"The nurse on the ward when I visited was very..."

About: Mount Vernon Cancer Centre

What I liked

The nurse on the ward when I visited was very good.

They were friendly and spoke to my cousin sensibly and with empathy and respect.

What could be improved

My cousin was terminally ill with cancer and yet there was no apparent palliative care plan for him.

My mother had to wait until after the weekend for someone to eventually come to discuss palliative care for my cousin - he was very uncomfortbale we weren't sure whether he was in pain or not.

His matress was causing him real discomfort.

Even on the monday it took several hours and much pushing before someone finally came to see him.

Ward 10 was not an appropriate place for my cousin to be, given that he was dying.

He died after several days.

I visited at a weekend and there were no refreshment facilities.

My mother and other relatives were there for many hours with my cousin over the weekend and had to drive out to local shops, cafes etc to get some refreshment.

Anything else?

My mother's comment seems to sum the place and the service up - 'what a dump'.

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Response from Mount Vernon Cancer Centre

We're really sorry that your experience of the care provided to your cousin was not what you expected.

Indeed we would go so far as to say that it is not typical of the excellent service provided by the cancer centre.

This is why we would welcome receiving a formal complaint so that we can investigate your concerns and provide you with a detailed response.

If you wish to do this, then please send your concerns to patcomplaints.enh-tr@nhs.net.

On a more general note, where someone is unhappy with the care they are receiving we always encourage people to talk with the senior nurse in charge of that area or the duty matron.

While we can understand that sometimes people are reluctant to do this, it is our experience that early intervention can resolve matters quickly to everyone's satisfaction - even if only to allow our staff to apologise when something has gone wrong.

Finally, the matter of refreshments.

There is a restaurant on the Mount Vernon site that is within easy reach of the wards and other clinical areas.

It is open for staff, patients and the public to use between 7.30am and 8.00pm most days.

Our staff on the wards are also very willing to make drinks for relatives visiting patients in such circumstances as those you have described.

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