About: Royal Sussex County Hospital

My husband John was in hospital from 2nd Jan till he died on the 20th. I was also taken in on the same day so perhaps what I'm going to complain might have been avoided if I had been seeing him every day. Right from the time I could visit it him - the 5th, it was made clear to me that John was being rushed to be sent home as soon as possible. John had cirrhosis of the liver and we had already spoken to someone from the Martletts palliative care team on the 31st Dec that as John had become immobile that it might be best for him to be taken into a nursing home. Because events took over, by the time I got to see John, he, through a social worker, had agreed that he's rather like to come home. Which I don't blame him for but the social worker had not taken into consideration our wishes and my state of health although they were told about it -mantel cell lymphoma, recurrence of breast cancer and COPD which is why the Martletts became involved. All the time he was there, the social worker kept on preparing for him to come home, not even consulting the nurses and doctors as to the state of his health - he picked up a tummy bug whilst in hospital and his chest problems got worse. The social worker had arranged with OT that our bedroom wasn't big enough to have a hospital bed so our bed had to go, which it did 2 days before John died leaving me without one. I know that old people are a drain on the NHS but this was a bit too enthusiastic. We were also refused

NHS funding which I now understand is mandatory when someone only has a few weeks to live. I found that interview a bit weird too. I was asked questions, gave my replies to the person who asked the, was sent out of the room for 5 minutes and then told it had been refused.

I will say that the doctors and nurses who looked after John and took me into consideration in Catherine James ward as well were wonderful and sympathetic to our needs. Sandy Eldridge

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Royal Sussex County Hospital

Dear Sandy

Thank you so much for sharing your detailed feedback at such a difficult time, I really appreciate this. I am sorry that this time was made more stressful for you by our poor communication around the discharge planning process.

I have shared your feedback with the discharge teams and the social workers, as well as the staff on Catherine James. I think that it demonstrates how we need to involve families and carers more in these really important processes. We would like to use your experience, anonymously in some training that we will be undertaking about supporting and involving families and carers, if you are happy for me to do so.

Please do contact me on 07500604813 or caroline.davies@bsuh.nhs.uk, if you would like to discuss this or anything else further.

Best wishes

Caroline Davies

Deputy Chief Nurse

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