"Specialist staff who knew their stuff!"

About: Kettering General Hospital

(as a relative),

What I liked

Specialist staff who knew their stuff!

What could be improved

=COMMUNICATION=

Anything else?

The total lack of communication was seriously concerning throughout the visit.

* Patient had known memory problems (on medication), yet next of kin was NEVER asked about the medical history (for the new problem), nor given any information about what was going on - at any point

* Despite asking that key information be written down in patient's diary to aid their memory, the ONLY written information given was a seriously illegible 'cover-all' information leaflet in a tiny font about a procedure to be undertaken - no personal information included at all, for example when they would be having the procedure.

* Nursing staff made no effort to greet main carers or request contact details, let alone give any information.

* Attempts to communicate with staff were met with suspicion and staff were extremely guarded despite patient agreeing to information being given

* The patient was on memory medication, yet the staff continually gave key information to the patient without either writing it down or telling the main carer, despite the patient requesting this. (the other patients in the ward provided this information!!!!)

PLEASE give your staff urgent training in how to communicate with patients and their carers. This is not just about communicating with people with memory issues. This is a problem of epidemic proportions. If staff don't communicate effectively, serious and unnecessary mistakes WILL happen.

My impression is that this profound reluctance to communicate on the part of the [nursing] staff is due to:

a) lack of confidence in one's own ability

b) lack of knowledge about the history and plans for the patient

c) fear of being asked a question to which they do not know the answer - training can be given about how to handle this eventuality

PLEASE address this. It is as essential for positive outcomes as infection control and successful treatments.

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