"Not a good place to be in at weekends"

About: The Whittington Hospital

My wife is an in-patient with metastatic breast cancer and kidney problems. She was moved from one ward to another very late on a Friday night without explanation and "dumped" there. Next morning she felt very unwell and asked to see a doctor; we both asked via nursing staff 5 times during the day to see a doctor. The message came back that the doctor was very busy with ill patients on other wards but would come as soon as possible. Nobody came. On Sunday she still felt very unwell and asked again to see a doctor. One finally arrived at lunchtime, full of apologies. He said he was responsible for 11 wards and it had been a very busy weekend. Blood tests revealed that her calcium level had plummeted, which was very dangerous for her. In effect, no doctor had checked her condition since Friday afternoon, and she is very ill. This came as a great shock and disappointment because we had enjoyed a really positive experience of the hospital over the previous 5 weeks. The Whittington has great, dedicated staff. We have met nothing but kindness, courtesy and professionalism from nearly everyone we encountered during this time. We had been in A&E twice, Ambulatory Care, HDU and 3 different wards, so we can speak from experience. The low level of medical cover over weekends has really surprised us.

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Response from The Whittington Hospital

Thank you for the comments where you have praised many of our staff for their care of your wife in previous visits to the hospital. We are very sorry on this occasion your wife experienced poor care from our medical staff over the weekend . We would not expect staff to burden either you or your wife with the challenges we experience during a busy weekend and apologise you were subjected to this. We can assure you that staffing is managed on a daily basis by the senior management team. If you wish to raise your concerns in further detail then please contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service on whh-tr.whithealthpals@nhs.net or by calling 020 7288 5551.

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