Sue Marsh given wrong drug and pain team refused to change it – agony instead of pain relief

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A very distressing incident happened at Addenbrookes hospital in Cambridge today, in Health Minister Andrew Lansley’s own constituency. After major surgery Sue Marsh was given a drug that she is allergic to which caused her even more pain, and stubborn nurses refused to give her any other pain relief.

Sue was left in agony after her operation to remove a large section of her bowel when she was given Fentanyl while under anaesthetic. Sue is allergic to Fentanyl and far from reducing pain it actively increases it. (She has previously written about her horrific 1997 experience with Fentanyl.) She was wearing an allergy warning bracelet and the allergy was also noted on her consent forms. In fact Sue had agreed with staff that she would be given Pethidine which is what she had been given after several previous operations and is one of the few drugs that will work for her. When in spite of all of this Sue was given Fentanyl while under sedation, the pain team refused to give her the Pethidine when she came round and refused to call the on-call anaesthetist to change it – they claimed that no one had used Pethidine for years. Even after Sue was able to prove that she had been given it more recently, and prove the agreement to use it on this occasion and her allergy, she was still refused the pain relief that she needed. Faced with this refusal Sue turned to Twitter for help.

Sue Marsh campaigns for disability rights, the NHS and welfare and was the driving force behind the Spartacus Report into the deceitful Personal Independence Payments consultation. On twitter she has six thousand highly politically-connected followers including MPs, journalists from across the political spectrum, political activists and a vast number of sick and disabled people. When she tweeted messages of such obvious distress it created an immediate uproar. Kaliya Franklin (@Bendygirl) quickly made some phone calls and Sonia Poulton came to the rescue. Sonia – a journalist for the Daily Mail – called the hospital and spoke to the Operational Matron who promised to take action immediately.  I am pleased to say that Sue was given Pethidine soon after, although as far as I can tell it was not the PCA (Patient Administered Analgesia) which had been agreed on and may have been a relatively small dose.

It is impossible to know at this stage what went wrong here but I hope there will be an investigation into what happened. Certainly Julian Huppert MP has taken an interest and will no doubt ask the right questions. This situation is an extremely serious one. Giving Sue the wrong drug could easily have killed her, and we must ask how often this might have happened to people who are less visible to the public. That decision by itself is bad enough, but the refusal by nurses to correct the mistake is horrendous. Deliberately leaving a patient in pain after major surgery may be considered to be torture.

While the objection to Pethidine PCA would have been a deliberate decision, and the decision to use Fentanyl was perhaps a mistake, it is harder to see how the pain team could justify ignoring Sue’s continuing pain. We can see from earlier tweets that Sue has already experienced similar problems with nurses in her ward:

Please note; I have edited this blog post after talking to Sue about it and I have removed a section which suggested that budget cuts were responsible for what happened. I believe that cuts are harmful to the NHS and will result in serious problems but I have no proof that they were responsible for this situation.

You can read Sue’s tweets from the hospital below, but be warned that they are extremely upsetting.

 

 

 

 

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  • Ajinks

    is it just me that doesn’t believe this ongoing saga, I’ve been in hospital many times and was never allowed a phone in recovery. wouldn’t really feel like using it if i was. you wouldn’t be allowed a phone in the room where they put you to sleep either and they would not give you a drug you were allergic to if they issued you a  arm band saying you were allergic to that drug. I’m sorry but none of it adds up. Ihope i am wrong but if I’m not then a lot of people who supported this woman are going to be hurt

    • http://www.latentexistence.me.uk/ Latentexistence

      You are of course free to believe what you like however this is the truth. A friend talked to Sue’s husband at the hospital, and I trust both of them. In addition other well known people are keeping an eye on the situation, and I am certain that if Sue were making this up it would quickly be revealed.

      • Ajinks

        of course, i wasn’t meaning to sound judgmental i just find it a bit difficult to understand how sue could have had a major operation then in the recovery room be on twitter and in so much pain. i really hope this is the truth and as you say it has been clarified . i did not mean to cause offence to you or especially sue. i am just concerned that sue has a lot of vulnerable sick and disabled followers on twitter and who read her blog and am worried that these people may get hurt if things were found to be exaggerated or not the complete truth. i hope you understand my concern was not out of malice to sue

        • Gwenhwyfaer

           Sweetie, take your concern trolling and shove it where no sun has ever shone.

