was mentioned as a reason for the sudden loss of sight; this she was told could be treated and “should help”. Again, nothing has been done about this, and she was told it would only be looked into after having had the stent issue corrected. Macular degeneration was also thrown at her as another reason for her issues. 

When she saw him (her optician) again last week he asked her how she’d got on after he’d written to you; apparently he was shocked to discover that my Mother was told you had not received one. I believe he is following up on that and will be writing another. He was able to show my Mother he had written, and sent a letter the very same day she’d had her appointment, so not sure what happened to that! He also suggested to her there appeared to be no evidence of Macular Degeneration so not sure what’s going on there. Obviously I (and my Mother) would assume you know more than he does so we have to believe what she has been told by yourselves at QA with regards to that specific issue.

At one point in the very beginning, way before her trabeculectomy was completed, she was left over 18 months without being given a follow-up appointment; it was only her getting on a bus and turning up at the hospital to find out what was going on that saw the receptionist say to her “oh, I’m so sorry; we seem to have completely forgotten about you”. Well now, how great is that? She was being seen by your department for her eyes - quite important parts of our bodies -  and yet she was “forgotten”. I now find myself asking the question “has she been overlooked, forgotten, yet again?” 

Aside from an appointment in March, for which she had to catch 4 buses to get to Havant, and the same to get home, to spend less than 3 minutes inside the building having a couple of tests which I have done each year at my local opticians, she has heard nothing. Yet each day her eyesight deteriorates a little more, and whilst I understand she has glaucoma,  the scar tissue and macular degeneration! it was the cataract surgery that saw her go from roughly 90% vision, to around (what I would assume to be) 20% vision in a matter of days. 8 bus journeys for a lady who struggles to now see if a piece of pavement is flat and often misses if there is a hole or raised slab in front of her; a lady who cannot make out facial features on people, and also (due to the Charles Bonnet Syndrome - thanks to her rapid sight loss) has no clue if the building before her that she needs to walk around is real, or not. She doesn’t know if the raised flower bed is actually in her path or whether it is just a manifestation from the syndrome. For someone to deal with all of that, having to travel to an area outside of their comfort zone/local area for something which could have been done in a much safer environment, in a local area where she knows there are no extras that could trip her up is a lot to deal with. Would you be happy for your own mother to have to go through such an ordeal for the sake of being asked to read letters off a board, and do a peripheral vision test? 

I understand that you are busy and we’ve been in the midst of a pandemic and at the end of the day she is just a name on a piece of paper, but to watch a woman go from doing everything herself, to having to have help just to do her washing up has been shocking. Each day she loses a little more of her independence which greatly affects her mental health. She will say to me “I wish I’d never had it done now”.  I honestly believe she would rather have gone blind naturally and not gone through all the operations, and then having to remember each day to put her 3 lots of eyedrops in.

She thought 3 years ago when she had the stent it would be as successful as the trabeculectomy was and she’d be free of daily eyedrops and would be able to get out in the garden and enjoy seeing the birds and wildlife; something which brought her immense joy. Instead the stent was a failure, the cataract appears to be too, and with the Charles Bonnet syndrome when she can see anything she has no clue if it is real, or not. 

Whilst I am fully aware any operation carries with it a risk I do feel she has been fobbed off on a few occasions, forgotten about on more than a few occasions and I find myself quite shocked at how she has been treated. I am sure if she was your Mother, you too would feel the need to speak up on her behalf, because she is not the kind of person to complain about anything. Every time I ask if she’s had a check-up appointment, or date for the stent to be rectified, I get told “not yet, but they are busy”. For her to make excuses for her shoddy treatment shows the kind of lady she is. Someone who doesn’t want to upset/offend you, because she’s worried if she does you’ll not bother to help correct the issues, issues which have arisen due to the surgeries she’s had, yet you’re not correcting them for her anyway but she is too much of a kind and understanding lady to want to cause any trouble or speak up. 

She will be mortified when she finds out I have written this letter, but I’m sorry it’s just not good enough and she should not be making excuses on your department's behalf for what has happened and is happening to her. 

