"Poor experience at East Surrey Hospital"

About: East Surrey Hospital / Older people's healthcare

(as a relative),

As you walk into East Surrey Hospital there are signs about telling visitors about what a success the hospital is. Their vision statement talks of compassion. I would have to strongly disagree with that.

My mother came to hospital confused and scared. From the very first contact in A&E, it came across as both the medical and nursing staff were disinterested and that I was a nuscience. People were too busy to answer what turned out to be important questions.

Once admitted, things continued in the same fashion. During her 10 day stay, she was under multiple medical teams and was on four wards. Each ward transfer, lead to poor continuity of care.

On one occasion, my mother was having difficulties with her breathing and was anxious. I mentioned this to her nurse. I was told that a doctor would come but they were busy. She sat for five and a half hours before anyone looked at her. I was accused by two nurses that the whole problem was because I was intimidating the nurses. The doctor came and told me that I was wasting his time. This whole episode destroyed any remaing confidence my mother had in the caring and compassionate role of the hospital.

Mum was transferred to her second ward over the weekend and it appears that she was not under any medical team. This may in part have been responsible for her trip to intensive care.

Any patient and relative who gave contact with intensive care are likely to be anxious and frightened. I know mum really was, she had a number of panic attacks. In this light I had a nurse snap at me for suggesting something that might make her less scared. She made me cry. Apparently she was going to apologise but I had gone home.

There is a certain arrogance of both the medical and nursing teams. Failing to understand that mum and I are fully aware of her medical issues and often we were dismissed.

There were a number of nursing staff who were lovely and went the extra mile but all in all, it was an experience we never want to repeat and I will do my best not to let her go to East Surrey Hospital.

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Response from Fiona Allsop, Chief Nurse, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

Dear anxious family member

I am very sorry that your mother and youself had this experience in our hospital. It is important to us the patients and relatives feel cared for and confident in using our services. I would be grateful if you could contact me so that we can understand what went wrong and prevent something similar happening in the future.

My contact detalis are fiona.allsop@sash.nhs.uk

Kind regards


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Response from Ben Mearns, Chief of Medicine, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

picture of Ben Mearns

Dear anxious family member

I share our Chief Nurse's view and I am particularly worried that you felt the medical team were too busy to be available or answer questions and that they were arrogant.

I would like to explore this further as it is not acceptable and please do let me know if you have not already been in contact with Fiona via my email: ben.mearns@sash.nhs.uk.

We would be very keen to look into this in more detail.

Kindest regards

Dr Ben Mearns

Clinical Lead for Acute & Elderly Medicine

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