"Short staffed over weekend"

About: Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital / General surgery

(as a parent/guardian),

Care during my son's stay in hospital in early January 2014 was good, with the exception of the weekend 11/12 January where the ward seemed to go into meltdown. The ward was short staffed and we were moved out of our bay to make way for an assessment unit as there was not enough staff for both the Ward and the AU.

The staff that came on duty did not seem to know how to operate the IV machine.

We were supposed to have someone remove my son's epidural at 8am but no one turned up and despite chasing I could not get a valid explanation. After 1. 5 hours someone turned up and just turned off the epidural (not removing it). This caused great confusion to the nurse who came to remove the epidural drip not realising it was still attached to my son.

Another member of staff asked me (as a parent) what had previously been in the clamp which had just gone through the OV machine. As a non-trained medical professional, I should not be asked this sort of question.

I raised concerns to the senior nursing staff who assured me I could meet with the consultant team to discuss my concerns. This meeting was never arranged.

The weekend showed the way the NHS is 'creaking'. I do not blame the nursing staff but would like an explanation from a manager as to why this weekend was lacking experienced staff.

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Responses

Response from Janice Bradfield, Senior Communications and Membership Manager, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

We are sorry that your son's care was not co-ordinated and that the meeting you wanted to express your concerns was not arranged. It would be helpful to have some more detail so that we can pass on your message to the relevant colleagues. You are welcome to get in touch with our PALS department at: pals@nnuh.nhs.uk

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