"Good response following a complaint but things..."

About: New Cross Hospital

On Wed 16th Dec 15 I had cause to ask for the help of PALS, on behalf of my 85-year old mother, to liaise on our behalf as to why she had been taken off all medication for her rheumatoid arthritis and left with nothing to see her through to her next routine appointment in mid-Jan 16.

Admittedly I did have to chase PALS on Mon, 21st Dec after they failed to get back to me and they chased it further with the appropriate person who had not replied to them.

However, when I did speak to the Head of Rheumatology, on Wed, 22nd Dec, I found them honest, open, genuinely concerned and pro-active in their response not only to my mother's case but as to the future service that they hope to introduce in the Rheumatology Dept.

They agreed that my mother had 'slipped through the net', that her case would be reviewed but in the meantime arranged for my mother to have an injection that same afternoon.

The Head of Rheumatology was a pleasure to talk to & deal with, not defensive at all, which is unusual in situations like this.

Clearly there are things that need to be addressed across the hospital service in respect of liaison across depts where a patient is being investigated/treated for more than one thing. Each dept works in silos & indeed do not know the names even of the senior people in other depts. I do not hold out much hope on this front that N/X will address this issue but someone needs to grab hold of it if things are to improve.

It is confusing to any of us, most particularly the elderly.

To give a clearer example of this, my mother routinely has her blood taken by the rheumatology dept but for months has also had tests carried out by the haematology dept.

Never the twain meet despite the fact that the two ailments are related; she has countless visits to the hospital, the 2 depts don't look at her as a whole, she gets confused as to who is doing what & why and it all seems wasteful of valuable resources, let alone my mother's energies in keep getting to the hospital.

A bit of synchronising wouldn't go amiss & you would save resources at the same time.

Even filling in this feedback highlights my point - you have to declare a single dept that you visited, there is no choice for 'Various' or even to allow feedback on the PALS service.

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Response from The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust

Thank you very much for taking the time to post your comments relating to your mother's patient experience recently. I am sorry for any distress that this matter has caused.

I understand you have contacted the PALS department previously regarding your concerns, however, could I ask you to contact PALS again to discuss your comments. PALS can be contact on 01902 695362.

Kindest regards

Alison Dowling

Head of Patient Experience and Public Involvement