"Lasting power of attorney"

About: West Suffolk Hospital / Older people's healthcare

(as a relative),

I needed to send a Lasting Power of Attorney quickly to West Suffolk Hospital so as to get information about a hospital visit that my aunt attended, she has Alzheimer's. I asked if the hospital would accept a pdf, at least initially. They said they could not accept documents by email as they might contain a virus, but that I could download the document to a USB stick and send it by post.

Of course the document could still have a virus, plus the USB stick could, plus the USB stick could get lost in the post or in the hospital which has data protection implications too. There was also the cost and time involved sending documents by post and there would have been the cost of the USB stick.

I had to send hard copy instead but it took over a week as a result to get my aunt's report (she was down to 5 stone and needed urgent dietary support). Is it reasonable to wait a week for that sort of information because of bureaucratic hurdles based on poor IT understanding.

Her GP already had the Lasting Power of Attorney, couldn't the hospital have checked with them if they had concerns about me (I understand the data protection and safeguarding issues here, but these were taking precedence over urgent medical matters)?

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Response from West Suffolk Hospital

Again, we urge you to contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) manager on 01284 712555 or PALS@wsh.nhs.uk so that this matter can be investigated further and resolved.

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