"A&E good, CDU disappointing"

About: Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital

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A&E was fine, 4 hours from admission until going up to CDU, but she was under someon's care and being treated within minutes of arrival. We were generally kept informed (accompanying 82 years old with heart flutter and other issues), waiting results for scans and bloods, and general sense of caring and working hard throughout. But...from entering CDU at 1am Sunday to teatime Monday, no change of sheets or bathing apart from box of wet wipes placed on the bed. This for an 83 year old. No spare pillows ("we allow one per patient"), so brought in our own later (pillow cases were at leats available). Her daughter had to bed-bathe her mother (Sunday evening, and this after we had been told she'd had a moderate bout of diarrhoea earlier in the day) and ask for a fresh sheet and change it (no-one thought they might offer to change it themselves at this point) on the Monday eveing. And endoscopy cancelled after 24 hours wait when discharge could have been the previous day, so unfortunate waste of a bed day, a day in hospital and general frustration all round. Not CDU's fault, but not an efficient process. Arranging an inpatient procedure promptly must make more sense when following up CT scan observations. When a patient who has brought in a carrier bag of medicines for her chronic pain asks the nurse for her Tramadol, and the ward sister comes in with Co-Ccodamol - and then is indignant and offended when my partner asks her quite sharply to get the Tramadol that she asked for - it must mean either the nurse doesn't communicate well to the sister, or that no-one is checking the patent's notes before selecting medicines. Worrying. No formal complaint, the medical care was appropriate and she came home much improved with appropriate tests booked, but the nursing and general care on CDU could have been so much better. The nurses were all polite when actually engaged with the patient, but if her daughter hadn't been there, the hygiene and pain meds would have been a major issue. I'm EKHUFT staff and I was really hoping not to be disappointed by a relative's experience in this hospital, so a shame really. Maybe the current care campaign will make a difference in CDU... And CDU doesn't feature in "which department did you visit"! How do you collate feedback for this unit if it doesn't exist in your statistics?

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Response from Julie Pearce, Chief Nurse + Director of Quality + Operations, East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you very much for providing feedback and I am sorry that you were unhappy about the care provided during your friend's stay in CDU. We find feedback very useful for planning improvements in service. Please do email me should you want to talk more about what ideas you might have to improve the CDU experience. My email address is Julie.pearce1@nhs.net

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