"Having worked in public services ..."

About: Morpeth Cottage Hospital

(as a relative),

What could be improved

Having worked in public services myself for many years, I understand the pressure placed upon staff by the constant drive to hit targets and manage resources. That said, I wonder at what point do staff become so demoralised that they forget about what should lie at the heart of patient care, treating individuals with dignity and respect. I recently had cause to ask the staff about my fathers care and I was met with a response which could be at best described as 'dismissive' and at worst, with contempt. The sister on the ward appeared to have neither the time or the inclination to talk to us as a family, to the point where we were considering discharging my father rather than leaving him on the ward. We are not unreasonable people, we dont ask for anything more than common courtsey and respect. We dont expect to be 'spoken to' by staff but we do expect to be 'spoken with'. We dont expect to be patronised but we do expect to have issues explained to us in a clear and coherent manner. I and my family are deeply sadenned by our experience at Morpeth Cottage Hospital. The illness of a loved one is difficult enough without being made to feel like a liability and a time waster.

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Response from Morpeth Cottage Hospital

As the Hospital Manager I am sorry to hear of the difficulties you have experienced. I am also very concerned as I have not previously been made aware of issues of this nature. The ward generally receives many thank you cards and letters.

The Trust expects all of our staff to be courteous, helpful and polite at all times and we provide training to ensure they are skilled to do this. We certainly take such matters seriously and I will be discussing this incident with the team and seeking to rectify the situation promptly.

Should you wish to discuss this incident more fully I can be contacted via the Trust switchboard.

Barbara Scott

Operational Services Manager

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