I do hope she won’t be left waiting too much longer.

Yours sincerely

Sarah Bradbury

To the PALS department I sent this...

1st August 2022

PALS
Queen Alexandra Hospital
Southwick Hill Road
Cosham
Hants
PO6 3LY

Dear Karen, 

I recently contacted you via email (sent at 19:46, Tuesday 31st May 2022) regarding my grandfather, (in the letter sent I included his name and details) who had passed away at Queen Alexandra hospital, on Saturday 28th May 2022. I immediately received an automated away message so I know that the email is not still floating around in cyberspace somewhere which makes it all the more disappointing that some 8 weeks later I have still heard nothing from yourself or anyone in your department regarding my issue. 

Rather than type it all again I have copied/pasted the original email for you below. I have corrected some grammatical errors.

For the purpose of this I haven't included this section as you will have already read it above when I first sent it as an email. I concluded the PALS letter with...

It’s been 63 days since I sent my email, and as mentioned at the start of this letter I’ve heard nothing, but during those 63 days I’ve had more time to think about everything and I can honestly say I’ve gone past frustration and am now feeling a little angry about it all. 

What I still cannot comprehend is the fact that the 2 items which had been kept “secure” are missing, yet everything that was either on top of his lockers, or shoved into the unlocked cupboard were all returned. I appreciate there are some less-than-honest people in this world and could understand if they’d been taken from an unsecured section of his locker, by either another patient, visitor to a patient or a member of staff, but I’d assume there are only a few people allowed to hold secure keys so my only conclusion is that one of these people cannot be trusted. In my business I deal with a lot of people who have lost a family member at the hospital, or had them stay in for a while, and I’ve been quite shocked by how many have told me similar stories. His wallet had all his ID inside with his address; we have absolutely no way of knowing if anyone gained entry before we changed the locks. I appreciate he was moved around a fair bit - it took us a multitude of calls to finally find where he was - but even so. If the staff are not up to doing their job correctly, then maybe they shouldn’t be doing it at all. The blasé attitude as well when I was told “You’ll not get the £50 back” when I phoned to confirm his wallet and keys were not present, and were missing, is really quite unsettling. I have no doubt it wasn’t meant in the way it came across but it certainly gives the impression this is happening often and seemed a very strange thing to say.. I fully understand the pressures NHS staff are put under - both my Mum (now retired) and my Niece work/worked for the NHS; one in Adult Mental Health, the other as a trainee nurse - and I know from their own experiences there are way too many department heads pushing paper around desks and not enough actual workers on the ground keeping everything afloat and running, but that is not an excuse for a poor attitude and lack of professionalism. I understand their most important job is to look after the welfare of the patient, however, had my Grandad not caught pneumonia and died, his welfare would have been greatly impeded by not being able to enter his home, have his car moved, or make purchase of anything, for his cash was gone, and his cards had to be stopped.
 
I’m pretty sure if they’d turned up someone might have contacted us by now so can only assume they are lost forever although a friend of mine recently had an early morning call from her dead fathers phone that had just been found (can you imagine how disturbing/upsetting that must have been?) He was in QA too which just reiterates how patients' personal belongings are frequently going missing).

Yours sincerely

Sarah Bradbury

To Melaney Poole I sent this...

PHU NHS Trust
Trust Headquarters
Queen Alexandra Hospital
Southwick Hill Road
Portsmouth 
Hampshire
PO6 3LY
 
1st August 2022

Dear Ms Poole,

As the head of PHU NHS trust I find myself writing to you directly with some issues I feel need bringing to not only your attention, but that of the board as well. 

I believe as the chairperson of the PHU NHS trust, the ultimate responsibility of what is going on under your charge is yours, and that of your board. It is my belief that it is down to you to ensure the hospital (Queen Alexandra, Portsmouth) is doing what it should be doing.

