"unable to speak to anyone"
About: Stoke Mandeville Hospital Stoke Mandeville Hospital Aylesbury HP21 8AL
My mother, who is 83, was taken to A&E by ambulance. I spent the next 3 hours on the phone to the hospital try to find out how she was. I phoned the hospital operator countless times, who tried to transfer me to A&E but no one answered. I was given phone numbers to ring, one of which went through to the triage nurse who said I shouldn't be ringing her. On another occasion I was transferred to Admissions, again no one answered. I kept trying, and trying, getting increasingly frantic and frustrated. At one point, after ringing the operator, it was answered by the on call cardiology registrar. I rang the operator and asked if they could just tell me where my Mum was, as I had been on the phone so long I was sure they must have been moved to a ward. But it appears there is some sort of central operator system, because although the number I rang was Stoke Mandeville they didn't know what hospital I required, and did not have the ability to find where Mum was. I told them how long I had been phoning and they apologised, they tried again, no answer. I was given the phone number I had already tried. At 7.15pm someone finally answered the phone and gave me information about my Mum's condition. I phoned back several times as they had done some tests, the final time at 10.30pm, Mum still on a trolley as there was no bed available. Next day rang admissions, Mum still on a side ward in A&E. I know the staff were very busy, I'm not blaming anyone for this, it just illustrates the tremendous strain the NHS is under. I also think it is a very unacceptable way to treat a frail and elderly lady.