          • Ajinks

            sweetie , why don’t you stop trying to be  funny. everyone is entitled to their opinion and i merely pointed out mine. i did not know it had all been clarified and when i found out i apologised. I’m only going on my own experience and that of my friends and family. i am certinally not a troll and did have genuine concern for sue and her followers. ok, maybe i didn’t word it the correct way and for that i can only again apologise to sue and the person who wrote this blog. i did no mean to cause offence or upset

          • http://Www.lawblogone.wordpress.com/ Michael farrell

            Incredible that you would without any proof question whether this has been exagerated or not. You may not have had any bad experiences in hospital, and i would say that you are lucky, but how can you base a judgment on your own lucky circumstances? I have several family members including my wife, my wifes mother, my father, grandfather, grandmother and a close cousin all subjected to shocking, painful and probably highly tortious negligent treatment at the hands of NHS employees in two scottish hospitals on numerous different ocassions. In fact i would like to hope that I never need to set foot in one of their butcher shops ever again. This kind of neglect in NHS establishments isnt as rare as some might think, in fact I am compelled to publicise my own stories in writing now, not that it would be likely to be of any effect.
            Also this kind of thing isnt just because of tory cutbacks. While tory cuts most certainly will not help the NHS to do better, all of the issues that I have seen overnthe years were mostly during the days of Blair when money was allegedly being poured into the NHS. Money is not the problem in many cases of ill treatment in NHS hospitals, in many cases as I have experienced it is simply down to a lack of care and a total dont give a shit attitude from many of the staff.

          • Ajinks

            i have infact received appalling care in hospital but my point is what everybody seems to be ignoring is you would not be allowed to have a phone in recovery room . it is an infection risk.thats even if you were able to  tweet at the moment they just bought you round. i know its just not me who think this i am the only person with the guts to say it. I’ve apologised after it was clarified.

    • Christine Burns

      I have a friend who spent several months in hospital following a kidney transplant that didn’t work out. Every day he tweeted and used Facebook to provide updates. Hospital staff don’t make the connection that using smart phones for data uses the same radio waves as talking through them. Hospital staff also regularly flout the rule, as they know the technical justification for such bans is flakey at best. Just hope that when you’re in trouble one day the first instinct of people will be to at least give you the benefit of the doubt.

      • Ajinks

        Yes but when you have come out of theatre n are in the recovery room where they wake you up after the op you are hardly going to be well enough to tap out tweets. I’ve had loads of surgery and from what I gather from sues tweets on twitter she was tweeting in recovery next door to the operating theatre. I know the recovery room is where they wake you up as I said I’ve had many operations . I couldn’t even move lt alone tweet that’s what my point is

        • Ema

          You obviously don’t know Sue Marsh very well then! Having spent several days with her this week I know her willpower is strong enough to overcome extreme pain. As a woman who has had eight other major operations she is not unused to the process. Sue is a writer, every cell in her body yearns to write, she writes despite the pain, because of the pain, because it helps others through their pain. Ema

        • Napoleon_glasshouse

          However, you were being administered proper pain relief, I assume. An adrenaline reaction could have spurred her to vent about her agony on twitter. I definitely use twitter as a medium to deal with pain. You can’t successfully compare surgery experiences when the pain relief administration is so different. 

        • http://www.soylentdave.com/ Dave

          As has been pointed out, you were (presumably) somewhat sedated by pain relief: Sue wasn’t. 

          You weren’t terrified after being given drugs you are allergic to: Sue was. 

          (and that’s without bothering to worry about the fact that you and she very probably had quite different operations; I’ve come round from a surgery under general anaesthetic and was able to walk home afterwards (once I got my pain relief!) – that doesn’t make your experiences any less true, it means my surgery and your surgery were different)

        • Russell Dunkeld

          Pain keeps you aware and alert!

    • http://www.soylentdave.com/ Dave

      Yes, it is just you.

      • girlguide

        Errrr, no it isn’t.

