A TEENAGER has won an apology from NHS Lothian after she was twice left in agony in hospital with no pain relief.
Callie Tyler, 18, has experienced severe stomach pains since she was ten, and these came to a head last year when she was rushed to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary twice.
On both occasions, she had to wait for hours to be given pain relief, despite repeated pleas to staff.
When the dental nurse from West Pilton complained to NHS Lothian, she was dissatisfied with the "poor" response, and took the matter to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman.
The organisation has upheld her complaint, along with another about bad record keeping, and ordered health chiefs to say sorry.
Miss Tyler - who is still waiting for a diagnosis of the problem which means she is "practically always in pain" - said she was disgusted with the level of care she received.
"I just don't want anyone else to ever have to go through that," she said.
"I was crying with pain both times and no-one wanted to do anything.
I was treated like a wee girl.
"They kept telling me it was really busy and someone would be along soon, but the first time I waited three hours and the next time it was more like four to five hours.
"They even told me I must be ok because I was able to use my phone, but all I was doing was texting my mum to ask what I should do because I was in so much pain."
The two incidents, which she recalls as "shocking", happened in February and March 2009.
"On one occasion they even gave me paracetamol to take home, but that is weaker than the painkillers I have from my GP," she added.
The report stated that during her wait, the casualty ward was particularly busy, which was why she may have had to wait for the help of doctors.
The Ombudsman said: "The advice I received, which I fully accept, has identified that Miss Tyler was not provided with timely pain relief and the board has not acknowledged this or offered an appropriate apology.
"There is no record of her pain having been assessed and scored, and the timescales for the provision of pain relief did not follow guidelines."
On inadequate record- keeping, the report stated "serious concerns have been raised" about the "inadequacy" of record keeping in this case, which was described as "unacceptable".Pat Dawson, NHS Lothian's associate nurse director, said: "We are writing to apologise, but I would like to take the opportunity to apologise publicly.
"We accept the Ombudsman's recommendations and we have implemented an action plan to improve our service.
"The current systems for pain assessment and the provision of timely pain management are being reviewed, while the importance of good record-keeping has also been reinforced.
"NHS Lothian takes all complaints seriously and has taken steps to ensure that lessons have been learned."