The two letters I have enclosed with this letter will show you that your trust is failing. Two issues just from my immediate family. My niece has also been failed by Queen Alexandra multiple times due to mistakes made during surgeries that were then not dealt with correctly; she lives each day in immense pain because of the failings of differing surgeons she has had to deal with over the past decade, but those are her complaints that she is dealing with, and not mine to share. Three complaints from just one family is shocking enough, however, my niece could also have complained about the treatment her Mother and Grandmother received when both of them were under the guidance of Queen Alexandra. To learn once-it-was-too-late that her own mothers life could have been saved had the team in charge of her care not taken the easy route was quite astounding. As I am sure you can imagine my thoughts regarding Queen Alexandra are most definitely not positive ones.

In my job I deal with many people who have had their own dealings with Queen Alexandra, in differing departments and for differing reasons; the general consensus from each of them is that if they are ever taken ill they want to be sent to a hospital other than Queen Alexandra. I’m sure that is not the kind of legacy you want your tenure as chairperson to be remembered for. 

You will see from my enclosed letters I sympathise with all the staff working so hard, and I understand mistakes can, and do happen. I think you will also see from them why I have felt the need to sit and write this letter to you. One mistake I can understand, but multiple? No, that’s just not good enough. That is unacceptable. I know we have just been through the pandemic, that staff have worked tirelessly to save lives; it’s what they do, it’s what they signed up for and they deserve the praise they have received for how they have coped throughout the pandemic, however, those were mainly covid specific staff. Your everyday general staff appear to be failing in the very basics of their job. 

I’m not looking to take out a complaint. I’m not after compensation - goodness I know too well how badly the NHS needs every penny it can get and I do get annoyed at people who sue for the most petty of things - but what I would like is to hear people say to me “wow, the care I, or my family member received on our hospital stay was outstanding”. I long to hear that because all I ever hear is how this family were let down, that person was forgotten or the person died because it took seven hours to get an ambulance; my own grandfather had paramedics out to him three times before the last ones finally admitted him; each time they told him to take fybogel and drink water knowing he had been vomiting blood. He wasn’t the kind of man to call anyone unless he absolutely felt he needed to, so having been let down in the two weeks prior to eventually being admitted to Queen Alexandra from the ambulance service, to then have to deal with the unprofessionalism of multiple departments once he was admitted shows there are massive failings all around. I know you are not responsible for the paramedic staff, but you are in charge of the hospital. People are dying or suffering life altering experiences because the system is not working as it should be. My grandfather is dead, my mother is going blind because of basic oversights, my 30 year old niece has had her whole life turned upside-down. It’s just not good enough. I’m quite sure if one of your family members, or that of one of the board was admitted no stone would be left unturned and they, and their family, would be given the 5* treatment. We would have happily settled for a phone call, some information and 2* service.

I am aware your services have been pushed to the very brink, and beyond, but that is not the responsibility of the people you the hospital and the staff are entrusted to look after. I know some people cannot be fixed, that doesn't mean there shouldn’t be someone looking out for them, doing their very best to make things as comfortable as possible for them. My Grandfather was 84 and it transpired he did have Gastric Cancer so would have died eventually (although we didn’t know this until after he had died, even though he’d been in the hospital for 2 weeks prior to his death) but my Mum is only 76 now. She’s had years of poor treatment, and being forgotten about; as a result she is now struggling to do the very basic of menial tasks. Her life has been changed beyond all recognition and yet there is nothing. Nobody seems bothered. She’s just ‘another person on a list’. 

Please read the enclosed letters (I have written directly to both Dr Kirwan and Dr Lockwood in the eye department, but for the purposes of this letter have merged them into one - as you will see I have not bothered to write to PALS with regards to Ophthalmology as I’ve had nothing back regarding my Grandfather, so to me they appear rather ineffective) and please understand for every one of me who has made the effort to contact you, there are dozens more who don’t because “it’s not worth it; nobody is bothered” is the attitude they feel they are dealing with. Be the trust to make a difference. Be the trust to stand out against all the others. Be the trust the others all aspire to be. If you can’t then resign and move over for someone who can, for someone who wants to make a difference and is willing to pull out all the stops to ensure they do. 

Yours sincerely

Sarah Bradbury (enc)

Monday 8th August (one week after letters sent - they were received the 3rd August; I sent them registered so I'd know when they arrived).

