19th March 2021
This is a review of the person that inserted the catheter at Ashford Hospital on the 16th of March, 2021. I have never had a worse experience in my life regarding any form of health care. This review is not about the people that actually performed the scan who were all great. It is about the experience I had regarding the insertion of the catheter and the nurse that did it. I would like to start by saying that I always show respect and thank all NHS staff that I receive any form of treatment by and am not a negative person. I always show respect to anybody involved and expect the same in return. I am always grateful to the NHS for their work. This is important to me and I feel that all people working for the NHS deserve respect and I make it a point on any visit to let them know that I am grateful for their work and service.-Saying that, I would like to let everyone know what happened on the 16th of March. I let people that need to draw blood or insert a catheter ahead of time that I am difficult to get blood in or out of because I have no working veins in common places that are usually used. I also let them know the best areas of my body to use since it is my body and was told that this is the right thing to do. I went in with a positive attitude and left feeling absolutely violated with disrespect. I am angry at myself only that I did not ask for the person's name to report them. I usually would but have been having a particularly bad time of it lately because after receiving 6 scans (Ultrasound, CT Scan of Pancreas with dye, MRI scan with dye, MRCP with dye, PET-CTscan with radioactive dye and on 16th March-a CT Scan of my thorax. I waited 6 weeks to hear back from my specialist for the original CT scan of my pancreas and he gave me 10 minutes by phone to read me information that sounded like someone reading off of a teleprompter. When I asked if I could ask questions, I was told to "make it quick" and was given an additional 30 seconds. No exaggeration. This left me feeling quite nervous and angry because I was given no explanation of what I was dealing with, what I should do in the mean time to help myself, what the next tests were looking for or any information (information is power) at all and told the specialist that I was starting to feel very worried at which point he actually laughed. I figured that maybe he found the phrase funny because of cultural differences so gave him the benefit of the doubt on that one but it only added to the total experience. I asked if he had an email or phone number that I could use if I needed to and he said "yes, I have both but, no you can't have them because I have hundreds of patients" and if I needed to, to call gastro to have them report anything to him. A few days later I had an attack in the night where I felt like I had a band around my whole torso and incredibly agonising pain in both my abdomen and kidneys. I reported this to Gastro and they said they'd pass it on and I heard nothing back. I had care shown and no questions answered and just waited and waited. Then, test after test kept arriving in the post suggesting that a lot was going on or at least being looked into (which is good in terms of being thorough) but again, left to suffer in silence. They say not to suffer in silence so I tried to speak with someone, anyone, about what was going on and received nothing but aggravation and was totally ignored. I just wanted to know what they were looking for. On the 16th of March I went in for what may have been my last scan and as mentioned, told them ahead of time that it's tricky to get blood in or out of me. Beside this, I had a blood test that morning so one of the veins had already been used. There were two punctures in my left hand from other recent catheters for tests. I was called by the nurse to insert the catheter for the day's test and greeted him calmly and with the usual respect that I show to NHS staff. I briefly explained what had been going on and he didn't say much but I kept it brief. He looked for a vein to use and decided to use a hand vein. When he inserted the catheter and injected (probably) saline solution, a big golf ball size pocket of air erupted in my hand. I did not freak out but asked him what it was. He got really upset at this point and said "You are demanding me". I said that I was not demeaning him and that I just wanted to know what was going on. He said angrily, "I have been doing this job for 9 years and work at Royal London (?) Hospital and you should be grateful for receiving treatment!" I could not believe that I was actually being told off. I told him that I always am grateful for treatment but was just asking what was going on. He said that I was making him nervous. I told him that I was not trying to make him nervous and was just wanting to understand what was going on. (My hand became swollen and black and blue already by this point) He said that I should show him respect and grateful that I am being treated and did I want to cancel and rebook my scan. I told him that I had been waiting for months (at this point) and have no idea what is wrong with me so I definitely do not want to cancel-that I would just like to get the scan so I could finish these tests. No compassion was shown at all! He proceeded to tell me that "you would not believe the things I have seen at Royal (?) Hospital and that I should be grateful that I am being treated and why wasn't I grateful for being treated, and you are demeaning me". I told him that I did not understand what the problem is. He said do you still want to do the scan. I said yes. He continued on making the same points again and I said to him, look, let's just get this done, I did not mean to upset you. (I'd like to remind people reading this that I at no time showed any disrespect, raise my voice or make his job more difficult other than the fact that I am difficult to get blood in or out of). He said you should just be grateful, I have 9 years experience and work at Royal (?) Hospital and have I ever heard of it. I said yes, even though I actually didn't. I remained calm because I needed to and I wanted this nightmare over with. He eventually decided to use the exact same puncture hole that had been used 2 days earlier for the PET-CT Scan and that worked, all be it that it seemed strange and possibly not the healthiest solution but I don't know whether or not it really is ok to use the same fresh hole in my vein twice or not. I then left the room with the wind out of my sails or I would have asked for his name. I just wanted this experience to be over. The guy was narcissistic and totally focussing on himself rather than the patient. The rest of the procedure went fine although he did go into the room to give the "heads up" to the people doing the procedure. I felt an atmosphere but ignored it. The people doing the procedure conducted it professionally and that is all I an ask for. I still await the results for all of these tests and my hand has flattened back down but is very bruised. Sorry for the long winded story but I wanted people to know this, ESPECIALLY Ashford Hospital itself. They should look to see who was on that day in the morning and deal with this. If you're going in, this particular story is a one off in my experiences with the NHS. Beside this, they have usually been good but this was the worst experience I have ever had in all the years of dealing with the NHS.
Please locate the person that was the nurse (or person in charge of administering catheters) at around 9-45 a.m. on 16th March 2021in Radiology at Ashford Hospital) and see if he is either over worked or indeed has mental problems due to stress or anything else that would cause this kind of behaviour. Remind him what his duties are and please understand that I respect the NHS Staff and have always been grateful that you are there, but this needs to be looked into. If he denies it or tries to pass the blame he is covering up a more deep seated problem. Please be aware. Thank you for your service.