"Poor discharge for my husband"

About: Kettering General Hospital / General medicine Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

(as a relative),

My husband suffered a stroke in October, he's been in hospital since, but has been ready for rehab at home for about a month though he is still paralysed on his right side and can't swallow properly so needs to be fed through a PEG seven times a day. Someone at the hospital forgot to process his paperwork, so by mid December, nothing had been done. On the Friday I was told there is a chance of him coming home on the Monday, most likely Tuesday or Wednesday. On the Monday I got a phone call from the hospital around 10. 30 to say he'll be home 12-15. Another call just after 12. 00, and he was here in less than 10 minutes.

It was blowing with a gale, he was dressed in a short sleeve tshirt, sweatpants, no socks, no blanket. He had a chest infection and a UTI, no meds for either, no carers, no nurse. On Friday he had a nasty reaction to the antibiotic prescribed by the on-call doctor and is now back in hospital.

When I called to ask what time he should have his food and meds, I was told to look at the side of the medicine bottles. When I asked what time he'd had food and meds and which meds and how much food, I was told to look at the side of the bottles as 'all the information is there'. I was given no training to administer his meds which include Warfarin and no one else was arranged to do this.

The ambulance crew told me the carers would arrive around 14. 00. By 14. 45 no one had even called. I had no names or contact details for anyone, no information on anything, in fact, so had to call the discharge team to ask if anyone at all was going to arrive. Around 18. 00 carers turned up.

After he was re-admitted, I had a call from one of the wards to ask me what dose of Warfarin he is on. When I pointed out to the nurse that in fact I could be anyone and say anything, her only comment was 'well we'd like to think you wouldn't'. She had no access to medical records or the anticoagulation team records. The ward he's on now wasn't aware that he had only just left the hospital after a four month stay.

There's not much to say that is positive about his treatment since, either. It doesn't appear that anyone talks to anyone else at the hospital and there are way too many managers and not enough people to do the actual work. If there were good managers doing a decent job, then they probably would not have run out of pillows and towels and patients wouldn't be dumped out of the door with no clothes on their backs at Christmas time. A member of the discharge team did turn up at my husband's bedside to tell me that there was nothing wrong with the way he was discharged and that it was all done according to protocol.

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Responses

Response from Rebekah Marong, Communications & Engagement Support Officer, Communications and Engagement, East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust

Dear Madame

I am sorry to hear about your experience. From the information you have provided it seems East Midlands Ambulance Service has not been involved in the discharge arrangements for your husband; Patient Transport Service in your area is provides by a private company, NSL, which was awarded the contract to deliver the service in 2012.

I hope your husband is making a good recovery and will be able to return home soon.

Regards

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Update posted by Grumpy Old Woman (a relative)

Hello Ms Long,

please accept my apologies, I guess I should have guessed. What didn't show in the posting, is that the paramedics and ambulance crews were over to help us more than once. They arrived very quickly and were not only thoroughly professional and efficient but also very compassionate. I would especially like thank the lady from your service who called me up with some excellent advice, it was very kind of you and I really appreciate it. Please do thank your teams for all their help, they were marvellous and I am so very grateful for their assistance.

Kindest regards,

Grumpy

Response from Rebekah Marong, Communications & Engagement Support Officer, Communications and Engagement, East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust

Hello again,

Thank you for taking the time to let us now that your experience with our staff was positive. Our crews work hard to ensure that patients, and their relatives, are treated with compassion and dignity and are given the very best of care.

The information you have provided does not allow us to identify the specific staff involved, but rest assured that appeciate will be reported to the manager for your area.

kind regards

Rebecca

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Response from Kettering General Hospital

I am sorry to hear you have been unhappy with your husband’s care. I can see you posted your comment on the Patient Opinion website in January and this has now come through on our NHS Choices Website. I am aware what a difficult time this has been for you and your husband. I believe your concerns have been resolved during this time. However, if there are any outstanding issues or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me to discuss what further steps we could take. Amie Burrows Complaints Co-ordinator

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