"Patients with no local relatives"

About: Pilgrim Hospital

I would just like to follow up on MichelleR's review re the difficulties encountered for relatives of patients who do not live locally. It's not just the impact on relatives that need to be considered but also the impact on patients and the staff treating them. While I have not found the staff to be rude I have encountered difficulties and occasionally a rather curt manner. I would like the hospital to consider the overall mental health and physical wellbeing of its elderly vulnerable patients who may have no close relatives or friends that can visit. This is exasperated when patients are unable to walk to a phone to hear a loved ones voice and/or are not able to take 'advantage' of any facility in the hospital to make a call from their bed, either because they are not mobile enough or they may be unable to cope with actually using the technology that may be available due to their condition. I have been told that I cannot speak with my relative as he is not mobile enough to get to the phone and on a separate occasion that you '...do not like giving details over the phone...' when enquiring how he was. While I appreciate that giving me information may not be your priority, a little cooperation goes a long way and two way communication with relatives can only be a good thing for you also need to know background information to assess your patients. In other hospitals in the area we have previously been able to communicate directly with my father as they have mobile handsets that calls can be transferred to which can then be carried to the bed. It would be great if this could be considered. This can provide enormous comfort to a patient.

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