A DAD-of-two who says he was told to wait nearly two weeks for a CT scan says his impatient nature saved his life.

Former postman Steve Munroe was suffering from headaches in March last year but claims they worsened after he had his first Astra Zenica Covid jab.

He said: “The day after [I had the jab] I was working overtime and the pain, I've never felt pain like that before, it actually nearly knocked me off my feet. I nearly collapsed and I'm 6ft 2 nearly 15 stone, so it takes a lot.”

The 55-year-old signed himself off of work in the hope that it would get better, but he was unable to do or eat anything.

"It was constant from 6am from when I woke up until I went to bed, going from being a postman where I was used to walking 10 miles a day to not being able to do anything."

Steve spoke to NHS 111 and was told to go to the pharmacy and was given migraine tablets, but these did not work and on March 29 – eight days after his Covid vaccine – he went to Basingstoke hospital where tests were performed, and he was sent home. A CT scan appointment was given.

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"I wish I had said to them 'I need that scan now', the pain was unbearable I actually came close to collapsing a couple of times," he said.

On March 31, he phoned the hospital and pushed for an earlier appointment for a CT scan and was given one for the following day. His original appointment was for April 8.

"Luckily one of my traits is that I'm impatient and that actually saved my life. The CT scan showed up two bleeds on the brain. I had an old bleed - I remember banging my head at work - but it wasn't affecting me."

It has not been confirmed whether the second bleed was worsened or caused by the Covid vaccine.

Steve, from Thatcham, was rushed down to Southampton hospital where an operation was carried out.

Before leaving, his daughter was allowed in to see him. He said: “Saying goodbye to her not knowing whether I will see her again, both of us will never forget that.

"I was in total shock about what they told me, I couldn't believe I had something that serious."

Steve also phoned his son who lives in Liverpool and who travelled down to see him in hospital after the operation.

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Following the operation, Steve was only able to walk 20 yards and was off work for months. More recently, he has been medically retired from the Post Office due to long-term fatigue and weakness in his legs.

After treatment, Steve put a complaint into PALS, the Hampshire Hospitals' customer care department, asking for an explanation on why a CT was not carried out during his initial appointment.

He had to chase up a response a couple of times and had to wait months for an answer.

"How they deal with complaints, I'm not impressed with them. They saved my life, Basingstoke and Southampton, but the way they (Basingstoke hospital) deal with complaints leaves a lot to be desired."

He escalated the matter and got a letter from Hampshire Hospitals chief executive Alex Whitfield, which stated that the trust deal with complaints in 25 working days.

"Again I had to chase that. Twice this has happened, do they not take the complaint seriously, this is to do with people's lives."

On March 7, this year, he had a meeting with hospital staff and was told reason why a CT scan was not carried out was because of the trust's protocols and because he had no previous head injuries.

"I understand that that they have protocols but look at my symptoms, those headaches I had for eight days when I went in there.

"The CT scan is the ultimate test that shows you you've got a problem. I passed all their other tests.

"If I hadn't been impatient then that would have been 15 days with those symptoms.

"Someone else might not have been so lucky, but it is the way that they dealt with the complaint as well.”

Steve is now calling on the trust to look at patient’s individual symptoms, rather than simply following protocol.

He added: “They are playing with people's lives when it comes to anything to do with brain injuries.

“I hope Basingstoke hospital do learn from my experience because otherwise the next person might not be so lucky, anything to do with your head you can't mess around.”

Steve said that his complaint is now closed but he has not been satisfied with the response.

A spokesperson from Hampshire Hospitals said: “Whilst we are unable to comment on the cases of individual patients, we aim to ensure that each and every patient receives both outstanding care and a positive experience. We are very sorry that Mr Munroe did not feel he received this from the hospital.

“We take all feedback very seriously, and are always looking at ways in which we can improve, including how we can provide effective and timely communication to our patients. When we do not meet the high standards we aspire to, we investigate to understand and we learn lessons to improve care for the future.

“We would ask anyone who has concerns to please raise them through our customer care team via customercare@hhft.nhs.uk, as has been the case in this instance. That allows us to investigate and learn.”

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