    • Russell Dunkeld ex-nurse

       Sorry Ajinks, you are just comforting yourself by clinging to what you would like to believe. Nurses will do whatever they think can cause them no problem. If asking a doctor to change the prescription is likely to cause peer-pressure and criticism, then struggling against the patient is the easier option: “You are confused”, “You have a low pain-threshold”, “We don’t give Pethidine now”, “Fentanyl is stronger”, “Calm yourself, we know what we’re doing”. They are NOT angels!

      • Findlow

        Absolutely right, Russell, and this should also be seen in the light of today’s very unsettling climate of rapid privatisation of NHS services; Dr Eoin Clarke’s  Green Benches blog has recently had numerous appalling incidents of NHS staff wanting to complain about cuts to services and pay, but being threatened with sanctions and even job loss if they do.  So, more than ever, nurses will be blindly toeing the line for fear of losing their job.  Awful, awful situation – and one tragic result is the terrible suffering of poor Sue.

    • jolea

      I’m in Australia but can say my daughter was allowed her mobile phone last year after surgery (her facebook posts were pretty trippy) & my cousin has had open heart surgery 3 times in the past 3 years and has always been allowed his mobile – I talk to him just as he’s going in & as soon as he can text afterwards. Also my husband was almost given Penicillin which is allergic to, despite tag & notes – nurse read it as pethadine?!? Glad I was there to clarify. 

    • Alexandra_lucy

      I am a nurse at this hospital and work with patients who have the same operations as sue, at no time EVER is a mobile phone of a patients allowed anywhere near an anaesthetic room and certainly not in recovery! This is a ridiculous story plus the fact pethidine PCA have not been used for years!!!

      • http://www.latentexistence.me.uk/ Latentexistence

        I think Sue’s husband had her phone, and gave it back to her to tweet. Perhaps that wasn’t allowed, I don’t know but she did have her phone.

        Did you miss the part where she explained that she was given pethidine PCA after her last surgery not that long ago? You are also not aware that she can’t use most alternatives to it.

        If Sue were making this up then she has also fooled her husband who was there and spoke to Kaliya Franklin on the phone from the hospital, and the matron that Sonia Poulton spoke to twice.

      • Ajinks30

        thank you exactly my point. phones are not allowed near the theatre area thats the anaesthetic room or recovery. i think a nurse who works in the hospital sue is in should know the rules

        • http://www.latentexistence.me.uk/ Latentexistence

          But saying it is not allowed is not the same thing as saying it couldn’t happen. It clearly did happen.

      • Russell Dunkeld

        After 22 years NHS nursing, I will say that I have NEVER found a rule that is always applied. Nurses don’t do rules unless it suits them.

  • Lornayoung13038

    It’s horrible what happened to Sue and great she has the support of so many people. I think it’s a stretch though to automatically link nhs cuts as the root cause of this problem. Your post quite rightly stated that an investigation was required but then leapt to conclusion that cuts were to blame. It’s essential in my view to carefully review evidence before jumping to politically motivated conclusions. Especially when person affected has a high profile because lack of credibility can be used against them by opponents. I am supporter of Sue and want her well enough to continue fighting the good fight. you’re obviously a big fan of hers too but be careful in your zeal to protect her that you don’t undermine the issues.

    • http://www.latentexistence.me.uk/ Latentexistence

      I was very careful to differentiate between the known facts and what is my opinion. The facts are the facts; you may take or leave my opinion as you like. I considered very carefully what Sue would want in this situation and I am fairly sure that cuts will be mentioned when she writes about it on her own blog. Of course I will immediately remove any part of this that Sue objects to.