I received an email from PALS...

Dear Sarah

 

Thank you for your letter received in PALS today and I acknowledge your email of 31st May.  It was my understanding that Bereavement Services Manager had already conducted a full investigation, along with a second member of the team,  into the items you mention, keys and a wallet.  I spoke with the team at the time and was sure that I had called you to confirm this outcome.  My sincere apologies if this is not the case and that you did not receive a call back.

 

I have since received the paperwork signed by your brother,  for the items documented and signed for by your brother.  To also confirm that it is Trust Policy that if a patient has capacity, they are responsible for their personal property during their stay.

 

Today I confirm I have done the following :

 

  • I have raised the incident on our patient safety system with C5.
  • Shared your email with the Governance Team for the speciality and asked them to contact you directly.
  • Attached the small claims form for completion should you wish to make a claim – this decision is made at senior divisional level.
  • Spoken with all the Bereavement Team to ensure all was done to locate the items, including with cashiers and the ward. They confirm this to be correct.

 

Following the PALS process, you will be contacted by the speciality,  within the next 5 working days.  Following the outcome of these discussions with you, you still have the option to make a formal complaint if you feel the outcome is not satisfactory.  The complaints email address is phu.complaints@porthosp.nhs.uk.

 

Kind regards

 

Karen Roberts


After stewing on everything for 2 days, I finally replied on Wednesday 10th August 2022.


Good morning, Karen


Thank you for getting back to me with regards to my Grandad's possessions that were missing. As I am sure you have now ascertained I was not under the impression it had all been sorted - due to Tracey telling me to contact yourself in the first place - and you never did make the call to speak with me. 

Yes, my brother did sign for the possessions he collected, however he certainly didn't sign for the missing items! Tt was whilst at this meeting with Tracey he mentioned the missing items and was asked to check for definite they had been with my Grandfather, which he did (as did I) and they had, hence the whole thing becoming what it has since become.

I totally understand my Grandfather being responsible for his items and he was very grateful his wallet and keys had been placed into a locked and secure drawer which he never asked to be opened as he was too poorly in his final days to need to buy himself anything, and he certainly wasn't going to be driving his car. More than happy for him to be held responsible for them during this time, right up until the point when he fell into a coma. Then, I think we can both agree, he wasn't in any capacity to keep a check on his belongings and he was moved to another room whilst in his final death throes. Not sure he can have been responsible for his possessions being moved to the new room as he was dying and in a coma!

There is no need for a compensation form; this is not about the money; if someone was desperate enough to steal from a dying pensioner then let them have it. My issue was that his personal belongings, which he believed to be secure, weren't and as only hospital staff had access to the locked drawer then I'm afraid, to me, only a member of staff could have taken them. I understand the staff are there to look after the patients medical care, however, their mental wellbeing is also important and had my Grandad not have ended up dying his items missing would have caused him unnecessary stress; and the fact that nobody really seems to be particularly bothered by it is what I have an issue with. The whole blase attitude of "oh well, you'll not get that back" is really quite astounding to me. However, there is nothing that can be done about it now. He is dead and buried, and whoever did take it obviously has no conscience and will, I am sure, have spent the money which was inside his wallet. I know from speaking to other people my Grandfather is not the only person who has had this happen at QA and C5 has been mentioned a lot; there is obviously a staff issue somewhere that someone needs to take responsibility for and act upon. 

Thank you for attaching the complaint form; as you have now done all you can, I thank you, and I shall move onto the next level. 

Later that day I received another email asking me to "call ASAP". I assumed she wanted to talk to me about it all; I was busy at work, still fuming about it all so ignored the email. They'd made me wait!. Anyway, an hour or so later I received another one...

Sarah
 
All the property has been located on the ward – to say I am disappointed after all the work Bereavement did – more importantly the additional stress this has had on you.
 
I am waiting for a confirmation email of all items now been handed to Bereavement Offices – on my instruction to be locked in a secure area while I contact you directly.
I will be your point of contact for this collection or arrangement to relocate to you or your family – please ignore the message left on a home number and do not contact the ward.
 
