"It varies"

About: Darent Valley Hospital

I have had occassion to visit your hospital frquently with my elderly mother my last visit and sadly hers was nearly a year ago now and it has taken me this long to start to get over the experience enough to feed back. She was admitted through A/E on several occasions all with different problems and they were courteous and efficient and managed very well given the almost constant bed pressures and volume of blue light arrivals. The orthopaedic department at your hospital surgeons,nursing staff and therapists are magnificent and despite a challenging hip# manged my Mum with kindness and thoughtfullness throughout and restored her to fitness so many many thanks.

Unfortunately the same cannot be said for the medical wards (we have experienced all of them having been moved numerous times during her 2 stays) where patients are second class citizens and relatives even worse. I work as a clinician for the NHS myself so understand the difficulties but the care was atrocious. I could never find anyone to talk to me about Mums condition and just had to watch her deteriorate with no-one seeming to care. In the end I had to read the medical notes myself since none of the nurses or junior doctors supposedly caring for her knew anything about her. In her last visit she was dumped in a side room and no-one even unpacked her bag it was as if they were expecting her to die and could not be bothered, sadly thats exactly what happened. Yes she was confused but this was recent, 3 days earlier she had been dancing at a party in the afternoon entertaining all her friends and family with stories of her youth, that morning she had as usual walked round the block and completed the times crossword in under 20 minutes !! Imagine my shock when I was called to come to the hospital urgently 2 days later when I arrived a nurse sat me in the middle of the corrider and said " she is RIP" exactly that, no further explanation. The Doctor when he arrived was kindness itself but obviously knew nothing about my Mums history or condition or indeed why she had died. The death certificate(which it took me 3 days to get) said she died of fraility and old age, presumably she contracted this condition over the 3 days you had been caring for her because prior to that she was a vibrant and independant person who looked after herself and all of her friends.

I was shocked, disgusted and ashamed of the NHS that both I and she had worked in all our lives, she really did not deserve this.

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Responses

Response from Darent Valley Hospital

We were very sorry to read about how you were left feeling after the sad passing of your mother. Unfortunately as it appears from the date below that you visited in December 2013 (nearly 2 years ago), it will be rather difficult to investigate the concerns you have raised or to find out exactly what happened.

However, we do strive to ensure that each and every patient receives the very best care when they come into one of our hospitals. We expect all patients and their families to be treated with respect, dignity and compassion and as this was not your experience please accept our sincere apology. Although, we can see that when you visited the A&E and Orthopaedic Department the treatment was extremely good.

It does concern us though, that you were left with a very unfavourable impression of your mothers care whilst on one of our medical wards and that the lack of information provided to you fell below our expected standard. We will share your review with our Director of Nursing so that any lessons can be learned.

Kind regards

The Communications Team Darent Valley Hospital

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