"Poor experience of day care at Treliske hospital"

About: Royal Cornwall Hospital (Treliske) / Oral surgery

(as a relative),

The following is the complaint I sent to the local hospital expressing my disgust at the standard of care taken over my mother as she went in to have her teeth taken out.

This complaint concerns my mother and as I am more computer literate than her I have offered to write this on her behalf. I received a phone call today at 5.30pm from my mother who was in a great deal of distress at being kept waiting since 10am this morning for a dental operation. This isn’t the first time that I’ve experienced negative feedback (from this hospital alone may I add). My father has been forcefully discharged three times in the past after being treated badly in the hands of your staff, offering no source of transport home despite having no money on him and leaving him (surprisingly, being AT the place of medical assistance) in need of medical attention. Let me stress at this point that I understand you and all your staff are extremely busy and work hard to keep the hospital running as well as you see fit but I’m tired of trying to understand why I pay my national insurance each week to run establishments where the staff are short-tempered, rude and on more than one occasion thoughtless and careless towards my kin. I’m trying hard not to sound selfish here (I know there are thousands of others who experience the same cold-hearted treatment from incompetent staff) but I really feel that it is time to say something about how I feel towards your hospital and the NHS in general.

My mother was booked in to your hospital to have all her teeth out today. Having prepared for this day for a few weeks and becoming increasingly nervous in the last few days she was told at 9am this morning that no spaces were available for her at that time and to ring back. At 9.15 she rung again and was told she could come in but to expect it to be busy there and she should be prepared to wait a while if the hospital had an influx of patients (which again I understand happens all the time).

After a reasonable (for NHS standards) 3 hours of waiting she was given a pre-med at around 1pm. Even with little knowledge at all of even basic medicine I can make the assumption that pre-med = imminent operation (imminent in NHS standards being around 4 hours). At one point my mother had to point out that she was in fact having all her teeth out as staff seemed to think they were only taking the upper set out and also unaware that she had bought a set of dentures with her to be fitted immediately after the operation. In the time it took for the pre-med to wear off, my mother was subjected to a wide range of equally distant and unsympathetic staff, one telling her (after 2 hours) that “someone has to be last”.

Is this the standard of care that you would wish to be on the end of? If you came into my shop and asked me for a slice of pie, after which I keep you waiting for 25 minutes, while serving other customers, then to tell you that “someone has to be the last customer”, tell me how you would feel. Then imagine how you would feel to be kept waiting for 6 hours, to be treaded cold-heartedly by a number of staff, all whilst being on the verge of panic because all your teeth are going to be taken out but you don’t know when because every time you politely ask someone how long you are going to have to wait you are dealt with and treated with indifference.

This is supposed to be a day-care unit. If that is the case why was my mother kept waiting for over 6 hours with the only action taken to medicate her (too early). I may also add that she had not eaten since 7.30 this morning and had been told not to drink even water at 1pm. By the time I picked up my mother at 6pm this evening she had not eaten or drunk anything for around 11 hours. Do you deem this acceptable? If someone is left for that length of time without any fluids whatsoever I understand that the practice is to put them on a fluid drip. Can you honestly put forward to me a half-decent reason why the working people of this great country have to pay a noticeable amount of their cash every week to fund hospitals like these? I will send you this complaint every day until I hear a reasonable response from your good self. Thank you for your time, I assure you that you have wasted enough of mine already.

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