"Hospital clean, well signposted ..."

About: Darent Valley Hospital

(as a relative),

What I liked

Hospital clean, well signposted to departments, open atrium with reasonable facilities

What could be improved

I was visitor to the hospital rather than a patient myself. My sister was admitted to the intensive care and was critically ill on a ventilator. I made a telephone call to find out how she was (I work 100 miles away and wanted to know how sick she was) and was given minimal information (which I understand) but told if I visited I would be fully updated. I explained that I could not get there in normal visiting hours and was told this was not a problem. I travelled that evening and went to the hospital with my mother who had previously visited the unit. Despite being told we could come in, we were met by 2 very aggressive members of nursinig staff (one the sister) who denied granting permission to visit. We were told nothing about my sister's condition as the on call Dr felt unable to comment due to lack of familiarity with her case. We were told that someone would be available the next day. We were made to feel incredibly uncomfortable and unwelcome.Eventually we met the medical staff the following lunchtime. I feel this is an unacceptable delay. I work in the medical profession myself and hope that I have never treated a patient or a relative in such a comteptuous manner. Communication was poor but it was the attitude of the nursing staff that I found most offensive.

Anything else?

There are insufficient nursing staff/patient on ITU. My sister had a pressure sore on her heel after 48 hours!

Infected cannula site after 48 hours - dismissed by senior nursing staff as insignificant

Story from NHS Choices

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Responses

Response from Darent Valley Hospital

I am very sorry to hear that staff were not helpful and communication was poor in our Intensive Care Unit, especially at such a stressful and worrying time for you. I will pass your comments on to the ITU team so that they can learn from your experience.

I note that your visit was in May 2009, and I understand these comments have just been posted now (January 2010). Could I ask any readers of the NHS Choices site that if you have any comments or suggestions it would be helpful to discuss these issues with the Matron for the clinical area at the time, as it is easier to address issues at the time.

Thank you for your comments, and please accept my apologies for the distress these events caused.

Jenny Kay

Director of Nursing

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