"C1 Patient Tony Smart"

About: Russells Hall Hospital

Anything else?

My father died in the hospital on 8 June 2013. I was mostly satisfied with his treatment but there were two issues I was concerned about. 1. 29 May he was taken to another hospital (New Cross) for radiotherapy and received no treatment and returned late at night. In my view he was seriously ill and I would have preferred to have had a discussion about the value of this treatment. Also, why was he taken to New Cross and had no treatment? A nurse informed me that a critical incident was logged but I have had no feedback about the result. 2. On the 7 June I attended the ward and was told that my father's wife was present. I was somewhat surprised by this statement given she died in 2007. Upon entering the room I realised that the visitor was an old family friend. She told me that the nurse/doctor had explained my father's state of health and treatment. She also was aware of the incident on 29 May. This was a breach of confidentiality and the nurse/doctor should have checked who the visitor was. I suspect the person was a doctor in training. I spoke to the family friend about this and she did not wish to make a complaint but clearly felt uncomfortable about being told personal information.

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Responses

Response from The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust We have made a change

Thank you Elisabeth for taking the time to leave us feedback about your father’s care at what must be a dreadfully difficult time for you.

The decision to take patients to another hospital for treatment would only be made if it was in the best interest of the patient, and would have followed a discussion between nurses and a consultant to make sure this was the best choice.

We are sorry that your father did not receive any treatment when he was taken to another hospital – we can understand how this may have been distressing considering his poorly condition. A member of staff from the ward did call New Cross Hospital shortly afterwards to find out why he was not seen.

Following your feedback we have made changes to the way we take patients elsewhere for treatment to make sure they are seen in a timely manner. Staff escorts now alert the department being visited as soon as an appointment time is exceeded and, if the problem carries on, senior staff at Russells Hall are also informed to enable them to escalate the problem to senior level.

The matron and lead nurse for Ward C1 were both very concerned to hear about the breach of confidentiality you have mentioned. We take patient confidentiality very seriously and have a robust system in place to make sure all staff are trained to safeguard such personal information. It is clear that on this occasion staff made an incorrect assumption about your father’s friend and can only apologise for this.

Inappropriately sharing personal information about patients is unacceptable and so the Information Governance manager has been informed about the incident. The matron and lead nurse for Ward C1 have also been informed and have further reinforced with their team the importance of respecting the confidentiality of our patients. The lead nurse for Ward C1 will be calling you next week to discuss in more detail.

We welcome all feedback and all the comments we receive are taken seriously and acted upon as part of our ongoing commitment to improving patient experience.

Updates, changes and questions related to this story