"Tired, hurt, frail, Mother-in-Law. Excharged but..."

About: William Harvey Hospital

Hilda 87. Arrived at 6.47pm on the 15/1/2014. Fast immediate review. Fast ex-ray. Then waiting. She was fragile/tired/hurting. Nothing! Waited and waited. Eventually she was put in an assessment cubicle. Waiting. Waiting. The staff/doctor were Outstanding. The system? Totally incompetent! She needed to be put on a ward by 10.00 pm to rest and be further assessed. No ward would take her. Little kingdoms?? She was eventually put in the assessment Ward - section 5 - AT 2 o'clock in the morning!! Tired. Confused! Hurting! She is not able to use the right words to express how she feels. The next morning my wife and I returned to be told that she had been assessed and she could manage. She has 16 stairs up to her flat in Canterbury. We practically lifted her (I have a weak leg due to Polio). That night she slept on the floor. She was confused as to whether she had taken her medication. She needed to be kept in your hospital for a few days. In the Assessment ward there were 4 beds free. Why, oh why was she not cared for by keeping her in for 2 or three days?? My father suffered the same experience a few years ago. My best friend's mother experienced the same! Is it money? Is it politics Is it targets? - Were has the love and care and healing gone?? I repeat ... The staff were outstanding. The system is rubbish. Would you like me to come in and sort it? Better than a negative Press item. I have good contacts but would rather see you SORT IT. Best wishes for for all the good work that you do do. Nicholas. Sandwich. (The Wounded Healer ... re Polio)

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

Thank you for taking the time to feedback and I am sorry about the delays experienced by your mother on 15th January. Our hospitals have been experiencing real difficulties with balancing the number of patient admissions with the number of patient discharges from hospital.

On that day we had an extra 30 beds open than we would normally have to try to cope with the flow of patients through the hospital. It would not have been possible for us to open any more beds due to staff availability. The delays experienced would have been waiting for a bed to be vacated and cleaned.

Staff are working hard to ensure that everything works as smoothly, this includes ensuring that community and social services work with us to facilitate discharges over the weekends especially during the winter.

It sounds as if you required more help with you mother on discharge from hospital, I wonder if staff were fully aware of the 16 stairs you needed to negotiate with your mother, she may have been eligible for transport and support in getting up to her flat.

If you would Ike me to investigate this further for you, please do email me on Julie.pearce1@nhs.net.

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Response from William Harvey Hospital

Thank you for posting this comment on NHS Choices. While I am pleased to note that the medical staff provided Hilda with the treatment she needed, I am sorry to learn that you feel the system let her down considerably. If you would like to submit a formal complaint so that we can investigate what happened please contact the Patient Experience Team on 01227 783145 or by email at ekh-tr.patientexperienceteam@nhs.net providing yours and Hilda’s details so that we can take the matter forward.

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