NIGHT­MARE WITH DISTRICT NURSES

Lack of treat­ment is ‘life threat­en­ing’ Gran’s trou­ble with ir­reg­u­lar vis­its:

Caernarfon Herald - - FRONT PAGE - Kelly Wil­liams

A GRAND­MOTHER who re­lies on district nurs­ing care three times a week claims she has to “beg and plead” to get the treat­ment she needs.

Joan Meek needs reg­u­lar en­e­mas and ir­ri­ga­tion pro­ce­dures after an op­er­a­tion in the 1980s left her with a da­m­aged blad­der and bowel.

But the 74-year-old claims get­ting nurses to come out to her is a “night­mare”, de­spite the pro­ce­dures be­ing pre­scribed by her con­sul­tant at Ys­byty Glan Cl­wyd, Bodel­wyd­dan.

Mrs Meek, from Llan­rug, near Caernar­fon, says the “ir­reg­u­lar care” she re­ceives is caus­ing her stress.

“When I was 28 I had a hys­terec­tomy that da­m­aged the ner­vous sys­tem to my blad­der and bowel,” she said.

“They tried to cor­rect it with three fur­ther surg­eries un­til I was even­tu­ally sent to a pri­vate hospi­tal in Manch­ester.

“I was there for a month and had lots of tests and they told me I was da­m­aged for life and that I wouldn’t see 40.”

But when Mrs Meek reached her 40th birth­day, she un­der­went pi­o­neer­ing surgery at Glan Cl­wyd by con­sul­tant Chris­tine Evans. “I’m still here be­cause of her, she saved my life,” she said.

“If I don’t have my reg­u­lar treat­ment it can be life-threat­en­ing and I end up back in hospi­tal.

“I’ve been in in­ten­sive care be­fore now with sep­ti­caemia and was in hospi­tal for six months. I’ve also had two strokes due to stress.

“I’ve had nurses for over 30 years but since be­ing pre­scribed ir­ri­ga­tion that re­quires two nurses, it’s been a bat­tle get­ting them to come out.

“At first, six nurses were trained to be able to do the treat­ment, but once the nurse who trained them left I’ve strug­gled to get them out to me be­cause cer­tain nurses refuse, say­ing it’s too dan­ger­ous.”

Mrs Meek has lodged a for­mal com­plaint with Betsi Cad­wal­adr Uni­ver­sity Health Board and at­tended a meet­ing last week about her con­cerns.

But she said later that night, the nurses due to come to her didn’t turn up and she had to call the outof-hours ser­vice.

Mrs Meek added: “It’s not easy liv­ing with this. I’m se­verely dis­abled but I don’t want to give up, I want to be here for my fam­ily.

“My con­sul­tant has writ­ten letters say­ing I’ve got to have both treat­ments as and when nec­es­sary.

“I feel so de­graded hav­ing to beg and plead for the treat­ment I rely on for my sur­vival. It’s re­ally break­ing my heart con­stantly ring­ing up and get­ting no an­swer.

“This is some­thing that’s pro­long­ing my life. No one ex­pected me to live this long, I’m sur­prised I’m still here my­self. I’ve been made to feel like a bur­den.”

Gill Har­ris, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of nurs­ing and mid­wifery at Betsi Cad­wal­adr Uni­ver­sity Health Board, said: “While we can­not com­ment on in­di­vid­ual cases in any de­tail, we do take all con­cerns se­ri­ously and work closely with pa­tients who re­quire on­go­ing long-term care to en­sure that any con­cerns they have are prop­erly in­ves­ti­gated and acted upon, where nec­es­sary.”

● Joan Meek, 74, was told she wouldn’t live beyond 40. ‘I’m made to feel like a bur­den,’ she said

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