"poor communication"

About: Royal Hampshire County Hospital

My mother who is in her late 80s suffers from dementia and was admitted after she had a stroke. She was admitted on a Saturday afternoon and was in hospital for almost a month. We took her to the ward in the morning to be assessed by the consultant and the physio, they were all extremely helpful and spent a lot of time with Mum – I couldn’t fault this part of the day. After an assessment at home by a physiotherapist it was decided that it wasn’t safe for her to be at home so we took her back to hospital. Our experience of admission was not good. The first thing was that a member of staff arrived with some liquid in a glass and a spoon and started to give it to Mum, eventually she explained that she was giving her water to check that Mum could swallow. Another staff member arrived with some paperwork and asked us some questions, but most of the time she seemed to be transferring labels with bar codes from one sheet to another. Eventually she left saying that she had ordered a meal for Mum and that she would do the tests later. We didn’t know that the admission process was over and were left sitting with Mum waiting for something to happen. By about 6.30 pm I went to the desk to ask what was happening and found out that the admission process was over and my father & I could go home (by now we were tired and hungry). We had brought in her drugs but hadn’t been asked anything about them. When we got back to the car we realised that we hadn’t told anyone that Mum had a hearing aid or that she had dentures. Also, it would have been helpful someone told us where we could get a cup of tea or where the toilets (which we were allowed to use) were. Our main problem during Mums time in hospital was the lack of communication on a day to day basis. Mum wasn’t able to tell us what the medical staff had said (surely this must be quite common on a stroke ward), it was difficult to find out what was happening and we were sometimes given conflicting information. As visiting didn’t start until 3 it was unlikely that a family member was there when staff came to see Mum. The only person who kept us up to date was the physiotherapist. When we had a meeting, communication was fine. I appreciate that hospitals need time to deal with patients without visitors getting in the way but as visiting doesn’t start until 3 o clock it made travel difficult and added to the stress of having an elderly parent in hospital. Car park. The upper level which is outdoor is OK but the lower level is very dark -even in daylight and it felt unsafe. I wonder how many cars are broken into? Also, I thought that hospital car parks are supposed to be “pay on exit” which this one isn't, £1.80 an hour is exorbitant.

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Responses

Response from Royal Hampshire County Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to leave your comments. I am sorry that your experience did not meet the high standards that we aim to provide. I have shared your comments with the Matron on the stroke ward in order to make improvements in the future. If you would like to discuss your experience further please contact our Customer Care team on 01256 486766, or email customercare@hhft.nhs.uk Mary Edwards Chief Executive Email: mary.edwards@hhft.nhs.uk

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