"The complaint letter sent"

About: Watford General Hospital

To Whom It May Concern I should like you to imagine your mother, aged 84, being referred to hospital because of serious concerns about her low sodium levels. I should like you to also have the knowledge of the implications of this in an elderly person. Next I should like you to take yourself away from your work - which is with vulnerable young people, leave them without their daily support and also risk losing your job. In addition, I would like you to have children and pets of your own who you will leave for 11 hours. Now I would like your mother to be left in a waiting room and not fed or offered drink for 5 hours. I should then like your mother to be x-rayed for a problem she doesn't have, be told she may as well return home, be told she needs physio for osteoarthritis of the spine which is an on going condition and for which you mother was x-rayed last week. Then I would like you to imagine your mother being put on a hard chair in a treatment room for a further 4 hours whilst you are told you will be called when she is back from x-ray. Finally, after 9 hours I would like you to have a discussion with the medical staff who had not looked at the referral, continue to be unaware of the referred for problem and then be told it is likely your mother will be catheterised. whilst this is all continuing I would like you to be told you will pick up your mother and look after her yourself and bring her back in the morning when she will be seen by someone who is a specialist in an area completely unrelated to the presenting need. Are you happy?

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Response from Watford General Hospital

Thank you for taking time to let us have feedback about our A&E (accident and emergency) department at Watford Hospital. Please accept my apologies for the slight delay in replying to your post. As you can imagine, I am very concerned to read of the questions you have posed, which I can only surmise relate to the care we provided to your mother. I would be extremely grateful if you could please contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) so that they can look into this matter further and liaise with our A&E team to understand what happened and where improvements can be made. Our PALS team can be contacted in 01923 217 198 or email pals@whht.nhs.uk. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you need to. My email is antony.tiernan@whht.nhs.uk or call 01923 436 229. Alternatively, you can tweet me: @AntonyTiernan. Antony Tiernan Director of Corporate Affairs and Communications

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