"poor communication"

About: Royal Berkshire Hospital / Cardiology South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust / NHS 111

(as the patient),

We thought my partner was having an allergic reaction to mushrooms, so we called 111. We were then, to our surprise, transferred over to the 999 service, who sent a paramedic to the house. We then were told that he might be having a heart attack, but they can’t be sure of it so we would have to go to the hospital for a diagnosis. We didn’t suspect this at first as he was trying to hide his symptoms from me. He was then put in an ambulance and rushed to the hospital, where I was then left waiting for 2/3 hours in the corridor, with no information whatsoever. The staff wasn’t very nice to me, and because I am just his partner, and despite me being listed as his next of kin, they refused to give me any information until they got my partner’s approval. Needless to say I was left incredibly distressed and worried. I understand they were very busy, but I think someone should’ve said something to me. When he was discharged 3 days later, he called me and told me he would just get a taxi. I, of course, dropped what I was doing and picked him up. However, I just can’t believe they were just going to let him discharge himself without contacting me or arranging transport.

I don’t want to be complaining, as I know how busy the NHS is, however, I can’t stop thinking that I am quite young and willing to follow through with calling the hospital and getting the information I need, however, if my mum was in this situation and this would’ve happened to my dad, I don’t think she would even know who to contact and it would prove a lot more difficult for her.

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Responses

Response from Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for your feedback. We apologise for your experience in the Accident and Emergency Department and for the lack of communication you experienced. We strive to ensure patients have a relative with them while they are in A&E so that both parties remain more relaxed. The matron for the area will reiterate to staff that we must try to ensure this happens.

It is difficult for us to identify which ward your partner was on - if you could contact our Patient Advice & Liaison Service (PALS) on 0118 322 8338 or email talktous@royalberkshire.nhs.uk with more detail, we will be able to investigate what went wrong with the discharge process as your experience is not what we want for our patients and their relatives.

Response from Royal Berkshire Hospital

Thank you for your feedback. We apologise for your experience in the Accident and Emergency Department and for the lack of communication you experienced . We strive to ensure patients have a relative with them while they are in A&E so that both parties remain more relaxed. The matron for the area will reiterate to staff that we must try to ensure this happens.

It is difficult for us to identify which ward your partner was on - if you could contact our Patient Advice & Liaison Service (PALS) on 0118 322 8338 or email talktous@royalberkshire.nhs.uk with more detail, we will be able to investigate what went wrong with the discharge process as your experience is not what we want for our patients and their relatives.

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