"Can never get through to ward on phone."

About: Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital

My Aunty went to Cramlington hospital, I talked to paramedics at scene to simply ask what has happened, they would not tell me anything, even though, Aunty & uncle confirmed I was their nephew. Phone the main number, wait hours for reply, when I got reply they tried to contact me to ward, waited more hours on phone (if not for my agoraphobia it would have been 100% a far better choice to find a way through to the actual hospital even though I think it is dirty, very uncomfortable waiting area, feels like an ASDA supermarket rather than a hospital. Nevertheless I try again, switchboard, they try another number to contact me this time, waiting hours again. Never did get through, so still don't know how my Aunty is doing & no way if finding out unless I try again and might get lucky. The staff at this hospital when I was in, I felt, in my opinion, as if they had just came from high school, the problems they were having communicating between each other was a work of science fiction, no, in fact you could not write a story of how bad the staff deal with communication between themselves, to you the patient, the length of time waiting in pure agonising excruciating physical pain, even asked for glass of water took them over 2 hrs to bring. No respect for patients. They don't discuss your plan of care, basic principal you are taught as a child (common sense & how to communicate.) not going into cleanliness if this hospital would take a full forum. My rating is 0.1

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Response from Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital

Dear Ant,

I am deeply saddened to read your review, this is certainly not what we would want anyone using our services to feel. If your aunt is still in our care I would like to help you keep up-to-date with her condition. If possible and with your aunts permission, please could you email me her details? I will ask a senior member of the ward team looking after her to contact you directly. My email is Annie.Laverty@nhct.nhs.uk.

I am sorry that you have had difficulty getting through to us, I will raise this with our telecommunications team to make sure they’re aware of the issue- we will look into this. It’s disappointing to read your comments about our staff at The Northumbria, we know we don’t always get things right. With the information you provide we will be able to speak to appropriate staff directly and begin making improvements. The concerns you have raised about cleanliness are equally worrying, I will forward these to our domestic team who I know are working hard to maintain the cleanliness standards.

Thank you for posting your review and allowing us the opportunity to improve, looking forward to hearing from you.


Annie Laverty – Director of Patient Experience