"Torbay Hospital is a leader in the NHS"
About: Torbay Hospital Torbay Hospital Torquay TQ2 7AA
My 89 year old mother was recently treated successfully for pneumonia in Torbay Hospital. The quality of the care she received was outstanding in all aspects - from medical to nursing care. She was treated with great care, compassion and respect throughout her stay. Despite her advanced age and very poorly condition on admission there was never any suggestion that any relevant intervention would be denied to her. The consultant geriatrician who looked after her immediately after her admission to the hospital was fabulous and demonstrated a very high degree of professionalism in the way that she organised my mum's care. She did not try and shrink from letting both mum and the family know that her condition was very serious and that a good outcome could not be guaranteed. However, she managed to do this in a way that inspired trust and confidence in us all and gave real hope to my lovely old mum. The care provided by the nurses and nursing assistants was absolutely wonderful - nothing was too much trouble and if mum pressed the call button somebody would always attend her very quickly. As her family, we felt that she was being given the standard of care that the medical and nursing staff would have wanted one of their parents to receive in similar circumstances. You cannot really ask for more than that.. As mum said to me one evening when she had had a slight accident and had to be bathed and changed by the nursing staff - "They don't do cross in Torbay Hospital"! What they do provide is wonderful care and compassion, cheerfully and willingly given in large and helpful dollops. On one occasion, mum was desperate to go to the loo - there were no nursing staff available at that moment but one of the ward's junior doctors helped mum to the nearest toilet saying that "he had not gone into medicine to see people suffer"! For me that incident epitomised the really fantastic quality of care on offer in Torbay Hospital. It is revealing to see that 80 per cent of the staff at Torbay would recommend it to their family and friends which is very high praise indeed! The NHS has come in for a lot of stick recently with the scandals at the Mid Staffordshire Trust, Morecambe Bay and others. As a huge fan of the NHS - which is truly the mark of a civilised society - I just wish that everyone in the UK was able to access healthcare of such a high quality. For that to happen the NHS needs to change radically - the traditional and closed ways of working simply will not cut it in the years to come. Meeting the challenge of a rapidly ageing population coupled with fiscal austerity which may last another decade means that new leaders, new ideas and new approaches are needed right now if the essential essence of the NHS is to be preserved for generations to come. Valuable lessons learned at Torbay in effectively delivering acute care and integrating it appropriately with primary and social care need to be applied elsewhere. Effective leadership is everything.