"Fobbing you off"

About: St George's Hospital (Tooting) (London)

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10pm Thursday, 999 call after my mother collapsed - loss of sensation/control in legs. Ambulance takes 2 hours, takes her to Mayday Croydon. They don't know what the problem is - arrange "urgent transfer" to St Georges. No ambulance available - eventually arrive St Georges Friday morning 8am. Endless "routine checks" and being asked again and again about did she fall etc. Doc ordered MRI scan, but didn't happen until 3.30pm Repeatedly told it would happen very soon, it's priority etc etc. Was told she would be told result immediately afterwards. After scan a guy said there was a swelling on the spine (?spinal stroke), but again somebody would return "very soon". He wasn't qualified to say - but they would probably give something to reduce swelling. Chase chase chase. Nothing. Nurses reassured that definitely somebody would see her before the end of the day. As it got later they said not to worry consultants work through the weekend. By 7pm nothing. Saturday after a few more promises, they eventually said no consultant would be available until Monday. They wouldn't let her eat or drink - but it was obvious she was a long way from having any operation. They were told she hasn't eaten or drank since 1pm Thursday, but seemed unconcerned about this until she pointed out that after 24 hours without drink there was a risk of dehydration. You have to spot these things for yourself. Hand gel stuff everywhere - even annoying announcements in lift about using it. No routine use by staff at all. So now, we are at Sunday lunchtime after admission early Fri morning and 999 call Thursday night. No proper diagnosis, no treatment. Just shifted from bed to bed (now #4). They say anything to shut you up including that they are very busy today. But ask other staff - they say they aren't particularly busy. Individual nurses are friendly enough - but there is a culture of the patient's time not being important and it's OK to tell them things without any reasonable basis of belief. No sense of responsibility for delivering on promises. The website boasts a huge number of neuro consultants. But don't expect to see them Fridays/weekends - even if you are told somebody will be with you "very soon".

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Response from St George's Hospital (Tooting)

Thank you for taking the time to post feedback about your experience at St George’s Hospital. I am sorry that it was negative. I have informed the manager of the service about your comments. If you would like to talk to the service about your experience and if you have not done so already, then please contact the PAL Service at pals@stgeorges.nhs.uk or on 020 8725 2453 where staff will see what they can do to help.

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