"Lack of discharge information at Tameside General Hospital"

About: Tameside General Hospital / Older people's healthcare

(as the patient),

I was firstly admitted to the medical admissions unit after a collapse and then sent to Ward 43 with a possible irregular heart beat.

I was discharged one morning from Ward 43 with no prior warning, and no consultation with my 84 year old husband as to whether he was prepared. I am upset over this poor liaison. The hospital phoned him to tell him to collect me and left a message on the answer phone as he was out.

In the afternoon he came to visit at the hospital to find me waiting to be taken home in the draughty waiting room where I had been left without support and information. The discharge process needed to have more warning and communication for my husband.

The day after discharge I experienced a serious stomach virus which my GP thinks I picked up in hospital. My husband then caught the virus, and this precipitated a crisis for our care. We required emergency assistance from social services and home visits from the GP. This left us in a worse state than before my hospital admission.

My discharge prescription was handwritten and a carbon copy. It wasn't clear to read or to understand the dose to take. No explanation of why the GP's prescription had been changed. I am still waiting for the discharge letter so neither I nor my GP have any information about the diagnosis of my collapse or the tests done in hospital.

I was also given a follow up appointment that was a different time than that booked with my GP, consequently I missed the appointment.

My dentures were also lost in hospital and have not been returned to me.

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Response from Tameside Hospital Foundation Trust

Thank you for submitting your comments about our services. Ward 43 is an area that is opened when the emergency demand for medical beds increases. Patients are selected to transfer to this area from the Medical Assessment Unit who are likely to be discharged following a further medical review. The medical team who review patients for discharge are senior doctors who make their decision to discharge patients on their current condition and diagnostic results. Therefore it is not unusual to discharge patients promptly from this area. The social circumstances of a patient should also be considered prior to discharge.

Following the discharge of patient’s information is sent to your general practitioner highlighting the reason for admission, diagnostic results, diagnosis, treatment and medication. Discharge medication is hand written by the doctor but this should be legible and I would like to apologise if this was not the case.

Due to bed pressures, when patients are assessed as medically fit for discharge and can vacate their bed area then this is requested. This does not mean however that they are transferred into an area that is not favourable as outlined in your concern. I will ensure that the matron reviews the day room on ward 43 as this is the area that is utilised for patients whilst they are waiting their discharge process to be completed.

In relation to your complaints about a virus I am unable to state what triggered this virus or indeed where it was contracted.

With reference to your loss of dentures the Trust would be more than happy to investigate this further should you wish to. You would need to send details for your request for investigation to:

Complaints Coordinator

1st Floor Darnton Building

Tameside General Hospital

Fountain Street

Ashton Under Lyne


I am sorry not to have responded sooner. However, Tameside General Hospital has only recently obtained the facility to reply to comments made on this website.

Philip Dylak

Director of Nursing