"AAU don't have a clue."

About: Southmead Hospital

My wife was taken into the AAU from A&E. She was seen by 4 different doctors and 3 different nurses in the space of 24 hours. One of the symptoms was her temperature suddenly shooting up. You would think then that one of the key instructions for those carrying for my wife would be regularly checking her temperature. Oh no. Only one nurse checked her regularly and that was through the second night. The rest of the time she has had to keep pressing her buzzer to get the nurse to come and check on her. Today it has come to a point where the buzzer was going for over 15 minutes before a nurse came in. She reset the buzzer and went to get one of her colleagues to take my wife's temperature. An hour later, after the temperature spike had started to go, the nurse wanders in, takes her temperature and says "see, it's normal!" I am sitting in her room absolutely dumbfounded by what I have witnessed here. I severely hope that no-one I know ever had to come here. We are expecting my wife to be discharged with no explanation as to why she has been so unwell or why her temperature has been so high all of a sudden. So what have they acutely assessed? Nothing!

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Response from Southmead Hospital

Dear Anonymous – thank you for posting your feedback. Regrettably I cannot comment on your wife’s care as I am not a clinician, and cannot identify her. I would say at the very least that the communication has clearly been extremely poor and your wife’s care plan should have been clearly explained to you both. You should understand when checks were to be made and if any other indicators were being used to monitor your wife’s condition. Regrettably the Acute Assessment Unit (AAU) is a very busy ward and staff shifts often mean a patient will have many different staff looking after their needs. It is also true that many different specialist staff will visit patients to help with the assessment and diagnosis. I agree this is not ideal and can sometimes give the impression that no one person is responsible, however a patients’ notes will help all those involved achieve the best outcome for a patient, which can be discharge with on-going care being provided by their GP. I hope that you wife is now much improved. Kind Regards – Steve Sykes Advice and Complaints Team

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