"I have always had the utmost respect ..."

About: Royal Preston Hospital

(as a relative),

What could be improved

I have always had the utmost respect for the NHS, in fact, before my current experience I would defend the dedication of its doctors and nurses, whom I still believe have the patients' best interests at heart. Perhaps that was because I did not previously have first hand experience. This morning my 86 year old father was referred by his GP, in pain, to the surgical assessment unit. As I write, some five hours later, he has just been allocated a bed, remains in pain and has not yet been seen by a doctor. My mother has telephoned twice, obviously in extreme distress, feeling helpless that she has to witness her husband groaning in pain. If a patient is referred by a GP, one would assume that he would be assessed promptly. Is that too much to hope for? That an elderly patient, in an NHS hospital, in 2008, would be given some treatment to alleviate his pain? Is this what we all have to look forward to - or worse?

I am appalled. What do we blame - the government, staff shortages, bureaucracy - or sheer apathy? In the long run it doesn't matter, my father has suffered terribly over the past few hours. It will remain to be seen if he can recover.

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Response from Royal Preston Hospital

Your comments are very important to us in helping to improve our services. We are concerned that your father’s and mother’s experiences do not appear to meet either your expectations or ours. We would therefore like to look into the matter further and would be grateful if you could get in touch.

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