"The new building and facilities. ..."

About: University Hospital (Coventry)

(as a relative),

What I liked

The new building and facilities. Attitude of some of the staff.

What could be improved

Communication between doctors, nursing staff, patient and patient's relatives.

Anything else?

My mother is 88 and has been into this hospital for stays up to three weeks over the last couple of years. Clearly she very elderly, not in good health and never will be again; we do not expect her treatment to to consist of anything other than managing immediate crises and a revue of her on-going medication and care. Although the care she has received while in hospital appears to have varied between adequate and very good there is one glaring omission: never in her several visits has anyone, doctor or nurse actually explained what her chronic health problems are to her or to myself (her son). We were aware that high blood pressure is a main issue, but through a process of deduction we have worked out that she is suffering from periodic pulmonary oedema caused by progressive heart failure, chronic kidney disease, has a hiatus hernia and a womb prolapse. We are not idiots and we realise that none of these problems can be 'cured' in a person of 88 in poor overall health and that no definitive answers can be given about some of her health issues. However it would have been helpful, reassuring and humane to have been offered a summary of the problems my mother is dealing with at some point. That, nor anything approaching it it, has ever happened in spite of several attempts to get such information. Some of this information may possibly have been given to my mother verbally, but she is self-evidently very deaf and and find it hard to take in complex information.

It seems a shame that what appears to be basically a very good hospital seems to think this level of communication is an unecessary luxury and a waste of time and effort. It would have taken 10 minutes maximum to speak in person or prepare an information sheet giving a little more information than the basic discharge form.

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