"Lack of Communication and Poor aftercare for my mother"

About: Glenrothes Hospital Scottish Ambulance Service / Emergency Ambulance Victoria Hospital / Accident & Emergency Victoria Hospital / Trauma & orthopaedics

(as a carer),

My mother was admitted to Victoria Hospital Kirkcaldy some 6 weeks ago with a suspected broken hip. The paramedics were excellent, couldn't have been more kind or caring with regard to my mother, as were the staff in A&E who assessed my mother and dealt with her prior to her being moved to Ward 31.

The staff in Ward 31, again were extremely helpful, however, there was a serious lack of communication with regard to my mothers actual condition and the expected length of her stay in hospital. After 3 weeks, we finally discovered that my mother had actually broken her femur and had a pin and plate fitted. Physiotherapy was put in place, however, it was stated that my mother was not 'picking up' as they would like.

She was then transferred to Glenrothes Hospital for supposed Physiotherapy towards the end of May on a firday. I am unsure why she was transferred on this day as she was not even seen by a doctor until the Tuesday . There was no physiotherapy during this time either. As a result, my mother's legs became extremely swollen, red and she was unable to walk - even to the bathroom. My mother was left for long periods of time in the ward with no access to a call button (as was another patient). The physiotherapy consisted of my mother being asked to walk around the dining room on one occasion, with no other physio being given. She was then told on 3 separate occasions by Doctors that she could get home, only to be told by nurses, OT's and physio's that this was not possible. There was no communication between either doctor, nurse, physio or OT.

Eventually, my mother was allowed home at the beginning of this month after several calls I made to the hospital where no-one seemed to know what the position was with regard to my mother. I had to pick her up from the hospital as no ambulance had been arranged - despite the fact we had been told on the Friday that she would be discharged on Tuesday. When I went to collect her at 10. 30am, as arranged the previous evening, no discharge papers had been completed and the medication was not ready.

My mother has received no aftercare whatsoever since being discharged over a week ago. No-one, in either Glenrothes Hospital or Victoria Hospital is able to advise my Local GP surgery what is happening with my mother's discharge papers, other than the fact the Doctor is now on leave for a further 2 weeks - he has the papers. I am absolutely appalled at the way my mother has been treated. The communication between hospitals, staff and surgeries is non-existent, however, not for the want of the surgery trying to obtain it.

My mother is now unable to walk more than a few metres before having to sit down and does not even know if she is taking the correct medication. I feel an investigation is required as to how this can happen and why there is such a lack of communication and after-care.

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Responses

Response from Louise Ewing, Patient Relations Manager, NHS Fife

picture of Louise Ewing

Dear Annoyed Daughter

Thank you for taking the time to share both the good and bad experience you have recently experienced. I would be very keen to speak to you directly to get some more information to help us address your concerns.

We will be able to do something about getting information to the GP which is clearly important for your mother's ongoing care. We would also be keen to look in to the specifics of your mother's care and would welcome a conversation about how we best achieve that.

Would you please consider contacting me or amember of the Patient Relations Team on 01592 648153.

Regards

Louise Ewing

Patietn Relations Manager

NHS Fife

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Response from Claire Smillie, Communications Manager, Scottish Ambulance Service

picture of Claire Smillie

Dear Annoyed Daughter,

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us.

The Scottish Ambulance Service is pleased to hear that our Paramedics were excellent in the initial care of your mother. However we are disappointed to hear that no Ambulance had been arranged for her to return home.

If you would like to email me with more details at claire.smillie@nhs.net then I can make sure that we pass your feedback onto the relevant person. This will help us to ensure that our patients receive the best care possible at all times.

Kind Regards,

Claire

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