"Improved since last time, but still got a way to..."

About: King's Mill Hospital

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Having stayed twice unexpectedly last year and experienced poor staff cooperation, respect and simple courtesy, I was not enthralled to need to stay again this year. However, I was pleasantly surprised at some of the improvements that had been made; for instance, each room now has a sign stating who your named nurse and healthcare assistance will be, it also displays the time that your 'obs' will be taken. 90% of the time, this was accurate, but sometimes it slipped for a whole shift. Clearly this is down to some individual staff who do not think it is necessary to keep their patients informed. I would suggest that Ward Managers carry out spot audits on this simple but effective way of communicating with patients (Not that I saw a ward manager whilst I was their). The meals were the same as last time, which I believe to be perfectly reasonable. Let's face it, patients are not there to having a Michelin starred dining experience. Food is sustenance, and the food which is provided is hot tasty and there is a good choice for all tastes. The staff who serve the food were in the main, pleasant and I commend them. It must be a difficult job dealing with people in pain who by the fact they are there are mostly unhappy; yet most of them manage to do their work with a friendly and courteous manner. Not all the staff have this demeanour, some just lacked any social skills, let alone bedside manner. The one area that needs vast improvement, because I have experienced it as being poor every time I have stayed in hospital is the discharge process. I was visited by the ward consultant at 0900, who explained he felt I would be able to be discharged on hat day. When I asked what time, he said mid afternoon. This then caused me to make arrangements for a lift home. I live 15 miles from the hospital, so a taxi is expensive; I waited until 1700, when my wife would be able to pick me up with our children (6 and 3 years old). Unfortunately, the process for discharge was confused and did not go well. Despite brining all my own medication with me and having this locked in a bedside cabinet and explaining I had plenty of supply at home, I still had to wait for a pharmacist to visit and audit what was there. We then had to wait for more stocks to come up from the pharmacy. Once that arrived, I then had to wait for a nurse to write a letter stating everything that the Consultant had told me earlier (which basically confirmed why as I was there, which I knew; and that I would receive an outpatients appointment). By the time we were able to leave, it was 2000; my children had not eaten since lunchtime. To top it off, the discharge papers incorrectly stated that "the patient expressed a desire to go home after feeling better and asked to discharge himself"; this was wholly incorrect. Kings Mill, you need to look at polishing the final processes. After all, the quicker you can discharge, the sooner you can offer the bed to someone else. Or is that what is intended?

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Response from King's Mill Hospital

Thank you for your comments. It is good to hear that you are pleased with the way in which the ward communication is improving and thank you for letting us know what did not go so well for you. We have forwarded your feedback to the team responsible for Gastroenterology inpatients who will use your comments to further enhance the services they provide.

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