"Bed Wait"

About: Royal Preston Hospital

(as a relative),

My Father has recently been diagnosed with throat cancer which has unfortunately spread to his glands. He was told at a consultation at the Royal Preston hospital that he would be taken in within 10 days to have his glands removed. The same day he had a phone call informing him that a bed would be available 2 days later, we thought this was fantastic and that the service Royal Preston were providing was excellent.

My father was told to arrive at the hospital, ward 3, at 2pm, he arrived at 1pm to make sure that he wasn't late. He was told to wait in the waiting area and was still left waiting in the waiting area at 9pm as he had no bed allocated to him. He was only allocated a bed after my mother telephoned the Ward and spoke to the sister to ask why he was still waiting.

I understand how busy hospitals are these days and the fact that he would probably have had to wait for a bed if he was an emergency unplanned admission but I am very concerned that this could happen on a planned admission, surely the hospital would not contact a patient asking them to come in on a specific day at a specific time knowing that no bed would be available for 8 hours? My father was already agitated about having his operation and having to wait for 8 hours without any communication at all only distressed him further to the point of feeling that he had waited so long that he wanted to leave and go home as he was tired and hungry.

I am writing this as I am sure that this situation could have been handled very differently, could the nursing staff not have taken time to explain to my father every hour or so the situation and that he would have to wait for a bed? The patient care that he received I believe is not acceptable and I think the staff need to be made aware of the needs of their patients and that communication can go along way to making a patient feel more a ease in an already emotional situation.

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