What time can I call you today or later this evening if you prefer?

To say you could have knocked me down with a feather would be an understatement. I chatted with Karen about it all and apologised for the theft accusations I made. We arranged to meet in the afternoon of the 16th August when we had a really good chat about it all - I can safely say she is lovely and was most apologetic for all that had gone on and told me she has raised concerns about C5 - a ward I have heard other people say bad things about too. A friend of mine had a phone call in the early hours of the morning a few weeks after her Dad had died on C5; the call was from HIS phone and rather than explain who the caller was and why she had my friends Dad's phone all the caller (nurse) kept doing was asking my friend to tell her who she was. Can you imagine a call from your dead Dad's phone with the caller refusing to tell you anything until you tell them who you are? I'm going to assume it was the same ignorant bitch my Mum dealt with over the phone. 

Tuesday 23rd August 2022

Today I received the "Fuck you" letter from Ms Poole... The letter which basically admits she's not really bothered to read the ones I sent, and she obviously doesn't liaise with the PALS team or she'd know the day her secretary wrote her letter I was collecting my Grandads belongings...


If you've made it this far you will have read the letters I sent to Ms Poole, Mr Kirwan and will know all about the PALS. Am I missing something in her reply? Have I expected too much? Has she really bothered to take the time to address the issues I have contacted her about? I think I'd rather she never bothered to reply at all, or slapped me round the face with a wet fish. This is the woman in charge of our local NHS trust. This is the woman entrusted with running our hospitals! This woman is part of the reason WHY our hospitals are in such a state. If this blasé, couldn't-give-a-shit attitude is how she feels when someone registers not one, but 2 complaints (I still have 2 lots to go but those are not directly mine to complain about) then she is not fit for purpose, she should not hold the position that she holds. That reply is the reason I am sat here now, tapping away on my keyboard, copying/pasting all which has gone on. Her reply has irked me beyond all measure. I wasn't expecting her to faun all over me but I expected her to at least address the issues. That last line "thank you for taking the time to write, your feedback is much appreciated" is downright fucking insulting. I've had less sarcasm from my enemies than she's used in her reply. 

Thursday 9th September 2022 - 24 days after I was assured my Mum was being reviewed.

My Mum is still waiting for her check-up appointment she should have had at the eye department last month. There has been no word from Mr Kirwan whatsoever so writing to him made not a jot of difference. My Mum continues to lose more sight each day, whilst he continues to ignore the plight of his patience, whose eyesight is failing because of a mistake he made and has yet to rectify, all whilst happily allowing the NHS to deposit a massive wage into his bank each month. But hey, who cares; she should go private, right? Isn't that the way the NHS is going? Isn't that why these people in charge, people who are meant to care, people who are paid way more than they should be, are allowing the NHS to be run into the ground? Pretty sure once it all goes private - and let's be honest we definitely appear to be heading that way (ask the American's how well that works for them!) they can all claim a lot more in wages than they are now. The NHS, an institution set up to ensure all people can get access to healthcare being run into the ground of the rich can get richer from it and the poor can be shit on and left to die in the gutters. Aneurin Bevan must be turning in his grave. 

----------------------------------------------------------

The issues I've mentioned above and shared are just the few in the past few months for my immediate family. Now let me draw your attention to my extended family. That of my sister-in-law and my niece. This starts back in 2011 and still hasn't ended! I do need to warn you at the end of this I will be sharing a photograph that some of you may find distressing to view. 

In 2010; my former sister-in-law and consequent best friend was diagnosed with Cervical Cancer just 2 months after losing her Mum to Bowel Cancer (she was given her diagnosis on her Mum's birthday). Now, whilst my bestie was crap when it came to pain - a cut finger could see her whinge for days - she was a fighter in every sense of the word and cancer was not going to beat her; no way, Jose, and it wouldn't have done, had it not been for the oncology team she was with at QA. From the start until her death she had nothing but issues, issues she should not have been having. I'm not sure if you're aware of the treatments of Cervical Cancer but one of them is internal radiotherapy, which is exactly how it sounds. They insert rods into the cervix and blast the cancer with radiation, however, if they're not inserted correctly they end up burning the insides of the person being treated; my friend suffered excruciating pain as a result of them burning her and was unable to do anything about it as they had left her alone in the room after starting the treatment. For over an hour! The burns did more harm than they did good. 

