"lack of communication"

About: Royal Derby Hospital

This review is purely relating to the lack of communication between the ward and next of kin. When visiting my grandma one evening last week at 5.35pm I was extremely disappointed to learn that she had been transferred to another hospital. The receptionist "did not know" whether next of kin had been informed. When I spoke to my father and uncle (next of kin) neither had been informed of this move. Nor had they been informed during their nightly visits to my grandma by any staff of the possibility of a move to a different hospital, despite frequently asking about any discharge plans. After I left the hospital an answer phone message giving no name or telephone number was left on my grandma's answer machine and her daughter in laws answer machine informing of a move to "London road" However 1. My grandma is a widow, and 2. Her daughter in law is not next of kin and her telephone number was not given to the ward. Surely this is a breach of patient confidentiality? I can only guess that instead of using the correct next of kin details provided by my father and uncle which would have been documented in the admission booklet, out of date next of kin telephone numbers were used, possibly from the medical notes, or an online system? 3. I am familiar with the local hospitals, but if I had not been, how would I know what London Road is or why she had gone there, given that there was no telephone number to ask this. I am utterly disgusted that an elderly and cognitively impaired individual was transferred from a geriatric ward without the next of kin being informed. I am also disgusted that this was done as an after thought , after I had prompted the receptionist that next of kin were unaware, and then out of date contact information. This was used despite my father and uncle giving their contact numbers to the ward. If the telephone call had been to inform us of a decline in condition, there could have been a devastating delay to us getting to the hospital. I am very disappointed at the lack of communication from a ward which specialises in the care of the elderly.

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Response from Royal Derby Hospital

Firstly, may we apologise for the delay in responding to this feedback. We were very disappointed to read your comments and on behalf of the Trust offer our sincere apologies for the upset this communication error may have caused. It is fully accepted that communicating with the patients relatives or carers in relation to such an event as moving the patient to another area or hospital is very important and we are extremely sorry the correct links of communication to the patients next of kin, on this occasion, failed to be effective. If you wish us to look further into this matter, we would need more information and therefore if this is something you would like us to do, please consider contacting our Patient Advice & Liaison Service (PALS) on Freephone 0800 7837691 or via email on dhft.contactpals@nhs.net who would be happy to assist you further. Please accept our sincere apologies once again and many thanks for taking the time to provide us with this valuable and important feedback. Kind regards The Patient Experience team for Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

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