"Ward 24 Communication"

About: Queen Elizabeth Hospital (Gateshead)

My father in law was on ward 24 for 5 weeks. Telephone calls to the ward seeking information were either unanswered or given the stock response "comfortable". When we visited the ward and enquired about him invariably we were told that the staff member we asked had just come on duty and received no handover or that they did not work on that floor. One helpful cadet nurse said that they would send someone to have a word with us - we are still waiting.

Luckily on one occasion I did manage to speak with the nurse looking after my father in law. They advised me that his needs had changed and that he now needed continuing nursing care and that it would take up to 7 days for this to be arranged. All well and good you might think but no, wait a minute because today we heard from his Care Home to tell us that he had been discharged from hospital and that it had been decided that he did not meet the nursing care criteria. Of course no one from the hospital had the courtesy to telephone my wife with any of this information, but then she is just his next of kin!

When he was first admitted to accident and emergency my father in law received first class attention and I was kept fully advised as to his condition and likely treatment and prognosis. It is just a pity that my opinion of the hospital has been clouded by my experience with ward 24 communlcation lapses.

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Responses

Response from Queen Elizabeth Hospital

Hello, we're sorry to hear that you've been disappointed by some aspects of your relative's care, in particular the communication about their condition and discharge which doesn't sound up to the standard patients and relatives should expect from us. If you'd like us to look into these issues, please contacts our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on pals@ghnt.nhs.uk.

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