      • Lornayoung13038

        I think anyone reading this post will draw the conclusion or inference that what happened “the facts” are because of cuts I.e. “your opinion”.
        We know something happened that was distressing & horrible. We don’t know why. Speculation at this stage is I feel unhelpful, especially if a subsequent investigation (which should happen) proves causes related to something else. Sue built her deserved reputation on the painstaking & detailed forensic analysis of PIP. That’s why SPARTACUS report so difficult to ignore & why she has credibility & influence. Achieving credibility is hard enough, maintaining it even harder. An investigation with evidence pointing to nhs cuts will be more powerful than speculation subsequently proved unfounded. Given the platform sue has I feel strongly that however tempting, a call for investigation only at this stage is tactically the more prudent option. The first part of your blog was powerful as it dealt with fact and well written. It’s just 2nd half I struggled with as I am someone who prefers fact and evidence to speculation. Nonetheless this is Sue’s experience and she has the right to deal with it however she chooses. She’s clearly been through s lot lately and I hope she has time now to recover and get well. Be in no doubt that she has my respect as do you for way you support her. I also share concerns about nhs cuts, we just differ on tactics and approach. All the best to you.

  • http://www.stitchedtogether.co.uk Stitched Together

    I’m disgusted, but not surprised.  When I had surgery last year I was on a ward with only one nurse on duty all day.  There were a total of about 16 patients on the ward.  Three of them had horrible diarrhea  and vomiting.  This one nurse had to do checks, provide medication AND deal with these three people who needed constantly mopping up after and bedding changing.  She went for about 12 hours without even a cup of tea, let along lunch, because there was NO ONE ELSE to do help her.  When there is understaffing, mistakes can get made.  When mistakes are made it is very hard to get them undone without the authorisation of a doctor, most of which who are not around at the weekend.

    The surgery before last I was told I would have a morphine PCA when I woke up, instead I had an epidural, something that hadn’t been discussed, and hadn’t been inserted properly.  I woke up with numb thighs and screaming pain from an 8″ incision in my abdomen.  These stories are NOT unusual.

    Things have got better in the 10 years I have been accessing the NHS.  But I’m also starting to worry about the direction it is heading in.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ciara.doyle1 Ciara Doyle

    Good grief, this is horrific, but sadly not at all surprising

  • http://www.economania.co.uk Bill Kruse

    I’m wondering if, for the hospital, there’s more profit to be made from giving Sue the drug they did instead of the one she requested and that’s why she was given it. We have to remember that hospitals aren’t about what’s best for the patient anymore, instead they’re about making profits for the hospital’s owners (which increasingly these days will be a private company). From a purely commercial POV then there’s no point using a highly effective low-profit procedure when you can use an ineffective but highly profitable one instead. Perhaps we’ll be coming to expect treatment like this soon as standard.

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  • http://twitter.com/catherineelms Cath Elms

    This is so upsetting and frightening. :(

  • Guest

    this unfortunately is not a one off. Hospitals everywhere around the country are guilty of these very same actions !!!  Something does need to be done, but who is going to do it? Lots of patients are in this same position for something as basic as pain relief and often other basic needs.

  • Catherine Bligh

    I’m sorry, but I’m not surprised. My mother has had similarly abysmal treatment in that hospital. There is an entrenched lack of care in the nursing staff (although there are, as always, exceptions). Patients are ignored, belittled, and dehumanised. We’ve had both nurses and doctors telling us that Mum’s normal medications ‘must’ be wrong as nobody is on that combination, etc. We’ve had neglect, we’ve had malpractice, we’ve had it all.

    I’m desperately sorry that this has happened to Sue, but I’m far from surprised. 

  • jules

    I can confirm this is not unusual from personal experience after biopsy when a nerve cradle was crashed into in process but that sue could be strong enough to let everyone know this situation despite and inspite of what was going on has to be applauded. Thanks for writing it up Steve.

  • Rita Gacon

    This not news. I was left from 10 pm the night before a radical surgery, to  2.30 pm., the following day when they came to collect me for Theatre. I require pain relief every 6 hours, as I have Chronic and severe M.E. (all nerves, tendons and muscle tissue damaged from viruses).  I was second on the list…(I assumed for 8 or 9 am).,   They were late with my surgery time, as “The Dean Visited”,   AND ALSO I was operated on without my knowledge and consent and given no pain relief when I asked, and was told there was no other on offer.  I had half my breast removed for a Lumpectomy.  This happened at Hinchingbrooke Hospital in November 2003.  I had a blood clot burst, and I was in excrutiating pain. They refused pain relief, and also to drain the clot 6 cm., long, “as it would drain naturally”. It is still in my breast and I am still in pain, it pressing on 3 nerves for 8.1/2 years.  YOU WOULD NOT BELIEVE MY STORY OF NEGLIGENCE, INCOMPETENCE AND OVERLOOKED BREAST CANCERS.. ALL SEVEN.  from 1993 and 1994,   !! I could not get out of that place quick enough. I SHALL NEVER GO BACK. !! Denying pain relief for persons who are neurologically damaged is beyong cruel.

