"Very Poor Communication with Relatives: Royal..."

About: The Royal London Hospital

The staff at the Royal London Hospital are friendly and very professional.

Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for systems and procedure.

My civil partner was on Ward 11F.

I rang up the ward through the main switchboard on four separate occasions, twice to give information I had been requested to give.

No one ever answered the phone.

Today I was told that my partner would be discharged.

I had a conversation with a member of staff at about 2.30 pm about the facilities awaiting him at home, particularly as regards his nursing.

I was expecting to see my partner in the late afternoon or early evening.

Instead it was not until 10 pm did I manage to ring the ward back on the number on my mobile left from the previous conversation I have just referred to.

My attempt to get through to the ward through the switchboard was completely abortive.

A pleasant nurse told me that he was going to be kept after all in the ward overnight because the discharge had been late in being completed.

No one had thought to inform me of this at all.

There seems to be no co-ordinated system whereby a relative can quickly find out about a patient without having to work really hard to get hold of someone.

I find this a common failure in many NHS hospitals. Finally the public lifts at the Royal London are pretty dreadful.

They take forever. This must be distressing for relatives who want to quickly contact a very poorly patent.

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