For months she dealt with chemotherapy, normal radiotherapy, more internal and none of it was working. Her tumour wasn't shrinking. Her husband asked in the very beginning, before any treatment began if they could operate to remove it, as he'd heard this is often an option. To this question he was told "no" because hers was in too difficult a place to operate. Just a few months before the disease finally ended up her life (she fought so hard) she was taken to another hospital in London to see if there was anything that could be done for her. The oncologist there said to her "why did you refuse to let them operate?". When she explained she was told it was categorically not an option for her, he told her it should have been the very first thing that was done. He was looking at her original scans and said the tumour removal would have been easy surgery and he knew the surgeons at QA could do it because he had trained them. The removal would have been followed up with some radiotherapy to ensure all cells were removed and there is an better-than-average chance she would still be alive today. She died a slow and painful death because it was 'easier' to go down the chemical route. Her children were 20, 12 and 9.

Then we get to my best friends daughter... her issues are still ongoing...

Just six months after her mothers death she was admitted into QA for surgery on how bowel. The surgery was considered "routine" and she was in recovery within a few hours. The following day she began to complain of severe pain. This was dismissed by everyone as being part of the surgical recovery. 48 hours later she was writhing in agony; it transpired a mistake (oh look, yet another mistake by QA surgeons) had seen her bowel attached to the lining of her stomach. A 10 hour operation to fix this was the undertaken; she died twice on the operating table (thankfully she was brought back to us) but not before she was left with a stomach that resembled a patchwork quilt, and a stomach that was then basically in two halves. She was also fitted with a stoma bag. She was just weeks away from her 21st birthday and a mistake saw her trying to deal with a leaking bag on the day she should have been out celebrating with her friends. 

Before anyone says it "yes, I am fully aware surgery carries it's own risks, however, I don't expect those risks to be because the surgeons are not up to the job they are paid for". 

I went up to the critical care unit to see her when she came out of surgery. At the door I was asked who I was. The reception woman then said to me, in the most sarcastic voice I've heard "Will her mother be bothering to make the effort to come and visit her?" Had she not had a huge piece of plastic between me and her I'm not sure I can promise I wouldn't have punched her (and I'm really not that kind of person). I was livid though; how dare she say something like that. I was very good though, and just replied with "seeing how she died 6 months ago I highly doubt she'll be popping along any time soon". 

The stoma bag was removed after 2 years. This in itself then caused other issues and she developed a fissure which required her to have a small procedure whereby plastic cabling (which is way thicker than you will imagine it to be) is tied into knots up inside her anal passageway. This was meant to be a temporary 3 month thing; 6 years later she still has it - or at least she did until it fell out the other week and as yet nobody (doctor wise) seems bothered about seeing if she needs it replacing. The team in charge of her for his have made no attempt to speak to her about it and whilst she is happy not to have, if she does still need it she could end up with an infection, and the chance of that turning to sepsis is extremely high. 

She then developed an intestinal hernia. Because of the previous surgery which left her with scars all over her body, the operation to correct it for her was not as straight forward as it might be for someone else. She was promised the surgeon would go in via her previous openings and would neaten them all up for her. She would be under the knife for up to 10 hours (I believe it was 11 in the end). The surgeon never went through her original cuttings, instead choosing to add another section of patchwork to her but the intestine was all pushed back into place and covered with a mesh to hold it in. She was stitched up and sent home. 

Guess what? Yep, the mesh didn't hold and the hernia came back. The growth developed and because of the stomach/bowel issues from her previous botched surgery it swelled up on only one side of her body. To look at her from that side she appeared pregnant, from the other she had a lovely flat stomach.

This say her left in constant pain for almost 2 years.  The surgeon responsible for the surgery she would need kept refusing the operate until my niece lost 24lb. It's very hard to lose 24lb when the growth you're carrying around weighs almost that amount on its own! 

