"The Consultant Urologist very ..."

About: Princess Alexandra Hospital (Harlow)

(as a relative),

What I liked

The Consultant Urologist very knowledgeable and caring regarding my father's bladder cancer. Most Nursing staff and Auxillary staff again very caring and taking good care of my 74 year old father , though one or two were not and let the team down! Initial consultation with the consultant after his cytoscopy was brief but did cover the condition of my father though I should have asked for a follow up immediately it did take several days to see the consultant again to arrange a CT scan as a matter of urgency. Involved PALS in trying to arrange this and they was very good in ensuring this happened. My father who lives very close to the hospital feels an affinity and affection for the hospital and will not be shifted in his belief that this is the best place for him.

What could be improved

The Emergency admissions doctors suggested 16 days before my fathers admission that my father just take some paracetamol and then sent him home this after he was passing blood in his urine and being in considerable pain and fainting he arriving by ambulance but was not seen for sometime. What is the criteria to be admitted into hospital when you have diagnosed with Bladder cancer and have heavy haematuria?

A number of instances of leaving dirty and soiled articles for hours as well as not acting in a timely way when my father had soiled bed linen and garments, which represented infection control risks. I did bring this to the attention of the sister. This situation did improve after this, but some problems still persist. Additional training and retarining seems needed. I have recent personal experience that best pratice occurs in other hospitals here in UK (Royal Bath Hospital) and abroad (Chicago) which does show the resource and staffing constraints this hospital is under and this needs urgent attention(the use and supervision of agency staff may be the issue). Told that I was not allowed to visit my father outside of visiting times initially though most staff were accomodating for short visit, I still encountering a problem occasionally given the seriousness of my fathers condition, the support and comfort that this provided him seem to be of little importance, I am suprised at this attitude! If a carer is obviously in the way and not contributing to the care then by all means do something about it, but a general prohibition without regards to the patients needs in this day and age is positively victorian! After seeing his consultant Monday after the cystoscopy we did not see anyone from the clinical team until Thursday. It was agreed that a CT scan happened 10:15 Fri 13/7, unfortunatley no contrast given and only Thorax scanned and not his abdomine therefore usless for diagnostic purposes to determine the spread of the cancer. This is the 2nd time this has happened in 9 months!! complete waste of time and effort and resources.By the time someone from the Urology team saw me we were unable to get hold of anyone in Radiology either to find out why they did this and also to to get the results of the Bone scan which having taken place at 13:30 would have given someone 3 hours to process and report onto the computer system,(the hospital seems to work from 9.00 a.m to 4:30 on a Friday) so there is nothing anyone can do over the weekend. FURTHER DELAY ENDANGERS MY FATHER EVEN MORE!! I Had an agreement that my fathers notes be made available to my fathers neice who is a GP in southampton, weekend nursing staff appear to have decided that this contravened hospital policy and seem to either be involved in a coverup at worst or just plain incomptence at best. We have requested copies of his notes several times now and this still do not appear to be forth coming. Make the information available to the patient and the family to allow for informed dicision making! I still do believe that the hospital is not deliberating put my fathers life at risk and attempting (all bit it ineffectively) to do the best for him.

Story from NHS Choices

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