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Relative of Colchester about Colchester General



Hole in our health service

First – a big ‘UP’ to Children’s A&E and Children’s ward in Colchester General – both departments worked amazingly quickly, with great care and kindness, to diagnose and treat my son this week with Acute Appendicitis. Second – big ‘UP’ to the Ambulance service – first responder arrived within 10 mins of my 999 call, ambulance three or four mins later. And then we get to the gripe…. My son was discharged from hospital yesterday, with a letter telling me to contact the community nurses to arrange for his dressings to be checked and changed. This I have done and what a hornets nest I have found!! The community nursing team do not deal in post op wound care for anyone under the age of 18!!!!! My only choices it seems are these: 1. Take my sone via public transport to the GP surgery (50 min journey) or to the hospital (1hr 20min bus journey plus a walk across Colchester town centre) or 2. Request hospital transport to take my son back to the hospital to have his dressings checked and changed or 3. DO IT MYSELF! I’m not pleased, no, I’m bloody angry that because of ‘Insurance’ there is a hole in our health service that means a young person will not get professional care and because I don’t drive, he is penalised. If he was 18, a district nurse would come and see him… Shame on you NHS!!!

3 Responses

Walk a mile in their shoes
 Public of Colchester on 17th May 2013

Dear Magenta - It sounds like you have felt rather let down by the community care you have received. I understand it is difficult when you are worried about your son and want the best possible care for him. I am pleased that the you have been able to speak to the Matron for Children's Services and hope that this has given you some sense of peace after your experiences. I do however feel the need to share some of my experiences with you. Life in the today's world means that there are only finite budgets available. The community paediatric nurses that were unable to come out to you were the same amazing handful of nurses who cared for my son at home in the months before he died. They visited him as often as was needed, managed his pain, comforted him and us as he deteriorated, liaised with all the other professionals involved and supported us as a family during an incredibly difficult time. In his final weeks he could not be moved from his room, was attached to oxygen to help his breathing, syringe drivers to manage his pain and seizures and had numerous other tubes and bags attached to him. I would have given anything for us to be in a position to leave his room let alone get on a bus. Without the team's care and time, this awful period in our lives would have been even more intolerable. Caring for a child with palliative care needs at home is I guess expensive and time consuming for the NHS, but being able to keep my son at home in his final weeks with the support of the Colchester paediatric nursing team around him was priceless to us as a family. In an ideal world there would be the money and resources available to meet all the needs our children have in the community, but as I have learnt through my son's death life is not ideal. I feel that CHUFT have to make the best use of what they have available to them. Personally I could not have asked for a more responsive and caring package of support. It has made me appreciate the service that the NHS offer when it is really needed most. I hope that your son has made a full recovery.

 Relative of Colchester on 17th May 2013

I have spoken, this afternoon, to the Matron for Children's Services, and will be writing to the PCT about the situation we have encountered with our son and the deficiencies in Post operative care outside of the hospital. I thank PEBL for allowing me to bring this to the public forum, and hope that anyone else encountering similar issues will raise them with the Hospital and their GP surgeries - they only know there is a hole in the service if someone tells them and makes a stand about.

The Head of Communication of the Colchester Hospital University Foundation NHS Trust
 Employee of Colchester on 17th May 2013

“I have been asked by the Matron for Children’s Services if this mother could contact her so that the issue can be resolved.” (Note from PEBL:- the names, mobile number and email of the people from the Trust were included in the response and these have been passed directly to “Magenta”. Under PEBL rules, we don’t put personal details like that on the website. Also: Thanks to the people at the Hospital Trust for using PEBL to respond to a patient’s experience.)

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