  • http://twitter.com/cambriankin Holly Ferrie

    when I worked in hospital it was only the staff that weren’t allowed phones, and mainly just around specific areas. also won’t be the first time I’ve heard of muck-ups with medication. You should see what happens to the old people who don’t have access to Twitter.

  • Ian Rennie

    “I’m wondering if, for the hospital, there’s more profit to be made from giving Sue the drug they did instead of the one she requested and that’s why she was given it.”.  I’d be very surprised if this were the answer.  The point at which financial decisions would be made is much too far away from the point at which medical decisions were made for this to be the case.  My guess is that this is a horrible accident born of neglect and incompetence rather than anything more malicious.

  • peter.robson

    Although I clicked like it was the publicising of Sue’s plight not the actual event. Well done to Sonia also, Sue is lucky to have influential people to go to bat for her when necessary I hope the subsequent investigation will try and put right the wrongs so obviously in play at this hospital.

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  • Anonymouse

    I hate to say this but was this even more sinister?
    Could this have been done on orders from above to make Sue pay for her campaigning on behalf of the disabled.The way this country is now I would not put anything beyond the authorities.

    • Ian Rennie

      Let’s try not to descend into conspiracy here.  I’m not ready to believe that NHS staff in an NHS hospital deliberately and maliciously gave someone intentionally wrong treatment as punishment.  This isn’t a spy movie.

    • Ema

      Having had a conversation with Sue about this issue (messing up meds and prescribing wrong ones) only a few days ago I know that sue *doesnt* think it is some kind of conspiracy because of her disability rights status and/or spartacus.

      Personally I don’t believe its a conspiracy because I don’t think the nhs is that well organised to know who she is (in relation to the outside world) and what connections she has! Ema

    • girlguide

      Think that is a disgusting comment.  Are you saying that doctors and nurses are poisoning patients on orders `from above’?  

  • Daveh2159

    This is a disgraceful act of medical and moral negligence. I don’t put it all down to financial cuts though, it’s mainly down to piss poor nursing standards and that’s very much individual responsibility. Even if there was loads of money pumped into the NHS these tragic episodes will continue to occur until people who genuinely care about patients are recruited into the profession.

  • Lilyrainbow

    this is shocking – im in tears here – how dare they treat any one in this way – FUCK YOU LANSLEY

  • http://twitter.com/wildcandytuft Steph

    Oh my God! This is just awful beyond comprehension. I feel like bursting into tears reading what’s happened to Sue. I simply cannot imagine the pain she’s enduring. This is a really serious potentially life threatening procedure. It must be agony for her, truly horrendous! Of course I believe her! Why wouldn’t we? You can be very lucid and alert after you’ve come round from an operation and go through a succession of wakefulness and sleep. She’s a strong lady who’s faced up to tragedy with grace and good humour where many of us would have found ourselves gibbering with fear. Thank goodness for Sonia Poulton and the other people not afraid to take action for Sue. The NHS is rapidly going to the dogs under the Coalition. We haven’t heard of people waiting on trolleys for many many years, we do now! Waiting lists have grown unacceptably long again. Cuts to staffing levels have serious consequences. This is a disgrace and the blame lies firmly with this stone hearted money grabbing government. 

    Bless you Sue Marsh. I hope to God you recover from this and get back to your beautiful boys very soon xxxx

    Thanks for writing this difficult post Steven. 

  • jermec

    Have just seen this. Professional shame. Pain-free wishes Sue.

  • Anon

    It seems it’s more a badly written article than anything. If this lady was given Fentanyl when she was asleep As the article suggests then how would she know and how would she then argue??

