"Slow (and absent) responses"
About: Royal Sussex County Hospital Royal Sussex County Hospital Brighton BN2 5BE
A week after I took the trouble to write some thoughtful, if perhaps tough, comments on the 'customer service' my family received from the Royal Sussex’s Vascular department, I have received no response of any kind, not even an acknowledgment on this website - but I very much hope that I will.
I would now like to add some related comments on the service from the Bereavement department (which does not have its own section on this website). We first called the Bereavement department on a Friday, the day after my father died in the Vascular ward. The person we spoke to seemed helpful and reassuring and implied that a death certificate would be available early the following week. For various reasons – notably that a post-mortem was required -- the process in fact took 8 days, obviously a very stressful time for the family. As I understand it, during that time the Bereavement Dept did not actively contact my family at any point, leaving it to my 81-year-old mother to 'do the running'. On the recommendation of a friend with legal experience we took the initiative of contacting Brighton’s Coroner's department, which provided helpful, clear and accurate advice on procedures. When my brother rang the Bereavement Dept exactly a week after my father's death and explained that we had contacted the Coroner, he was pretty much told: "That's what you should have done anyway." When he tried to explain that the Bereavement department had provided no guidance to that effect, the adviser did not listen to him fully and responded in what I would describe as 'jobsworth' terms, saying "It's out of our hands now", or words to that effect. I was listening to the phonecall and was quite shocked that a bereaved relative should be handled in a somewhat high-handed manner by someone with supposedly specialist skills in these sensitive matters. Once again, the hospital seems to have forgotten that administrative and communications processes that it considers routine are anything but routine for the patient and the patient’s family. If one received this kind of treatment from a commercial business, one would ask to talk to someone in charge. If anyone reading this can recommend someone in charge at the Royal Sussex Hospital, I would be very grateful. My family has been trying to take the initiative with the hospital for the past three weeks, but I am not sure how much good that has done us at any point.