Finally in June this year the consultant in charge of her other bowel issues got onto a different surgeon who agreed to operate on her to sort out the hernia. She had the op a few weeks ago, and bless him this time he did reopen a previous cut and neatened things up for her on the outside the best he could; the surgery lasted several hours longer than planned because he also went in and tried to repair and fix the mess her insides had been left in from the previous botched attempts. 

However, whilst he did his job (going above and beyond) sadly those then on the wards didn't. She was in for just 7 days but having had such major abdominal surgery she wasn't able to get up and about, or jog around the wards, so the nurses were to bathe her and ensure she was comfortable. To me ensuring someone is comfortable when they are constantly on their back, is to keep a check on them for bed sores. It's basic nursing to do such a thing. As you will see from the photograph below (taken the day she came out) they weren't even capable of doing that right. Imagine how painful it must be! Then imagine this isn't the bed sores of 30 year old woman, but of your favourite grandparent, or great aunt and uncle. I'm pretty sure 100% of decent human beings would find someone (being cared for) with bed sores like my niece, totally unacceptable. 


You can use the argument there aren't enough staff, and it will be a very valid one, however, that is no excuse for poor care/treatment of the patients entrusted unto them. When we are admitted to hospital they have a basic duty of care to adhere too. QA are failing - massively - in that and the woman in charge of the trust, therefore the hospital and staff too, has shown (by the letter above) that she really isn't bothered. If she can't be, then why should her staff? 

I messaged to ask how she was doing the day after; this is the reply I got... 

My epidural isn’t working on my left side 🥺🥺 so have a lot of pain…


2 days after that I got…


Today has been horrific. The worst yet!  Started with all my canulas failing out, then went to no one being able to refit another successfully! 6 attempts, one of them was in my foot, 4 hours later, another team came and successfully fitted two cannulas and fixed my epidural. Trouble was I had a 72 year old who has already retired but comes back for the occasional shift that’s great unless you’re in agony on the other side of it and have a snail who can’t work any of the up to date equipment =/ I’ve been breaking down in tears because it’s just been never ending agony =( xxx


The NHS is incredible when it's run properly by people who want it to succeed. Sadly I think those in the top jobs - the ones who move bits of paper about all day - and definitely the current government are only interested in making money. The more the NHS fails in it's basic day-to-day tasks, the easier it will be for the government to then see the Private Health Insurance, which I'm sure all of those at the top and middle rungs of the ladder have shares in, and sadly, too much emphasis is put on nurses spending time studying and being academically gifted, and not enough is being spent on those who can actually do the job, want to do the job, and are your proper boots-on-the-ground caring workers. I know several trainee nurses who are incredible people, who do the job with compassion but who aren't articulate when it comes to paperwork; they are being dismissed, yet those who are articulate but absolutely crap at the job itself with no bedside manner and no real passion for the job (they are all looking to step up the band ladder for the office pen pushing jobs which pay more for less hours) who are being let out on the wards. 

I know I would rather be treated by the dyslexic girl with compassion who is prepared to work hard for her patients, than the one who was able to use a few fancy words in an essay that couldn't give a shit about how long I'd been sitting in my own faeces because all she really wants is the band G pay packet. 

As I've said, I am just one person with 4 different loved ones who have had issues with QA. It should be deemed unacceptable by the powers-the-be for me to know just 1 person who has had one small issue; we're talking 4 people with multiple issues. I know from chatting with customers in my job there are many, many people who could also sit down and write a long winded blog like mine to do with how badly their loved ones (and themselves have been cheated). I currently have 2 friends who are in talks with their legal advisors over how they move forward with regards to the incompetence their own loved ones have experienced at QA. 

We are living in the 21st century, but I believe those from the 19th century who had half of what we have now were treated better. So much for being a advanced civilisation

**Update - Monday 26th September** My Mum has today received an appointment for the eye hospital; at 10.30am this Friday -  not complaining because she's been waiting over a year but to give just a few days notice takes the piss a little!**


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