    • http://profiles.google.com/redisbleu R Skye

      The searing pain followed by “What the hell did you do?!” would have managed to get to the bottom of it.  They actually have to record what has gone on in the notes at the foot of the bed, which her husband could have checked.  Not hard to suss that out.  Her husband was also there.  And her reaction to Fentanyl is well documented  on her blog and by friends.  Last time she had a stroke due to the stuff.  It’s in her notes.  

  • http://twitter.com/MrTumshie Terry Saneep

    I wouldn’t want to defend anything that has happened here but it is undeniably, at least in part, a result of the systematic cuts in the NHS. I have been the lone qualified nurse on the ward for 14 hour shifts and it can be impossible to get everything done. In this case it seems there was very poor prioritising but it has to be said that this would have been far less likely too happen on a well staffed ward. I hope an enquiry can establish the truth behind what happened, even more I hope that Sue will get over this distressing experience.
    The likelihood that one day I would be too stretched at work to get everything done and someone would be left to suffer because of it is one of the main reasons I won’t go back to nursing again, along with the effect that this kind of continual pressure had on my own mental health. I was a mental health nurse so I’ve never taken charge of a surgical ward but the pain that could have been caused by my not being able to do my job properly due to the workload is every bit as real as that which poor Sue has been put through today.
    Perhaps all that I am trying to say is that I feel this is very likely to be a political issue as well as a personal one. It seems unfair to prejudge the actions of nursing staff who may have been overwhelmed by being seriously understaffed and overworked. I worked with some excellent nurses, many good ones and a few who really need retrained, but never one who deliberately or callously wanted to harm the people they were caring for. This could be one such case but I think it is more likely to have been a care staff pushed beyond endurance.
    That doesn’t excuse or even explain the use of medication that Sue is allergic to nor any callous treatment she received but I hope it might shed some light on why nurses may appear to be uncaring when they are in fact also suffering from the long term underfunding and under resourcing of the NHS. I am glad to no longer be a part of it.
    I wish you a speedy recovery and a satisfactory resolution to this shocking situation Sue.

  • Samblack

    After spending nearly 2 weeks in peterborough in absolute agony begging for the right kind of pain relief while every nrse that came onto shift kept trying to force me to take oramorf that made me severely vomit, refusing to give me more than paracetamol when I take stronger pain meds for my medical condition every day, and not even giving me them, I am not surprised one bit at the way Sue has been treated. I was left in my room to get on with it, the nurses even came and shut the door bcos I was crying out in agony. Mum has got photos of me writhing in agony.
    @ AJINKS when one deals with pain every day one finds a way of doing things. No doubt when you were in the recovery room you were given the right pain relief so you would not be in pain, and pain my friend can wake you up and make you do anything to find relief, even if that means typing a few words of help
    on a smart phone. Believe me I’ve been
    there
    Oh nurses don’t watch you all the time so sneaking a quick msg out is easy and you can always say your playing a game.
    I hope sue is now being taken care of
    properly and that with the changing of
    shifts she doesn’t have to beg for the
    right pain relief all over again as I had
    to.

  • Sonpoulton

    Well done for getting it down so clearly and quickly Steve. I would like to add that this was a legitimate scenario as I spoke twice with the hospital and I would have known if this was some sort of manipulation. It actually saddens me that someone would think a seriously ill person would get some kind of mileage out of doing playing make believe. Very sad indeed.

  • Mary Schweitzer

    Good Lord.  Thank you, Sonia, for getting involved.  Ajinks – this is not some random person – she is well known in the community.  If there is a mixup in our understanding it would be that it’s described as if she was somewhere inaccessible by cell phone.  Clearly that was not the case. I’m glad it gotten taken care of.  Frightening.  This is how health care is in the U.S.  I really hope things get straightened out over there.  And I’m glad Sue will be okay.  

  • Guest

    If this is true, it is awful. But mobile phones are not allowed in the recovery room. They are an infection risk.

    It will be interesting to see whether this results in yet another fundraising mission.

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  • Nedluddcarer

    I have no difficulty at all believing this.  Our own experience with disabled son (non verbal, so we have to speak for him) is very similar.  One example only – only drug that got son out of Status Epilepticus (life threatening) was ‘old fashioned’ and no one on ward knew how to administer it.  So they refused to give it, despite it’s being prescribed and our having ampoules of it there.  In the end we administered it ourselves while nurses withdrew.  Hospitals are not good places for disabled people – they’re designed for ‘normal’ people who are ill.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=651790439 David J M Robinson

    ” we must ask how often this might have happened to people who are less visible to the public” – hundreds of times a day across the UK.

