"Standards of Care"

About: St Peter's Hospital (Chertsey)

I am writing this on behalf of my Dad who has read it and agrees with the content. A few days ago he was admitted via A&E and ambulance after complaining of severe neck pain and with recent history of falls . The ambulance crew were excellent as were the staff in A&E and CDU . On visiting him on the ward he was allocated again all staff appeared polite and caring of dad and other patients . Dad was discharged late in the day after we were told he would be in for another night. His discharge paperwork showed he had been clinically and physio assessed. When I picked him up he was a little confused but very keen to get home . Within 12 hours he was back in an ambulance and back in A&E for about 7 hours having been diagnosed with a TIA he is now back home . At all times in a very very busy A&E the staff and incoming ambulance teams worked extremely well together to ensure patients were prioritised according to need and had the appropriate treatment all delivered professionally and with great care. I just question the pressure on beds may have resulted in Dad coming out to early currently I understand the hospital is at full capacity. When dad was In we were told he would be referred to occupational health and a falls unit for assessment as he lives alone . Yes someone from the falls unit called to speak to dad on his home phone but he was still in hospital . I have no other information . I fully accept that there is pressure on beds but when dealing with confused elderly patients it should be possible for the family to be more involved with the discharge process rather than just a call late in the day to say he has been discharged and he is sitting here in the ward waiting for you . When you arrive there has been a change of personnel and you can't get answers . I cant fault the care and it has in my opinion improved from 2 years ago but I do think the discharge process when the patient is elderly just needs looking at

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Responses

Response from St Peter's Hospital

Dear Brian Thank you for your positive comments about the care provided by our A&E, Clinical Decisions Unit and ward staff, which we have shared with them. We are sorry to hear, however, that your father's experience of being discharged home was not better and that you were not involved in the discharge plans. This is not the service we aim to provide and as you rightly say, it is very important that family members are involved in any discussions around discharge home, particularly for our elderly or confused patients. We do ask our ward staff to ensure they liaise and communicate with family members, so it is disappointing to hear this did not occur in your father’s case and I would welcome the opportunity to discuss this with you in more detail. One improvement we have recently made is introducing an Older Person’s Assessment and Liaison Team into the Trust, which is a team of nurses, therapists and doctors, who can focus specifically on our frail elderly patients and ensure they receive the right type of care and safe, effective discharge planning with input from the whole team and the family. We very much hope this will improve the discharge process for patients like your father. You mention the pressure on our beds and whilst we have had capacity pressures in recent weeks, we would not expect this to impact on your father’s care or discharge plans. We apologise if you felt your father was rushed home in anyway and if you are willing to meet and discuss your concerns further, please contact me directly. Best wishes Justine Hillier Associate Director of Nursing 01932 722190.

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