"Lack of communication and coordination"

About: Epsom Hospital

There was very little communication between shifts when my father was an inpatient . Each visit I found I had to give staff the same information as it was not always passed on eg no feeding beaker left by bedside even though it was recorded on white board (my father is too shaky with his hands to manage a cup without spilling it), The person who delivered the meals said there weren't always enough to go round. Surely it would not be that expensive to have a good supply of plastic beakers for the elderly with dementia.. I was also concerned to find my father wearing a nappy type pad during the day when he was quite capable of taking himself to the toilet & since his visit he has become more incontinent at night. The organisation of his care package for going home took 4 or 5 days when he could have gone sooner since he was assessed by the OT & medical staff to be medically fit. In face the staff had phoned my mother on the day after he was seen by the OT to say he could go home & the Dr said everything was organised but sadly this was not the case & we waited a further 3 days. On the day of his discharge I phoned to check whether I needed to bring more clothes & was told no he was all dressed & ready. When I arrived I found he was wearing a hospital gown under his shirt with his vest over the top & no pants under his trousers as they were wet. I do not think the staff always took care with washing & dressing & although I appreciate the trained staff are busy with other things there could be more HCA's available to help with personal care & feeding. The food did seem very good but not sure whether it was cold by the time these patients with dementia were able to be helped.

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Responses

Response from Epsom Hospital

Thank you for your feedback. We are sorry for the poor communication you received from our staff - this is not acceptable. We agree with you whole heartedly regarding the beakers and dementia patients should always be able to receive help at mealtimes and enjoy warm food. We are glad you think the food looked good, we have made recent efforts to improve our food and our Chief Executive Matthew Hopkins was himself tasting it to see if it was good enough for our patients. With regard to your father's discharge we do have to be 100 per cent certain the care package is in place and it seems communication once again could have been better. We will pass on your feedback and thank you once again for highlighting areas we need to improve on. James Marsh Joint Medical Director

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