    “It seems likely to me that this situation is a result of the £4bn of cuts that have hit the NHS in recent months. ” – that’s rubbish Steve. Certain NHS wards have been dangerous places, mostly staffed by uncaring and/or incompetent “professionals”, for at least a decade. Also, the attitude of meeting a complaint with a cover up appears to be routine across much of the NHS.

    IME it’s luck whether you get good or bad care. Extra cash or extra cuts don’t seem to have much bearing on it. I’d love to hear a credible explanation for the differences, and a credible plan to bring the worst places up to the standards of the best (NOT the opposite – which is what usually happens when people try to equalise standards!).

    More money didn’t work. More managers didn’t work. More competition didn’t work. I don’t believe for one second that less money and/or less managers and/or less competition and/or privatisation will work either. I bet some of the smarter people who work in the NHS have some good ideas though.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Myrtle-Maid/100001606278924 Myrtle Maid

    just terrible and scary as hell.. sincerely hope sue is now getting chance to rest as  easily as possible and getting the appropriate pain relief.. hope she, her husband , Sonia etc make a huge curfuffle about this.. it needs to be in both printed and online media and maybe on tv too..this just shouldnt be allowed to happen.

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  • Woodlandfae

    Oh cripes… this is too similar to the traumatic experience I had a couple of years ago. I still get flashbacks and nightmares. I’m allergic to morphine, but can take Oxynorm which works wonderfully well with the pain I suffer. I was promised Oxynorm on PCA after having major surgery. I woke up and was left screaming in utter agony for 5 hours whilst they tried anything other than the drugs I’m ok with. I was in so much pain and they just kept telling me to shut up and that whatever it was they were trying was similar so I shouldn’t be hurting. In the end I begged for my other half to be let in to recovery as they refused to move me to a ward till the pain was under control. He had to threaten the guy in charge with legal proceedings. He asked, “Why hasn’t my girlfriend been given the drugs she consented to and which were agreed upon with the pain team and the anaesthetist?” “Oh, we’re not licensed to provide Oxynorm via PCA in this hospital.” “Then why was she told it would be available?” “Uhm…” “Well, can you give it to her in tablet form?” “We don’t keep them down here..” “Well where DO you keep them?” “There might be some on a ward… ” “Well, why don’t you go and get some before I phone my solicitor to start legal proceedings against you, what was your name again?”

    *Big hugs to Sue* 

  • MEfly Slowly

    I think this was done on purpose to Sue, and most likely because she is knowledgable about her disease, and ordinarily prepared and able to speak up for herself.
     
    I had this happen nearly 20 years ago after a hysterectomy. and I know it was done on purpose bacause I’m queer ! I fought for my partner and I to have the same rights as other couples appeared to have. To be accompanied by her until I went in for surgery.

    I swear had I not been so ill after the opp, I would have killed the incredibly, obviously, homophobic nurse, that kept insisting I just have more morphine, it was having the opposite effect on me. But they refused to believe me, and put me on a press when you want some morphine pump, with-out telling me it was morphine!
    I’m not ordinarily a wimp either, I’ve given birth with out any pain meds, and I’ve broken a fair few bones over the years, not to mention the over 300 stitches I’ve had, most of which were in my face. Nope not a wimp.

    I hope Sue gets back home soon.

  • Jenny

    This happened to me but not on the same scale. I was in hospital after an appendectomy. I had an allergic reaction to oramorph and so my pain relief with that drug was promptly stopped and changed, until they need my bed on the surgical ward. I was moved to an ear nose and throat ward where the nurse REFUSED to believe that I was allergic (despite the fact my allergic reaction was the only reason I was still hospitalised) and wouldn’t give me an alternative. I was discharged the following day but was too poorly at the time to make a complaint.

  • Pingback: NHS negligence – the Sue Marsh case and related personal experiences « LawBlogOne()

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