"Excellent treatment by all available staff."

About: Lincoln County Hospital / Trauma and orthopaedics

My wife was admitted for a complete knee replacement, having gone through the pre-medical assessment and given an operation date of Tuesday 30th August. We reported to Neustadt/Welton ward at 7.30am. She was assessed for fitness etc and the knee marked up, ready for her operation later that day. She went into the Operating Theatre at around 9.45am. Having jumped the queue because another patient had Diabetes readings that needed correcting. I went home, and called the LCH(NS/W ward) at around 1.45pm. and was told my wife was already in aside ward and ready for visitors. The room she was given was spacious, bright, comfortable and airey. She could not have had better treatment all the staff went out of their way when necessary to ensure my wife was comfortable and well informed. After three days a gentleman needed to be admitted so my wife was moved to a bay occupied by ladies, all her belongings etc were transferred efficiently with little fuss and lots of care. She was to spend two days in this bay and in this short time, friendly conversation took place. My wife could walk up and down stairs on her elbow crutches, her X-rays and been taken and cleared, her medication for use at home was at hand so it seems it's now time (Saturday 3rdSept) early afternoon, for my wife's discharge. Unfortunately things now take a turn for the worse! Now thinking that she'd be discharged as we just needed to be given the discharge papers, we presumed that an hour or so wait would ensue. However come 4pm and no sign of a Doctor I need to go home to feed our pets and myself. I'll return at 7pm. to collect my wife. I arrive at the Neustadt/Welton ward expecting to collect my wife. No chance, a doctor is about, but no one has any idea when the doctor is likely to arrive on the ward. After remonstrating with various staff, politely I may add, as were their responses. I decided that I needed to complain, so walked back to Main Reception to request an official complaints form. There doesn't appear to be one, but the person on reception took mine and my wife's details and said they would contact the Night Sister. I went back to the ward, and within 10 minutes a Doctor appeared. This doctor was clearly overworked, probably the only doctor on duty. The doctor had to check that all the 'paper trail' was in place, as is required, and subsequently we were on on our way at around 10pm. My point is that at the stage where all the Knee Replacemnent, Preparation, Operation and Aftercare has been completed excellently, the LCH is let down by not having organised satisfactory staff to complete the patients procedure. i.e. Patient Discharge. Maybe this is not being able to recruit suitable staff possibly due to the present Governments policies towards the NHS.

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Response from United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust

Dear Anonymous,

Thank you for your feedback.

I am pleased to hear that the care your wife received from all staff was excellent. However, I am sorry to hear that she was let down by the discharge process.

We are currently working hard to improve this process. We as a team recognise failings in the systems we have in place at present, and are working at making improvements. We want to ensure patients are discharged in a timely manner and do not occur unnecessary delay.

Like many hospitals, we do at times have a shortage of medical staff and therefore completion of documentation can be an issue. We work closely with all ward staff to try to identify patients the day before discharge so we can begin the process and complete documentation. This is not always achievable due to workload. This issue will be discussed at the next unit meeting.


Lorraine Waby

Ward Manager