"Feedback regarding a recent admission to the RD&E"
About: Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital (Wonford) / Accident and emergency Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital (Wonford) Accident and emergency Exeter EX2 5DW Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital (Wonford) / Trauma and orthopaedics Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital (Wonford) Trauma and orthopaedics EX2 5DW
Posted by sheets of linen (as ),
My elderly father was admitted to the RD&E, Durbin Ward about three weeks ago. He had been referred for an MRI scan. The scan revealed the need for an urgent response and my father was speedily booked in for admission via the Emergency Department.
The outstandingly good thing is that both the Spinal Specialist Consultant and the SHO went out of their way to explain what was happening and what the options were. Both my father and closest family were involved. The SHO even took the time and trouble to ring me and my mother to keep us updated and talk through any concerns we had. She also took the time and trouble to have a very caring and sensitive conversation with my father to talk about the really difficult issue of 'do not resuscitate'. She has now arranged for my father to receive care in a community hospital closer to his home, which means my mother can visit him more easily. The ward staff on Durbin ward were also very approachable and helpful.
There were also some areas which could have been better whilst acknowledging that staff are working under severe pressures of demand and finite resources:
1) MRI scan - my father's problem was a spinal one and he found being asked to lie still on his back for approx. 30 mins excruciating; the confined space was also distressing to him. He banged on the scanner and shouted for it to stop because he was in such pain, but his cries for help were ignored and staff continued with the scan. They then 'blamed' him for not keeping sufficiently still to get a clear image. He came out of the scanner a very traumatised person begging for the scan not to be repeated. Bearing in mind that my father's spinal condition was so serious he was considered an emergency admission it seems obvious to me that careful thought should have been given as to how the scan could be done whilst keeping my father comfortable and calm.
2) Giving a diagnosis - I realise that the options for privacy and dignity are very limited in a busy acute setting. My father was given a diagnosis of potential paralysis and advanced cancer in a public place. In order to afford some privacy he was taken into a changing cubicle with just a curtain dividing him from the patients awaiting their scan appointments who were clearly able to overhear every word.
3) Missing property - in the space of two days two pairs of my father's glasses went missing from the tray by his bed.
Overall, I'm really grateful for the care that my father received at the RD&E.