"Why wasn't everything resolved in one visit?"

About: Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital

My sister attended Cramlington hospital on Sunday 12th June on the advice of Lloyds pharmacy as she had extremely high blood pressure. At the hospital she had her BP checked and bloods taken and an ECG. She was discharged with instructions to return to Ward 6 at 15.30 hours the following day.

I accompanied her and I can only say this second visit was a complete waste of everyone's time.

She had a repeat ECG because the doctor did not know or have access to the one taken the day before.

Her BP remained high and she was given an antihypertension tablet with her BP being repeated after an hour to see if it had any effect. She also had to undergo a chest X-Ray. After this she was given a box of medication and discharged.

The whole process took nearly 3 hours.

My question is why could the X-Ray and the medication not have been part of her visit on the Sunday? This would have saved us time and money travelling back to the hospital and worry. Worry which can also increase someone's BP. More importantly medical and nursing staff's time was also wasted when this could have been resolved very quickly on the first visit.

Also the X-Ray department weren't efficient. Having contacted the ward to instruct my sister to attend for her X-Ray no-one bothered to come into the waiting area to check if she was there. Notices inform patients that there is no reception and to sit until a radiologist calls you. This did not happen and I had to get help from a porter who then informed the staff we were there. So a system that doesn't work!

The clerical staff on ward 6 weren't helpful and quite rude. On arrival at the ward they both looked at us then promptly ignored us. They did exactly the same when we returned from the X-Ray department and were unsure what would happen next. Stupidly we thought they may help. Wrong.

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Responses

Response from Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital

Dear Trish,

I am sorry that the treatment your sister received was not more efficient. I agree with you that it would have been more convenient to have been given her medication and an x-ray on the same day. Without your sisters details it will be difficult for me to look into why this was. With her permission please could you email me her details and I can begin looking into this straight away. My email address is Annie.Laverty@nhct.nhs.uk.

Please accept my apologies for the service your sister received in our radiology department. I will look into our process for greeting patients to find out what we can do to make sure we do everything we can to avoid this in the future.

I am sorry that you found our clerical team on Ward 6 to be unhelpful and rude, this is certainly unusual and not something we would expect on any of our wards. I will raise this raise this with the team immediately.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards to you and your sister,

Annie

Annie Laverty - Director of Patient Experience