Patient claims nurses altered his treatment notes

Steve and Pamela Turton after their ordeal at Wigan Infirmary
Steve and Pamela Turton after their ordeal at Wigan Infirmary

A WIGAN man who suffered excruciating pain removing a surgical drain from his stomach has accused nursing staff of “sabotaging” his character.

District nurses did not pay Stephen Turton a home visit following an emergency op to remove his gall bladder.

And the 54-year-old chiropodist from Orrell said he had only been allowed home on the condition that someone would visit him to remove his surgical staples and in situ drain.

He has now accused Bridgewater Community Healthcare staff of fabricating accounts of his interaction with staff in an attempt to justify their actions.

Mr Turton, who has obtained a letter from Bridgewater staff addressed to bosses at Wigan Infirmary about his behaviour, said: “They have accused me of being a difficult patient, it seems they were intent to sabotage my character and in doing so, have put something in my patient notes that may affect any further treatments. I found the letter extremely offensive.”

The letter states that Mr Turton “accused nurses of lying”, “began to shout” and accused “nurses of being rude” in phone calls days after he had been allowed home from the ward.

It also states: “District nurses contacted Langtree Ward to clarify if a home visit was required. The ward confirmed that he was capable of attending a treatment room. The ward had explained that this patient had been difficult during his stay.”

But in a letter sent to Mr Turton from Pauline Jones, director of nursing at Wigan Infirmary, ward staff could not recall that this communication with the district nurses took place.

It reads: “In your letter you mention the district nurses reporting comments from ward staff about you being a difficult person. The ward sister has discussed this with staff and no-one can recollect any conversations with the district nurses. Furthermore it is not common practice for the district nurses to ring the ward directly.

“The ward sister also advises me that the nursing notes do not mention you refusing to go home, nor is there any documentation detailing that you were a difficult patient.”

Mr Turton believes he was not allowed a home visit because he had not left the hospital after his operation in an ambulance as he was picked up by his wife. Therefore he was not classified as immobile.

He has now asked Bridgewater to produce phone records to prove their claims that attempts to contact him to discuss the removal of his drain had been “answered and then disconnected.”

He said: “I was a matter of days after major surgery and could not have been a difficult patient even if I had tried, such was the pain medication I was on. I was not physically capable of coming in to the ward or the clinic. They have apologised but I feel they are calling my character into question.”

A statement from Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Trust said: “We have previously provided a full response to Mr Turton’s complaint, apologising for any distress caused.

“This letter was in no way intended to discredit Mr Turton’s character and its contents did not have any bearing on why he did not receive a home visit when he was discharged from hospital.

“We are always willing to learn from complaints and have been liaising with colleagues at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust to ensure patients are fully informed about community nursing services.”