"poor communication"

About: King's College Hospital (Denmark Hill)

Anything else?

I came home from work on Wednesday afternoon with severe stomach pains. By the evening, it was so bad that I was vomiting. The pain was so bad that I went to A&E where, after a 2 hour wait (completely understandable), I was put on a drip and sent home at 01h30 with 3 types of medication: Co-Dryamol, Buscopan and Prochlorperazine. All 3 of the doctors and nurses who dealt with me did not have English as a mother tongue and I felt as though they struggled to explain things properly. The nurse would leave me on a drip in a room for up to half an hour at a time before coming back to check on me. The doctor came back and told me that I was fine to go home and that the medication stated on it how often to take it. When I got it home, it said "take ... pills .... times a day" and had not been filled in. I was so exhausted I have been asleep for the past 3 days and have just been guessing what to take when. I didn't know what which was for what symptom. I myself know what it is like to be communicating in a language that is not your own, having lived in France for 2 years, but there is a time and a place and when someone feels so ill and weak that it is an effort to say a sentence then I do not appreciate being asked to repeat things for fear of them not having understood. This whole experience has been my first proper experience of the NHS (touch wood) and frankly it was highly disappointing and stressful. Please work on your communication issues and have some things set in place to inform patients, for example, when the doctor removed the needle from my arm they said "ok youre ready to go". Fortunately, I know from giving blood that you need to sit up slowly and not rush it. They just didn’t appear to care. That is just an example. Thank you very much and please get back to me (in a few days time when hopefully I am feeling well enough to have a conversation) if you want any more details.

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Responses

Response from King's College Hospital (Denmark Hill)

I am sorry to hear about your experience in the Emergency Department. I would like to have the opportunity to identify when you attended so we can seek to address the communication and care and treatment problems that you have described. If you could provide some additional information I would be extremely grateful because of course this is not the impression that we would wish a first time user of our services to have. Regards, Cathy Varley PALS and Support Services Manager 0203 299 4826 cathy.varley@nhs.net

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